|An Australian (RAAF) F-111 that only appears to be zorching along just fine.|
If you follow Sarge regularly, you've probably read some of my forays into pithy politically charged part-time blogging. It's pretty obvious what I used to do, but it's a little less clear how I spend my time now. I've actually made no secret of it, in fact in my first guest-post I stated it up front- I'm a Dept. of the Navy employee now, a Mine Warfare Analyst.
Aviation related posts tend to be the norm around here though, and stuff about mines and mine sweeping can be a bit dry. That job isn't nearly as exciting as my first career, but I know it's important, it's good work if you can get it, and most days I'm excited to go to work and usually in a good mood when I get home. This didn't happen today.
Some days it like this- a little mistake that can be easily fixed- just push the plane back, straighten it out, and get it back to work. Everybody makes mistakes, no big deal.
Everybody pitches in to fix it, help a co-worker out, make it all better. That's what a team does. This isn't what happened today either.
However, on other days, far less often of course, it might feel like this:
|B-29 after shedding a prop- that's gonna leave a mark!|
Much bigger mistake- the prop departs and goes through the fuselage, nearly decapitating one of the crewmen, who walks away unscathed. No, nobody even almost gets hurt in my civil service world, outside of a paper-cut, or burning their tongue on hot coffee, but mistakes at work do happen that can take some effort to correct or eventually forget. Nope, this didn't happen today at work either.
The caption on the intro photo was intentionally vague. It looks like a $hi# hawt low transition, but it's not. The story behind it is that the nugget pilot had a failure that prevented the gear from coming down. So he was practicing his approach- notice the flaps and slats are down, and the horizontal stab and canards deflected, before coming around again with his tailhook down making a successful landing.
This is sort of what happened today- everything is going fine, but then, just as the day is finishing up, a big problem happens.
|Somebody else's mistake can just ruin a good day.|
It was more like this- One guy is sitting fat dumb and happy in his plane when the other guy comes up and knocks him for a loop.
We have a mix of civilian and military at work, most of the civilians are retired military so we all know how the command operates, how the Navy operates, and what it takes to get the job done. Most of us are willing to do that too, whatever it takes to get the job done. Sometimes the people hired though, aren't working at the same level as they were used to in the service. In today's instance, I'm working with a very senior retired guy, who needs to operate at the technical level his job requires, but he wants to be the guy two levels above that. I'm not sure why a senior guy would want a more-junior position, nor why the Navy would hire such a senior guy to fill that position, but that's not for me to understand. His job is to give me all the technical information so I can complete the paperwork and submit it for approval and funding. I've been holding the paperwork, checking with him every couple of days to see how he's coming along. The last contact was him saying that there's no problem, "Chief Jones has that info."
Meanwhile, I'm at the gym and his boss sends an email to God and country (including my boss), asking why this is taking so long. He promptly responds that it's all my fault, he gave me what I needed and he has no idea why I'm sitting on it. Then he leaves for the day.
This is a better depiction of what happened-
He shoves me to the side of the runway and takes off like he's scot-free.
Now I'm pretty ticked off. I call down to his office to find out what the hell is going on. Chief Jones answers and says he was told that I'd be calling to get the info for the paperwork. The light went on- when I was told that there was no problem and that Chief Jones had the info, he expected me to go find Jones and get the info myself- acting like the O-6 he used to be, not the mid-level civil servant that he is, a job that requires him to learn the technical stuff, and actually speaking to his own subordinate to get the info I need. Finding Jones to get the technical info is way out of my lane, crossing departmental lines, tasking one of his guys to help me, etc. Now, a department head thinks I'm a lazy sack, and my boss thinks the same. I went and spoke to my boss to explain how it really happened and he's completely on my side, but the damage is done. He says it's not worth flaming the guy via email, not that I would have, and that I don't need to worry about what the other department head thinks...
but I do.
|I don't like getting walked all over.|
I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. I know what the guy deserves, but I'll probably take some stupid high road, sucking it up, and counting down the days until vacation. 70 days and counting.
Heading to Kauai with the family. I'd love to take a Pan-Am Clipper, but I'll be flying the friendly skies
Update: Here's the story on the F-111 landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIyYK9oz9Go. The picture isn't a practice approach as I first thought. The jet has already taken the wire which can be seen if you look close.