Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not My Job

This image won the "Not My Job" Award

In any government organization the people in charge have a defined area of responsibility.  Go beyond that area and someone will be on you like dung beetles on a manure pile.

When I went through job training as an armor (M60A1 tank) crewman, the drill sergeants who were responsible for our daily life also taught our classes.  When we did fitness training, a tank commander was in front of us.  When we learned how to align the sights of our 105mm cannon, it was a drill sergeant who was also an armor crewman who taught the class.

With academic courses like DINFOS, the cadre who are in charge of housing, food, fitness training and our lives outside the class are different than the instructors inside the class.  If there is anything that will keep me from succeeding in a journalism course, it will be lack of sleep.  We get up at 4 a.m. every day.  We are in class from 7:55 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We have a formation at 4:30 p.m., then we do homework until we go to bed.

Our instructors at the school made clear they have no influence on the detachment that is in charge of the rest of the schedule--and reminded us we better not fall asleep in class.  They teach us, the detachment trains us.  Neither group can tell the other what to do.  And they don't.

So we struggle to stay awake in class, stay up late to finish our homework, and roll out of bed at 4 a.m. for fitness training.  Both the detachment and the school say "Time management is the key to success."  They are right.  But it is clear that the two groups work independently.  Could more students succeed if the detachment and the school worked together?  We'll never know.