I paid extra-special attention to my makeup and curled my hair in preparation for my ID picture. Before you judge me for supposed vanity, let me point out that you'd do the same thing if you'd ever had a photo ID that looked like this:
|In my defense, the DMV had a sign above the camera that said "Do Not Smile." I swear.|
Okay, back to our story. Spike and I were headed out the door, ready to take on a mountain of forms and red tape, when he got a text that he'd need to come by his classroom to get some vehicle keys. Essentially, his class is going on a field trip, and he has volunteered to be one of the drivers. I figured we'd just zip into the room, collect the keys, and be on our merry way. Way wrong!
First, we had to wait for all of the drivers (seven of them, I believe), to arrive. As the only non-ACU-wearing person in the room (and a female to boot!) I felt rather out of place. So I did what I always do in such situations--stayed quiet and observed. Here is what I saw:
|Sorry for the blurriness--camera phone.|
In this situation, I'd probably picture each vehicle in my head and keep a running count of how many people could ride in it, driver included. Then it would be fairly easy to say, "Okay--we have X number of people, and they'll fit into Y number of vehicles. So that's how many drivers we need."
Totally not how the Army does it. They write algebraic-looking things like (4 x 12 seats) (48 x students) in a column, making allowances for the number of vehicles, seats, and students, and then do more arithmetic from there. I was thoroughly confused by something that (in my mind) should have been a reasonably simple exercise in problem-solving. I guess it made sense to them, though! Personally, I felt like I was watching mad scientists work feverishly toward some groundbreaking formula--although Spike informs me this is pretty much the norm in the military. Of course it is! Silly civilian me.
Unfortunately, all of this uber-intense field trip planning knocked Spike and I off-schedule, and by the time we got to the proper office for ID-making, the employees were all gone. We were frustrated since it was still a bit before closing time, but what are you going to do?
"Nobody holds these government employees' feet to the fire!" Spike muttered in awful tones as we walked back to the truck.
"Well, doesn't sound like a bad gig to me if you get to leave half an hour early with no penalties," I mused.
"Yeah," he responded. "I think I'd like to be a lazy government employee when I retire from the Army!"
If he does, I'll try to remember this moment and tease him mercilessly for leaving work half an hour early.
(Also, no offense meant to any government employees who may be reading this! Unless, of course, you're one of the people who left early and caused me to still be ID-less.)
In conclusion--ID and paperwork will have to wait till next week. At least I looked good while watching Army algebra.