New fiscal year begins Sunday, meaning more funding and hopefully relief from the monetary malaise that we have been suffering from for the three days.
Walked into work today and was greeted with the news that we're out of money for gas. Go figure. All I can think of is the bumper sticker I saw on the way to work today was nothing more than Irony's fickle hand again playing with perception:
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF SCHOOLS GOT ALL THE MONEY THEY NEEDED AND THE
AIR FORCE HAD TO HOLD A BAKE SALE?"
Change the service and it fits nicely.
"Hey, Yurei." The Chief is walking up the hallway toward me and gesturing slightly. "Got a second?"
"Yeah. What's up?" This is one of those things that I can tell is either going to be very bad or very good, and all of that is again wrapped up in the interpretation of the moment.
"Need to talk to you." We walk down to his office and take the usual seats. I have sat in this office and been applauded by other men, been berated by others and had my motivations questioned by a fool. The last conversation that I had here was with a different man altogether. I was fighting to keep one of the people that worked for me out of trouble. I was losing, bad. In the end I lost,
it was a political game to soothe the nerves of someone soon to be retired and looking for that last taste of the screw. I felt desperate and for the next month I wondered if there was something else I could have done or said, that would have changed things. I know now that I could have sooner reversed the rotation of the planet than done anything. "It's nothing bad, don't worry. When do you get out?"
"EAOS or PRD?" EAOS is End of Active Obligated Service and is the date you are separated from the military. PRD
means Projected Rotation Date and basically is when you transfer from your current command to the next. This is significant because the dates rarely match, you actually have to manually request that they match using large volumes of paper which are lost and discarded promptly upon completion.
"EAOS." He knows this, he wants me to say it for some semantic reason.
"Late February, still not sure. The date's sixty days out from my actual, taking the two month vacation option." I run down the possible angles, this is probably one of those 'Why Are You Getting Out, You Don't Like Us Anymore?' pep talks. Grand. The conversation that I had come from when I was in the hallway had been a discussion on gaffling flight hours from another squadron so that we could fly. That, did not make me happy. I am trying to move from one apartment to the next this week and a 0100 to 0200 flight schedule will not make things easier. "Something wrong?"
"Well, you know Rhodes?"
"Yeah." I am thinking to myself of a fairly large individual who is known for shuffling off work, irritating the people that
work for him and someone that I do not like in the slightest. "He's on det 3, I think."
"He's going to have to come home early, he's got school in late October."
...probably flying to Bahrain, maybe Singapore...
...mid to late October...
...three month underway back to San Diego.
"Do you mind going?" The words echo through hollow space, reverberating off dead walls until they fade to nothing.
What did I just get myself into? Geez.