Wednesday, November 26, 2008

An epic rant about 10 hours of my life I'm never getting back.

Well that was a colossal waste of time. *hitlerface*

Today, Eddie and I attended the age-old tradition of "Island Indoc.", also known as "that mandatory seminar wherein they tell you everything you need to know to get by living on Okinawa". I'm thinking, ok, some cultural sensitivity stuff, discussions about traffic safety, info about base resources, etc. Then Eddie tells me it's from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. WTF??? 10+ hours??? What are they doing, teaching us Japanese???

Honestly: It was nothing more than a series of rambling blowhards who enjoyed reading their lame PowerPoint slides out loud and hearing themselves talk about random, mundane, irrelevant, and inconsequential things that could've been summarized in about 2 hours tops (that includes bathroom breaks and the occasional pause for laughter if someone actually said something funny).

All of this was, of course, preceded by a prerecorded video of one of the CO's welcoming us to the base and letting us know why the bases have been there, how long they've been there, blah blah blah, followed by an introduction to what we would be covering today. Then the guy running the seminar came up and welcomed us, explained what we would be going over that day and why, why we were in Okinawa in the first place, and introduced the Master Sergeant. The Master Sergeant came up to give us a welcome speech, explained what we would be going over that -- SCREAM!!! I GET IT ALREADY!!! ENOUGH INTROFUCKINGDUCTIONS!!!

Then, we actually got to the content...

Is it really necessary to spend 20 minutes telling us where every single dental clinic is, followed by the locations of all medical facilities, their phone numbers, and who staffs them, etc? No. "Here's a list of all the clinics you may need, their phone numbers, and any other information you might need. Questions? Call." 5 seconds. 10 if you stutter. DONE.

What about the endless brief (HAHAHA - BRIEF?? - FALSE ADVERTISING!) about TriCare? Come ON. "TriCare Pamphlet: Phone number in the back if you have questions. NEXT!"

Is it really necessary to then give a 20 minute (I'm not exaggerating on these times, folks) sermon on what shoplifting is, why it's wrong, and the fact that if we do it, we'll be in trouble? Really? Followed by similar dissertations about the evils of various other forms of "misconduct" and the very definition of misconduct and why it's frowned upon? The guy doing that particular lecture also insisted on repeating everything he said.


Four times.

Four fucking times.


If repeating yourself was a felony, this bastard would be in prison for life under the Three Strikes law.

By the time they got to the suicide prevention brief, I'm reasonably certain that half the people in attendance were considering offing themselves.

I understand why they harp on drinking and driving, I really do. It's important. Obviously. But...after several lectures...several lengthy lectures by different people giving us the same information over and over and over...really...we get it. Same with domestic violence. And discrimination. And substance abuse. And...we. get. it.

Now, it doesn't help that I was already in a pissy mood by the time most of the "briefs" began. I had to get up at 6 am to come to this 10 hour blargfest, and the first post-introduction brief was by the chaplain, who rubbed me the wrong way. "Sometimes our moral compasses get out of calibration, and we need to get them 'calibrated'. So where would you go to meet people to help you with this? Obviously not at bars. And the gym...well, they obviously care about their bodies, but spiritually? You just can't tell. So come to church. Join your congregation. Etc." (I'm not kidding)

At some point during all of the festivities, a nice little Japanese lady came up and did a 20 minute talk on customs, etiquette, and the Japanese language. That was actually helpful and very entertaining. We could've used a hell of lot more of what she had to say, and not so much of all the other crap.

I demand that the military hire me on immediately as an "Island Indoc." consultant. In this capacity I will shorten everyone's "briefs" until they are actually BRIEF. "Island Indoc." will now be 3 hours long, with more of a focus on the Island than the Indoc. AND, we won't wait around until a less-than-punctual general shows up to give his less-than-give-a-shitworthy closing words before we can finally leave. I'm dead serious. After slogging through hours of bullshit, we were held hostage until the general sauntered in to blabber on for 15 minutes, telling us absolutely nothing we hadn't already heard at least 17 times today.

I will also change the rules so that it's adults ONLY. Families with children can go to another seminar with their kids if they so choose, but penning us up in a room for 10 hours with several infants and toddlers who were (understandably) over it was just everyone in attendance.

This was not a seminar, this was fucking purgatory. I know we didn't get involved in the military life with the expectation of quickness and efficiency, but goddamn. Waiting in line at the DMV is more pleasant than Island Indoc. And to top it off? We had to pay for our own damn food. Listen, Skippy, if you make me sit and listen to some self-loving asshat ramble on for an hour or more about common sense topics (repeating each sentence four times), there damn well better be a sandwich at the end of the tunnel, and it damn well better be free.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the Eastern Hemisphere. And we are thankful. Thankful that Island Indoc is OVER.


1 comment:

  1. LOL that was awesome. Not for you but for me because I get to read about it from the comfort of my house and laugh at it.

    Shit like that always makes me wish I was a monkey so I could fling my poo at the speaker and get away with it