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Weaponized incompetence.

That's a nifty term that I've noticed somewhat recently, and since I discovered the term, I've also been noticing an uptick in what I can only assume is weaponized incompetence in action.

If it's not senior leadership bumbling their way through unprepared responses to unexpected questions, it'd have to be the way we maintain administration.

To be fair: I fully respect the fact that as an IT—especially one that enjoys the actual IT part of the job—I'm a lot more likely to be diving into Excel. But there are things that absolutely drive me up the wall. Not freezing panes to keep headers at the top, random breaks in the sheets with no discernible keys to what the breaks mean... that kinda shit.

So yes. Weaponized incompetence.

Weaponized incompetence refers to a continual behavior that is typically intentional, rather than a few occurrences where someone is unhelpful.

In short: someone does a shitty job not because they're unable to, but because they want to demonstrate that they shouldn't be the one assigned the task.

It could also just be indifference to the presentation of the final product. After all, why bother with the polish when this product doesn't matter?

BECAUSE IT DOES, IN FACT, MATTER.

Especially when those same people are the ones that champion bullshit evolutions like Sailor 360 or MWR events.

Which I'd argue are substantially less important.

But... different strokes, I guess.

A letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Ma'am,
Good morning. I'm reaching out to you due to both the recent House Appropriations Committee hearing on Navy and Marine Corps Installations and Quality of Life, as well as the unacceptably substantial rise in suicidal behaviors and acts of those I work with and for in the United States Navy. Though I personally am in a better place (due in part to paygrade, but also due to my current assignment), my heart goes out to those that are struggling. Be it through terrible and/or toxic leadership only looking out for their own well-being, or through what can only be described as poverty-level living conditions, something has to change.
I'm 37 years old as I type up this message. Of those, 18 have been spent in the employ of the US Navy; you could almost say I've known no other life beyond the uniformed service. That being said, the words that came out of the MCPON's mouth are absolutely unacceptable... abhorrent, even. Between the MCPON and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, it speaks volumes to just how disconnected senior leadership is from the true lifeblood of the service—of ANY service—its junior enlisted.
Over the 18 years I've been enlisted, I've worked with an incredibly diverse group of people. Many of them just want to do their best to contribute to the mission of their respective commands and the Navy at large, though I'd be remiss to not acknowledge that there are bad eggs, just as in any other walk of life. Regardless of how subpar anyone's service is, nobody deserves this kind of treatment (or lack thereof). With the billions of dollars that the government spends on things like supporting foreign wars and various other initiatives, we need to eventually return our focus to our own people. To those that make the sacrifice of enlisting in the different branches of the military.
I humbly ask you to take some kind of action to see to it that these events aren't just talked about during a single symposium and then swept under the rug. We need a major reset in the current way we attack things. We need to hold people accountable for their actions. We are in desperate need of positive change for those that serve.
I thank you for your time and consideration, and I am standing by for any questions or concerns you may have.
Best regards, and very respectfully,
ITC(IW/SW) Terrance H. Shaw
Proud native Alaskan and US Navy Sailor

Whether or not this will actually affect any meaningful change... welp... I can only hope.

Lost and confused.

Woke up this morning feeling particularly down.

Not sure what caused it, but I desperately want to know what the fuck is wrong up in my head.

I've been talking with a friend about my work routine these days, mostly encompassing browsing Wikipedia for more information about things like existentialism, nihilism, and various mental disorders. Could be that my somewhat narrow "research" ends up feeding into this feeling of nothingness, but it's like a particularly vicious train wreck that I just can't stop gawking at.

I dearly and sincerely hope that my particular end state is complete disability from social anxiety and/or severe depression, because the idea of continuing to work with or around other human beings is excruciating.

I also find myself opening up more and more to the idea of therapy. Having someone to talk to whose specific job is my particular malady could end up being somewhat helpful, though I'm also burdened with guilt over the idea of sharing my particularly toxic mindset with someone specific.

The reasoning?

I've heard for years now the idea that toxic attitudes are contagious. That the way you carry yourself and behave around your social circles—be they personal or professional—can end up spreading like wildfire, for better or worse.

Some folks are indifferent, and they'll shrug off your behavior without issue.

Others are more receptive, and will respond accordingly.

So taking that into account, therapists end up finding themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation. Assuming that they have genuine empathy for others, they find themselves alone in a room with their patient, listening to their problems and analyzing their issues. Providing insight into what could've been the root cause of their suffering.

But what of the therapists themselves?

Given enough of a toxic load of the wrong type, could they find themselves succumbing to the same void as their patient?

To be clear, I'm not trying to say that I'm anyone remotely special in terms of my mindset, but it'd take a substantial toll on me to find out that a therapist I started seeing ended up taking their own life.

And so I sit here.

I wait.

And consider my options.

Progress.

FLTRES request has left the command, and my fate is entirely in the hands of those at NPC. Given their practices and processes are almost wholly unknown to me, my mistrust can only muster up cautious optimism.

I also reached out to ManTech yesterday with a job application for technical writing. Also cautiously optimistic on that one as well, especially given that the job offer expires May of 2023. But maybe I can at least secure some kind of promissory note that I can pass off to the CCC here so they can use it to drop me a tier level with my damn Career Readiness Standards requirements.

Really wish the military wasn't so goddamn difficult to work with for some of the most asinine things.

Getting out shouldn't be a hassle. Literally just put the period at the end of the sentence that is your military career, wish us well (or don't), and send us on our merry way.

Worth note: As much as I respected him in office, I came to find out that Barack Obama is the reason that Vow Compliance exists, which leads to the transition programs being mandatory.

It's my firm belief that we as a society could seriously use something akin to a page 13 or other type of agreement, where we waive our rights to complain for "losing out" on something like these retirement seminars.

I don't like proffered assistance that was never requested. Shit, I usually don't like assistance in general.

I just want to be left alone.

To do my own thing.

In other news, a BMW was being exceptionally aggressive yesterday morning on the drive in to work. Though I can normally get behind more aggressive driving (because it helps me get to where I'm going more easily), this dude was being irrationally aggressive. Serious tail-gating and trying to cut people off.

At one point, he decided to use the shoulder to try to bypass the two lanes of traffic and he was almost about to gun it through a red light that had been red for a solid 30 seconds.

...When he noticed the cop in the other lane.

So he backed down.

And with his tail between his legs, sheepishly turned on his turn signal to be let back in to the normal flow of traffic.

Fortunately, everyone banded together against the asshole and he was forced to wait behind everyone.

I.

Fucking.

Loved it.

Anyway. That's all I've got for now.

Trying to get my PCM to up my Effexor dosage.

Ideal end state: a blanket over my brain that helps me just tune everything and everyone out.

Cheers.

Milestone reached: Fleet Reserve.

Well, not quite. But I've taken the first step.

As of yesterday morning, my Fleet Reserve request has been submitted for approval, with a GTFO date of 29FEB24; putting my total time in this crazy service at 20 years and five days.

Assuming that the request in its entirety is approved, my timeline looks like this:

  • 10 days of house-hunting leave from 22DEC23-31DEC23,
  • 60 days of terminal leave from 01JAN24-29FEB24, and then
  • Freedom.

Pure, unadulterated freedom.

No more leadership bullshit.

No more collateral duties.

No more people.

Aim of the game is to go for a completely teleworking job in the form of either software development or technical writing, both of which are flush right now in the job market.

Bonus content: my list of reasons to get the fuck out:

  • Too many meetings with too many sidebars (FACSFAC does an excellent job mitigating sidebars, though).
  • Too much socialization. I can't empathize with a need for the MWR. Make your own morale! Dues. Obviously not mandated to pay them, but feel like an ass if I don't (peer pressure?).
  • No sense of urgency from everyone concerned with regards to any given evolution.
  • No sense of initiative from anyone, either.
  • I made a choice not to have kids first and foremost because I don't want to babysit.
  • Too concerned with everyone's feelings and reputations.
  • I love bureaucracy, but as with many other things, the Navy is terrible at it.
  • Awards and Sailorization. A job well done should be payment enough (broken advancement system notwithstanding).
  • An increasing personal mentality: "What's the worst that could happen if I didn't show up to work?"
  • An increasing personal mentality: "I understand why some people do what they do."
  • Politics. "Why should I help you return to an operational posture when I could use this as a teachable/vindictive moment?"
  • Fat Leonard. You spent the entire time in the Navy playing by the rules and overwhelmed by anxiety of the most minor misstep, and this fat douche and a crapload of corrupt senior leadership took the Navy for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • It's getting harder and harder to stop focusing on what others are doing and/or what they're getting out of it. People come in late, leave early, and yet I can't bring myself to do the same. I'll gladly jump on an excuse to leave early to help Mandy out, but those are increasingly few and far between.
  • Depression/anxiety. Effexor dulls the blows, but people are irrational, selfish, and inconvenient. Need to remove myself from that equation (note: not suicidal).
  • Business practices and workflows. The military makes things needlessly complex. Can't even properly self-service separation. WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO DO SOMETHING AS STRAIGHT FORWARD AS LEAVING.

Cheers!