August 5, 2014 by JImbo
I finally got more than one hour of consecutive sleep last night. It was better than crack. I think. Maybe someone who’s worked 4 days straight and smoked crack can let me know how they compare.
Come to think of it, people who smoke crack probably to tend to be up for days straight. Or am I mixing that up with Speed? Drugs aren’t my thing.
Thank you to my ANOIC, SSG Papa. We’ve worked with together for years and he finally looked me straight on and said “You need to go to bed. Now.”
I’d blown off everyone else, but I’d done the same thing for him before. He knows what tired is and didn’t have much sleep more than I did at that point. However, he reminded me that you can’t do everything.
He let me get some sleep, then I let him sleep in. The world didn’t fall apart.
I think we may finally be at that point where I can come up for air. It seems like every Annual Training operation starts that way when you’re an Army Cook. Understaffed, Overworked, etc.
It’s been extra fun this time because we’re feeding more than we’re set up to. To do this, they’ve set us up with another unit’s cooks. This is where you learn the difference between Quantity and Quality.
I’m not saying that they’re bad. They just aren’t that trained. It makes a huge difference.
Half of them aren’t trained at ALL in being cooks. They are just in the job position on paper. They’ve never been trained.
The other half have no experience. They don’t cook at their home station. While technically trained, they haven’t seen a kitchen since just after Basic Training.
That would be bad enough, but my current crew is sorely lacking in experience as well. Half of MY guys are brand new out of training. They haven’t had any real experience to speak of.
It makes a difference. A LOT of the job you don’t learn in the classroom or in a manual. You have to learn how things work best by practice. It takes a lot of trial and error.
Right now we’re in the “error” phase of training. I simply can’t get around to everything fast enough. We don’t have any “training” time… ironically since it’s called “Annual Training.”
The cooks and mechanics don’t get that luxury. When we’re on orders, we are WORKING, expected to feed soldiers and fix stuff. We don’t get to have classroom time and “practice.”
So, essentially I have to function as two shift leaders, a trainer, AND the overall boss at the same time… while completing the mission. And THAT is why I haven’t been able to sleep, let alone write for the past few days.
Last night I finally got some sleep. Then my assistant got some sleep later. The meals got out on time finally.
I managed to secure an experienced cook from another unit that was being wasted on a pointless mission. We’ve revamped some basic systems and I think the troops are finally getting a handle on how things are supposed to run.
Now if I can teach one of my shift leaders the difference between “cooler and warmer”… or the other the difference between “AM” and “PM.” Or maybe the other guy why Diesel and Gasoline engines don’t mix…
We’ll get through it. I’m sure tomorrow will bring another disaster to handle and new additional missions to accomplish. I know they say “God won’t give you anything you’re not ready for.” It would be nice for a plateau now and then to catch up though once we get to each new level.