I'm getting nervous.
The detailer told YodaMan that we would have orders in hand for the IA in "two weeks." That was well over two weeks ago. And detailers are desperate to fill these IA slots, so he should be really on fire to get these orders cut. Egads, what's happening???
Because of the track record we have with the Navy and orders, when things don't move quickly on the detailer's end, I start envisioning impending doom. Jennifer Crusie called this "writer's brain," when your natural storytelling and "what if" nature latches onto something, anything, and what-ifs it into a story-worthy disaster.*
To ease my mind, I'm going to spin this one into a story**....
CDR Detailer sits at his carved mahogany desk in Navy Personnel Central. A wisp of cigar smoke curls around his face as his beady little ferret eyes gaze at the information sitting before him. As he reads the dossier, he has to suppress the urge to throw all the papers into the fire, stomp, and scream like a toddler crashing home from a sugar rush. He loathes officers like this one, this LCDR YodaMan. They are boils on the buttcrack of the Navy, these men and women who actually work hard and become knowledgeable, whose work ethic demands they leave behind families and friends at the first sign of trouble on the ship, who have no problem accepting ass orders because, in their minds, it's all about the needs of the Navy.
Oh, he loathes them. And one by one, he will make them pay for the pain they inflict on the rest of the Navy, the ones, like him, who understand the system only works as it was intended if everyone schmoozes, kisses ass, puts half-ass effort into any tasking, and refuses to understand or even acknowledge such pithy things as rules or how various systems function.
He flips through a few pages of the dossier, feeling the anger and loathing rise like a gorge in the back of his throat.
"Yes," he says, "this one will do just fine."
He removes an old-fashioned quill pen from his desk drawer. "Wog!"
A short, thin, pasty white officer rushes through the door, fear pulling his eyes wide and his mouth into a grim gray line. "Sir?" he says as beads of sweat begin to form along his forehead.
"Your hand," CDR Detailer says. He waits for the peon wog to offer his shaking fist, takes a knife, and grazes the man's arm to bring forth a tiny well of blood. He dips the point of the quill into the scarlet line then turns his attention to the paper before him, marking it with symbols and words no human should ever see....
On the other end of the country, LCDR YodaMan sits at his computer. He's only been working twelve straight hours and has another forty to go, but thanks to the recent coffee infusion, he'll be able to give it his all for another twenty hours before he needs a break. As he reaches for the mouse, he feels a tingle of energy course up his fingers, hands, arms, into his neck, spreading down through his body.
Before he can finish his cliche response, the world becomes fuzzy and muted, and winds whip through his buzz cut hair.
And then he lands, on his ass, in the middle of the Green Zone. Before him, a group of ragged soldiers and sailors, smudged and exhausted, grinned wide. "Welcome to hell," one of them says to LCDR YodaMan. "Get comfortable. You'll be here a while."
They all begin to laugh, evil guffaws that reverberate through the base and beyond, drowning out the sound of IEDs exploding all around them.
LCDR YodaMan glances around, shrugs, and stands to wipe the dust from his backside. "Where's the network?" he asks.
On the other side of the world, Kerri looks at the clock. YodaMan is usually home late, but never this late. She sighs and returns her attention to ironing his uniform....
*I'm not sure if Jenny Crusie uses this term all the time or if it was made up special just for those of us attending the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta back in 1995. Holy crap, that was 12 years ago. I'm freaking old! How did that happen?! /emo
**Usually, I'd never inflict a story on anyone until it had been cleaned up and made all purty, but this is a vent story, a snark, so I'm not gonna.