Wednesday, August 09, 2006

mo money, mo money, mo money...

i was at wal-mart today retrieving some photos i'd ordered at the processing center. of course, i had to get some frames. frames aren't free in case you never quite got the memo. then it was off to dairy for some milk. they have some big people here, let me tell you. i'm not exactly a lithe, dainty creature myself, but good gravy i feel like a super model in this state...ah, i digress. i was fretful over my purchases. i only had 40 bucks with me, and i didn't feel like whipping out my check-card. i got to the check-out. the cashier was a cunt, but i probably would be a cunt, too if i had to put up with a lot of customers who are like me and harangue you with such questions as, "hey, how's it going?" how terrible a world we must live in when one is made to shoulder such atrocities.

in fact, she was so busy being a nasty cunt, she under-charged me. i don't mind a shitty attitude if it comes with a price reduction, so it's all par for the course, and it looks as though i scored at least a 15% discount. yahtzee. and right about that moment is when i realized i was carrying 3 twenty dollar bills. wow. did i feel rich or what...and that's sad 'cause that amount of money won't even put a full tank of gas in most cars. what can i say? this assignment doesn't exactly rake in the greenbacks.

today i also found out i may have to pay the government to deliver my belongings to new jersey when i separate. this pisses me off to no end. i feel like i have no recourse. in all actuality, i find out the final verdict some time next week regarding the following situation: idaho vs. texas. you see, i initiated my enlistment paperwork in idaho (mountain home, to be exact); however, about a month before starting basic, i moved to a small town southeast of san antonio. i was granted a courtesy enlistment through the san antonio MEPS. here's a run-through of the conversation between me and mr. cool, the guy cutting my orders:

cool: where did you enlist?

me: originally mountain home, but i moved to san antonio a month before basic. i was granted a courtesy enlistment.

cool: oh, we're going to keep your home of record as mountain home.

me: why?

cool: that's the first installation where paperwork was initiated.

me: but i received a courtesy enlistment through san antonio. can you check the enlistment paperwork in my UPRG. (for all you non-militants, the UPRG is my bible; it contains all my important documentations, appraisals, etc., since my enlistment began. this is something that is kept under lock and key. even i can't have unsupervised visits with my UPRG.)

cool: actually, we can't find your enlistment paperwork. it's not in your UPRG.

me: silence

me: silence

me: silence

me: then i could tell you i enlisted in new jersey, and you would never know, technically speaking.

cool: well the paperwork could have gone to one of two places: AFPC (the mecca for all personnel matters within this branch of service) or the member.

me: i can assure you i do not have that paperwork.

cool: well, we're going to put mountain home then.

me: but you don't know that, and i don't have money to carelessly throw around. (long story short, san antonio to minot is the same distance as minot to deptford, the jersey town in which i plan to relocate. minot to mountain home is nearly 700 miles closer than both aforementioned destinations. this means i would have to pay the movers for 700 miles of work.)

cool: (stammering some bullshit pesonnelist answer...)

me: where can you verify my home-of-record and enlistments info if not in my UPRG?

cool: oh, well i could always call AFPC....

me: (interrupting) yeah, go ahead and do that. i would appreciate it.

cool: ...but AFPC will probably instruct me to check in the UPRG or ask the member for their paperwork.

me: how is that different from what you just imparted? you've already told me that, and i've already assured you i do not have my enlistment paperwork. so we're back at square one.

cool: ...well, i could call AFPC, but i'm telling you it's going to be mountain home.

me: i want to know for sure, so go ahead and call them.

cool: but it's going to be mountain home.

me: you don't know that, so go ahead and call afpc.

cool: well, i could call them, but they're going to tell me to go with your place of enlistment.

me: and like i've said before i have a special situation. (not everybody in the air force has been granted a courtesy enlistment; in fact, it's so uncommon there probably isn't even guidance on this in the governing regulation/instruction, which is probably why this guy is giving me such a bullshit tapdance routine.)

cool: i could call, but they're going to tell me the place of enlistment is where you actually initiated the paperwork.

me: but you don't even know what my place of enlistment is. so....

cool: well....

me: no, go ahead and call AFPC. i'd also like a copy of my enlistment paperwork for my own records once you hunt it down. how long will it take before you hear something from AFPC.

cool: oh there's just no telling at all. (the answer that i despise because it evades any kind of accountability, which is the mortal enemy of most personnelists.)

me: a couple of hours? a couple of days? weeks? any kind of general timeframe?

cool: oh, about a week.

me: good. if i don't hear back from you in about a week, i'll give you a ring.

cool: (sounding devilishly puzzled) oh, oh okay.

yes. that was a nearly verbatim conversation. sad. very sad. i mean, if i find out i have to go with mountain home, i'll be pretty pissed. it's not like the AF paid to send me from mountain home to san antonio. my parents bit the bullet on that plane ticket, so as far as i'm concerned, the AF can grant me mileage from minot to san antonio, which is the origin they became incumbent for providing transportation for official travel. plus, the principle of having to pay the government. i've kept my nose clean for 9 years, i've worked my ass off from day one. nobody is charging the AF for all the overtime i've given. i don't know what i'm gonna do if i find out i have to pay for my move. i will definitely address it to my chain-of-command, but i'm not sure if there's much they can do. i have even considered contacting my congressman. the congressman might laugh at me, if even they read my correspondence, but i reckon it's worth a try.

other than that, not much else is going on. i did manage to upset somebody the other day, quite possibly alienating this person for good, which i'm not happy about. they were recalling something i did several months ago, and i wasn't quite sure how to respond or explain without sounding trite, so i didn't. i could just as easily say my interpretation of events is terribly different compared to that which were outlined for me two nights ago, but i reckon that would seem a poor defense in return.

on a positive note, i got to chat with a friend today with whom i have not seen nor talked to in about 2 months. i was really surprised he contacted me considering his close friendship with *****. anyway, he was telling me how his wife and baby (1 month old) are faring, how parenthood is kicking his ass in the energy department, and their upcoming move to arizona. at first i was like, "hmmmm, i wonder if he is doing recon?" he did make a strange comment on the fly about ***** being scummy, which shocked me not because his character is circumspect, but they've been close friends for about ten years. i simply responded, "***** is what he is, and that's no longer any of my concern." it was strangely liberating, and somehow saying that felt right. maybe even gospel.

not much else is going on. i'm still awaiting the arrival of my household goods. i cannot wait to sleep in my bed again!!!!