Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cranky Old People

After 3 trips out here and you start to notice trends, what works and the people who make a difference. There's always someone who goes beyond what is expected of them, doing things that aren't asked has that shining moment when they're so pissed or some subject urks them so much that they have to fix it. I had my moment when I put all of the books in order.

There's another guy in our squadron who worked construction for the decade prior to joining the Marines in his late 30's on a age waiver. He came out here and witnessed the shoddy construction that his fellow Marines hand done, primitive benches, shelves that weren't level and lean to's covering smoking areas. I've seen better tree house construction in some cases. Hidden behind his mild mannered bifocals, Sgt Elka started building a deep resentment for all of the crap that these amateurs had built and were displaying proudly.

My own little pet peeve was the crappy bookshelves that were up. People who lived in shanties would have made better bookshelves then the ones we were using. So one of our first projects to make some new book shelves and I would put everything in order. (one of our officers was also getting miffed by all of the books lying around and was requesting marshmallows in care packages for the book burning so we had to work quickly). So bookshelves were made and installed along the halls outside of medical (so I would have to go far to keep everything in order).

Sgt Elka started on making these octagon picnic tables and putting park benches all over. As usual no good deed goes unpunished and the command started putting in requests too. Soon we had a phone booth built with it's own AC unit, CO's from other units would come by and start talking about wanting such things at their units (and egad! having their books put in order!! Glad I'm going home soon, have you ever had to go through a couple thousand books that have been through a couple of years worth of dust storms? Very messy!)

It's not the people who do well on their day jobs who make the mark that everyone remembers, it's those cranky old men who get pissed off by the status quo and do something about it. I know those book shelves and picnic tables will be around for a long time after we're gone.

No comments: