Monday, November 17, 2008

Emails of Doom

One thing I really, really hate in the Army, though I'll be the first to admit it probably only exists in the MI Corps, is the passive-aggressive email.

It's all the better when the email comes from someone who sits less than ten feet from you, or even when they're just a hundred feet away. It makes me really hate the computers. Rather than take the effort to actually get up, walk over, and tell the soldier what they need (or god forbid, pick up a phone) some incredibly lazy NCOs just send out an email. The advantage is that the stupidity just looks even funnier when it's actually in text.

Like this one. A little background: right now, I have access to the NIPR, because my battalion commander decided to be awesome and while I was pulling a detail, encouraged me to sit down and use the computer and still get the job done. Is my NCO aware of that? Probably not. As far as he knows, today I may not access email, tomorrow is an appointment at Landstuhl, where I'll be nowhere near a NIPR, and Wednesday is the event he's talking about.

"We will be conducting an APFT on Wednesday, 19 November. You will both be graders, along with myself and SFC Laidback.

Also, on Thursday, 20 November, we will be having an inspection of the winter PT uniform at work. Please bring the PT jacket, pants, gloves, cap, and PT reflective belt. The reason we are doing this is to ensure that we are all wearing the appropriate uniform for the Brigade run the next day, on 21 November.

First of all, again, it is the purest of coincidences that I got this email. I still haven't received any call, or touching base, or hell, even a "Please acknowledge receipt". It is highly likely that I could have gone without knowing that a PT test was magically scheduled and I was magically a grader, resulting in me not showing up to the location and failing to report for duty. Thanks, guy.

Secondly, is he actually serious? We're having an inspection of our winter PTs? I have been in the Army for eight years. In that time, I've done my good share of Brigade, Battalion, and even Post runs. During none of that time have I ever, ever, EVER, had a PT gear inspection the day prior, to be sure that my PT gear didn't eat itself magically overnight. The usual answer is "Wear all your gear, this is the uniform, if it's jacked up, you'll be sorry". And very rarely is anyone jacked up for those. The only time I ever had a soldier with a uniform problem, it was because someone stole his PT jacket that morning out of the dryer. Which, you know, a PT gear inspection the day prior would not have prevented, I note.

I think a large part of the reason why this came out in email form is because any NCO worth their salt would have been ashamed to pass this down. "Hey, NCOs, I need you guys to, a PT inspection.." By the time we were finished laughing, he might have reconsidered. But on email, you don't have to see the other person's face, you can just throw a lot of 'you wills' in, to make any questioning challenging an order.

Man. This guy really pushes all my buttons...

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