Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Cadet Leadership Development System

So oddly enough when you google search "Cadet Leadership Development System joke" no huge flow of jokes, comments, or tirades ensues.  I wonder if this means that I will be in twenty years lauding the system I currently despise.  It's this idea that somehow you're cadet job does more leadership development than the mere interference it runs with your day to day life.  I mean I get it, this is life, right?  Finding inspiration in the mundane.  But this world of west point is like one of those ecoglobes with the shrimp in it, except it's gray, miserable, cold and doesn't need sunshine to survive.

Which is a bit of an overstatement I realize but here is my example.  My job is done, the grade is in.  And I could walk away and forget about it... but I feel like that's not good enough.  It's not that I'm a terrible person who doesn't care and thinks I'm better than everyone... it's that the system here... hell the system of the world can be more than a little frustrating.  I know it's not just this place it's the way of the modern world.  Everything is draped in layers and layers of red tape.

So we had to set up hot chocolate for this event, a bonfire.  And I was also in charge of procuring tools.  Well I found out "how" to get the tools.  I even went out to supervise the procurement of lumber.  I didn't do much when I actually went, I mean all I did was keep the truck running when they took the wood up to the barracks.  Anyway I told everyone who needed anything how to get it, and I suggested what times they should go.  I had already wasted many of my hours meeting up with the folks to arrange for all this stuff, and then the actual getting of the wood and then wasting time going to the motor pool (where we keep vehicles is about a 20 minute drive out) that took up a whole afternoon.  I was pulling quite a few late nights to finish some big writing assignments and doing sandhurst practices too.  So when people who are supposed to be equally responsible as I for their tasks failed, I was the one who caught flak (which means I was chewed out).  After all this my assistant and I took hot chocolate out to the bonfire.  There were no tables at the front office (called CGR - Central Guard Room at WP) and no tables at the bonfire so someone screwed up with the delivery of the tables.  So we were at a loss where to put the hot chocolate.  This person... someone higher than me, said we should put some hot chocolate in the beer tent... which may have worked out but it was after we'd set it up on these benches and bleachers behind the beer tent.  We were in a pretty bad position it's true... but I was trying to get the DJ to announce the hot chocolate but by the time I thought of it and tracked him down he said he'd disconnected everything.  Anyway this higher ranking guy thought we screwed up the hot chocolate operation and mentioned it in his After Action Review... well for one we had way too much hot chocolate, we had enough for 4,000 people to each probably double-fist hot chocolate and most of the campus who were forced to be there left immediately, those who stayed drank beer and mostly hot chocolate doesn't mix with beer now if we'd had mulled wine....  Second of all, by the time families started to wander over for hot chocolate, we had to take it back because the mess hall needed the containers for breakfast the next day.  Anyway, I replied to my cadet level boss if he could please forward my comments to this officer, but if he didn't I'd love to forward them myself.  He won't get it... and that's fine.  Like I said, I'm done with the job... but we get chewed out for not supporting "the Corps" and it's just that I wish we weren't doing something stupid or in a stupid manner, not that I don't want to support.  Well, that's all, I'll get off my soap box now.

Anyway, I guess this weekend during another Army-Navy football game, the 111th, and the like umpteenth loss to Navy... I had another dose of how grumpy and pessimistic yet secretly optimistic I am.  A guy I was setting up a date with for while I was home basically showed he was slutting around, and doesn't realize I find it quite distasteful.  It would be one thing if he was just everywhere, random and social and interesting like a different guy I sort of have a semi-crush on.  But the guy at home... he's a former grad of my fine institution and I already had my reservations but he started to blow me off a little in conjunction with going out and ending up making breakfast for someone else... and well I've been hit with that train before.  So I'm dropping him now.  I might ask him to meet me somewhere in my hometown and I won't show up because he'll deserve it and if he's not an ass he'll ask where I was.  If he is an ass, he'll probably text me a sorry about thirty minutes later than we were scheduled to meet and say he couldn't make it.  The good thing is I'll make sure I'm in a movie with my cousins or at home having tea with my mom or out somewhere quiet.  I would like to get some quiet time this break.  I am definitely guarded now though.  On the drive home from Philadelphia this morning I was in a bad mood.  I don't want to be close to a guy right now, but anyway... I'm digressing.  I've got a lot to do... and my roommate feels like it's necessary to sleep early and she can't stand my desk light anymore... I dunno how she developed a sensitivity to it this last month... but it's kinda annoying.  Whatever... I don't need it tonight at least.  Goodnight all, let me know if you think I'm bitchin' too much... but keep in mind this is sorta an outlet and I can't possibly keep it completely objective or neutral.

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