Saturday, October 11, 2014

What time is it?

It's rant time.

It seems like every day at work there's some new horror. I don't understand these people. What can they be thinking? That we're all friends and we come here to hang out all day? Granted, sometimes we do talk about stuff that's not related to work, but that in no way gives license to the experiences I've had. Sometimes I feel like I'm being too sensitive. Then I screw my brain back in and I realize I have a right to a workplace that's not filled with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. I've tried talking to some people at work about this and one guy in particular thinks that the first ammendment gives him the right to "...say whatever I want..." Huh? In what universe? As Zachariah Chaffee, an advocate of free speech, said "Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man's nose begins." While you do have the right to free speech, I have the right to work in an environment that's not plagued with sex/rape/penis jokes and references. Just because they make you feel comfortable doesn't mean they have the same affect on everyone.

It's not just one thing that happened. It's a million little-/medium-sized things that happen all day, every day. However, I do have a big one to share:

A supervisor came up to me one day, holding out her phone. "Look at this," she said, laughing. On her phone was a picture of a guy with his penis hanging out. There was a second when I was confused. Why was she showing me this? Then it dawned on me that the penis was the entire reason for this episode. Really? Not only were we at work, she's my supervisor? Doesn't she get more training about this than I do? For goodness sake. Anyway, I just frowned at her, said "No." and walked away shaking my head. Really. What do you say to that?

There was another one where someone said I wanted a "big black cock". I'm actually proud of myself for my response to that one. I immediately let her know that kind of talk wasn't acceptable.

But why does it fall to me to say these things? Do we, as service members, not get enough training on sexual harassment? (I don't even know if that's what it's called.)

 It could be that we don't have enough training about this. Or maybe the training isn't engaging enough. The problem might be that the training we do have isn't taken seriously. But why not? I guess some people, both up and down the chain of command, don't see this behavior as an issue.

That's what really scares me.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Catch Up

Hey, it's been a long time. How've you been? That's great. Me? I'm okay.

So let's see. I completed LS A school easily enough. Thank goodness I got into a class that was self-paced. That way I was able to finish 3 weeks ahead of schedule. LS A school is at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, MS. It exists mostly to train new Navy pilots. However, the base is very good at minimizing jet noise at the behest of the locals. There are also several different A schools there, so the military population consists of students, both officer and enlisted, and the people on the flightline who manage the jets.

The A school material was easy to understand. The instructors are knowledgeable and helpful. Most of them are retired Navy and some of them are still enlisted. I got a retired Chief. While most students are there right out of boot camp, some have cross-rated from the fleet. Those are given positions of authority over the people from boot camp. Even with that, the people from the fleet may be shocked that many of the freedoms they got used to in the fleet are taken away. For example, even the people from the fleet are subject to the "phase" system. Everyone, when they first arrive aren't allowed to leave the base for the first few weeks, until orientation is over, among other things like not being allowed to drink.

I can't remember how often they did mock PRTs. I think it was every week or every other week. If you fail one, you loose your phase and many of the freedoms you have earned. This goes for fleet people and boot camp people alike.

Meridian, MS
While the base is nice, the same unfortunately can't be said of the surrounding area. I always was back at the base before sunset, as I didn't feel safe out at night. Sometimes I didn't even feel safe out during the day. The town is small and rundown. There's one mall and one theater. When you are out in town, especially in uniform, (as is required for certain phases) you need to keep in mind that many people in town are retired Navy. Don't embarrass yourself. Act like an adult.

So after LS A school, I got my first duty station: NAS Oceana.
It's in Virginia Beach, VA. It's very much like NAS Meridian, just larger. There are still pilots and A school students. There are more junior enlisted people around. The surrounding area is MUCH better than Meridian. Virginia Beach is a tourist town, so there are many things to do. There are beaches, malls, theaters, clubs (if you're into that sort of thing). Whatever you'd want in a town. Colleges too. I encourage anybody stationed here to get started on his/her college. Just ask around and people will point you in the right direction.

So you're pretty much caught up now. I'm taking college classes and I'll be out of the Navy in about a year.

I promise I'll try to post more.