Today, I made the decision to skin out of an afternoon of General Misuse of Time(GMT) and yet another lecture by the boat DOC on proper avoidance of crotch critters and other nastiness to make a Recon Mission to the local Personnel Support Detachment (PSD). Or; as is known by most Submariner’s, “The Nexus of the ANTI-Submarine force”. (Welcome to PSD, We will mess up your pay and leave balance long before you realize it happened to you.)
After my modest time in the Navy, I have found out that there are really 3 Navies, The Operational Navy (Those of us at the pointy end of the stick who work like rabid monkey’s day- in and day- out to deploy and get it done.) The Command Navy, those who make the Directives and grading Criteria; enforce the Directives and grading Criteria;and in accordance with said Article, Instruction, or Directive generally grade and “TRAIN” the Operational Navy in accordance with said Article, Instruction, or Directive .
Then you have the “Support” Navy. A group that is so mysterious and cryptic to a typical bubble- head that what an “Augment” does would be public news in BOLD Headlines on the front page of the New York Times by comparison.
So, I approached the counter, put my name and day/time in the appropriate sign up sheet and went out in the P-way to wait. Finally, after a couple of "Khaki" wearing personnel walk in after and are waited on, a P-“something” 2 ( a rate I haven't dealt with since Boot Camp) calls out my name. I go to the counter and explain my situation, ( In receipt of Final Fleet reserve message, Got an approved Leave chit, TDY approval chit, so on and so forth) and I want to know what I need to get the ball rolling to get ready and Get Gone.
I did this because the Executive Dept on a boat consists of usually a YN1 and a couple of underlings who are running around like the rest of us trying to smash the 10lbs of Crap in a 5lb bag sized day. So, I figured I would help them out by trying to find out what I needed to show up with to get the Retired ID and fade into the Sunset.
After the prerequisite reciting of my SSN, Rate and Last name (On my name tag no less), the guy pulled up a screen (DOS-FTP mind you) that is apparently the “Legal” me to the Navy. Scrolled through a series of screens, Looked over the items I had in hand, and questioned me on a few nuances of when I wanted to get gone.
He mumbled about entitlements, leave time ect... and then handed me a check list full of DD this and DD that, I still need to provide in triplicate and signed by everyone from my chief to the CO.
Well, I guess it was worth it to go and wait. Again, What a HEADACHE!!!. We are talking about an organization that can put warheads on foreheads half a world away, or tell you if there is so much as a gram of salt in the secondary water, yet is incapable of have a simple check list of “This is what you need to hit the gate”.
I now have my challenge to find the forms, get them routed and signed to generate the Work Package and HOPE like heck that it is all in order so I can get on with it. I would hate to have to backtrack on the last few days because I really want to be ready to get some job interviews done and be available for employment when I leave.
Plus, I really really hope that this little visit to PSD didn't screw up my pay and leave like all the other times I have been there. Seems like every time that they pull up that DOS screen, I lose money and time. Then, I have to go back and beg and plead with a 2nd or 3rd class for something that I had full rights and privileges to in the first place.
It always ends up like a scene from the movie "BeetleJuice" when they go looking for help in the afterlife.