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Twenty years.

Two decades.

7,300 days.

This is the longest I've ever held a job, and the longest I'll ever hold a job ever again.

And on this most auspicious of days, where do I find myself?

At work.

On a Saturday.

Waiting for duty turnover.

Soon as that's done, going back home and gonna take a nap.

Because naps are good.

Awards are horse shit.

My department head—as great a man as he may be—won't let me just put myself in for a letter of appreciation.

Consequently, this is the third time that it's going back to the folks in our admin department.

What pisses me off the most about this is the seemingly piecemeal way in which the package is being picked apart.

Now I understand that there are multiple folks looking at it each time it makes it just a tiny bit further in the routing chain, but...

Come on, man.

I don't care about this award.

Y'all know that I don't care about it.

And yet here we are.

Optimizing.

That's what my new PCM said he was doing during my check-in.

Full disclosure: I'd had the appointment scheduled so that "expectations could be set". That sounded more than a little ominous/foreboding, but... whatever.

Went in, and surprisingly got called back to the exam room before I was able to even finish my check-in paperwork.

The corpsman running my blood pressure checks was more than a little dismayed to see a reading of 140/90.

"Let's... try the other arm."

140/89.

"At least I'm consistent," I joked.

"That is true," she chuckled, "But ideally, we'd like to see something lower. Does medical make you anxious?"

"People make me anxious," I replied.

"I'm so sorry," she said with an apologetic, shocked look on her face.

"Don't be," I told her, "You've done nothing wrong."

Eventually my PCM came in and he ran another check.

"We're going to optimize," he said. "Optimizing isn't gundecking. We're just trying to get a more favorable result, because as your results stand now they're borderline calling for you to be admitted to the ER."

So I sat there for ten minutes in silence, feet flat on the floor. His follow-up... "optimization"... had worked: 128/80.

The rest of the appointment was a frustrating waste of time as he brought up things like COVID and emerging technology making telehealth more relevant and helpful for folks and that indeed, "we could have probably just done this over the phone".

Meh.

Last appointment I've got before I start my lengthy TAD, so it's whatever, but...

C'mon, man.

C'mon.

Felt validated yesterday.

For years now I've been getting in to work well ahead of the start of the day.

And though a lot of folks (specifically senior folks) seem to read that as being highly motivated and overachieving, it comes down to that one simple thing:

I don't want to be late.

I hate being late.

And the later in the day you wait to head in to work, not only does that automatically slide your arrival time to the right, but it also introduces more and more meatbags onto the road.

And yesterday that meant a somewhat large accident.

Right in front of the command.

And it effectively shut down traffic in the area for hours.

It was also the first time in a good long while that I'd not headed in to work at my regular 0500ish time, due to a rather somber task I had to take care of beforehand.

But... yeah. Leave early. Get where you need to be early.

If you run out of things to do? Take a nap.

Because naps are swell.

The saga of Steve.

I've got a problem.

At one of my earlier commands... circa 2009 or so... I met a rather eccentric individual named Steve. He was actually a really pleasant individual other than a distinct lack of personal hygiene and strange personal habits (including removing the steering wheel from his truck when he parked it and carrying around way too much cash in a roll), but... he started something.

At each command I've been to since, there's always been a Steve. Sometimes you had to look a bit harder to find him, but eventually you'd find a Steve.

And Steve generally wasn't his name.

But I don't remember the names of each Steve I've met.

Including the command where I'm at now.

I know to whom I'm referring when I invoke "Steve", but nobody else does.

And I've been here far too long to comfortably ask other folks what his name actually is.

Fortunately, though, I can just fall back to the respectful "sir" and call it a day.

BUT SERIOUSLY WHAT IS HIS ACTUAL NAME.

Happy Friday, all!