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jondstewart
05-10-2014, 09:11 AM
Now that I have been retired 4 years, was a Services troop in the Air Force, and used my job skills on the outside (I know some of you think Services folks have no real job skills, I'll get to that), I shall give you all the basics, And this is the private sector, which is the "real world", unlike government employment, which is pretty much just like the Air Force only without the military status and even lower pay. And forget about how much education you have or how many awards you have won in the Air Force. Education helps, but a degree is most certainly not everything.

Since retirement, I have worked in the food service field, or mostly food service. Won't go into great details, but the Air Force was NOT a good teacher in terms of work ethic and brushing up on job skills, even if you put in your best effort. It's tooth and nail outside, even the Army makes it look easy!

My present job has been a union contractor with the Air Force, but it's a shady cronyistic company that will try to screw over people that are not friends or family of management. Only the union can help you out if you have documentation or if they want to. And most of the people working for the company are jaded roughnecks that have never known of being in the military and many generally dislike the military thinking they're a bunch of pampered complainers.

My main point is even if you think you are not appreciated, underpaid, got a bad EPR, didn't get the award you think you deserved because a favorite in the squadron got it, or of course, think the PT evaluation is wrong or unfair, you have it easy! You can't get fired, just maybe at the worst not get promoted or have a stripe taken, but at least you still have your job!

As an enlisted person, you are actually paid pretty well, considering the free medical, dental, and 30 days paid vacation a year. Many years ago as a SSgt, my boss was a GS-9 and he took home about the same as I did, but with much more responsibility!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-10-2014, 01:00 PM
Now that I have been retired 4 years, was a Services troop in the Air Force, and used my job skills on the outside (I know some of you think Services folks have no real job skills, I'll get to that), I shall give you all the basics, And this is the private sector, which is the "real world", unlike government employment, which is pretty much just like the Air Force only without the military status and even lower pay. And forget about how much education you have or how many awards you have won in the Air Force. Education helps, but a degree is most certainly not everything.

Since retirement, I have worked in the food service field, or mostly food service. Won't go into great details, but the Air Force was NOT a good teacher in terms of work ethic and brushing up on job skills, even if you put in your best effort. It's tooth and nail outside, even the Army makes it look easy!

My present job has been a union contractor with the Air Force, but it's a shady cronyistic company that will try to screw over people that are not friends or family of management. Only the union can help you out if you have documentation or if they want to. And most of the people working for the company are jaded roughnecks that have never known of being in the military and many generally dislike the military thinking they're a bunch of pampered complainers.

My main point is even if you think you are not appreciated, underpaid, got a bad EPR, didn't get the award you think you deserved because a favorite in the squadron got it, or of course, think the PT evaluation is wrong or unfair, you have it easy! You can't get fired, just maybe at the worst not get promoted or have a stripe taken, but at least you still have your job!

As an enlisted person, you are actually paid pretty well, considering the free medical, dental, and 30 days paid vacation a year. Many years ago as a SSgt, my boss was a GS-9 and he took home about the same as I did, but with much more responsibility!

What I'm getting out of your post is that in the military, for many AFSCs, you get better pay and recognition, but the training is not always adequate enough to prepare you for a similar civilian career. If that's the message, then I agree.

Looking at skill alone, an Air Force "crew chief" with 10 years of aircraft experience on an F-16 knows LESS, on average, than a guy with two years civilian experience who graduated from a civilian aircraft airframe and power plant school.

Chief_KO
05-10-2014, 02:21 PM
My experiences...had two jobs so far since retirement, one "civilian" and one GS civilian (current).
Little loyalty (both directions in the civilian world)...some would say the AF is going in the same direction
Clock watching (not a minute past quitting time)...unless overtime has been approved
Set break times (no more BS'ng when ever you want)
Benefits (healthcare, retirement, education, leave, etc.) don't always start at day one
"Unprofessional" civilians push the extremes on dress & appearance
Civilian world more resistant to change in procedures/policies (this can be a good thing...but it wasn't in my case)
Unrealistic production goals
Unstructured, ineffective OJT (lots of "job security"...those that keep that kernel of knowledge to themself)
No defined promotion system
Everything in your paycheck is taxable
Time accountability (need to account for your 40 hours each week)
Less, little, or no autonomy
Middle management blocking innovations

retiredAFcivvy
05-10-2014, 05:12 PM
My experiences...had two jobs so far since retirement, one "civilian" and one GS civilian (current).
Little loyalty (both directions in the civilian world)...some would say the AF is going in the same direction
Clock watching (not a minute past quitting time)...unless overtime has been approved
Set break times (no more BS'ng when ever you want)
Benefits (healthcare, retirement, education, leave, etc.) don't always start at day one
"Unprofessional" civilians push the extremes on dress & appearance
Civilian world more resistant to change in procedures/policies (this can be a good thing...but it wasn't in my case)
Unrealistic production goals
Unstructured, ineffective OJT (lots of "job security"...those that keep that kernel of knowledge to themself)
No defined promotion system
Everything in your paycheck is taxable
Time accountability (need to account for your 40 hours each week)
Less, little, or no autonomy
Middle management blocking innovations

My civilian career (GS) spanned over 34 years working for the Air Force. I agree with your observations. While there was no promotion system per se, I was fortunate that the field I was in did have opportunities for progression (you still had to compete). I do attribute some of the "clock watching" to the old "suffering and permitting" rule that would allow someone at later date to put in a claim for allowed but not approved overtime.

Airborne
05-10-2014, 05:42 PM
Some good advice from the OP. Anyone who is smart will tell you that services is actually a good job to translate to the outside unlike F15 crew chief, weapons loader, or boom operator. However, saying to not get an education is bad advice. Working in the food service industry you dont need one but in many others you will. The thing I hate the most is how the military does an extremely poor job of making us equals on the outside. Many medical AFSCs dont get the qualification that permits them to work on the outside. How many people in aircraft maintenance have their equivalent FAA rating? Not many from my experience. And the thing that upsets me the most is our flag waving, yellow ribbon pinning, Toby Kieth listening public doesnt actually "support the troops". The OPs example was more like what the American public think, but we have created an environment where you cant say anything bad about those serving. Twenty years is the perfect dead zone for retiring enlisted. I wish the military did a 401K so people could get out at 6-10.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-10-2014, 05:43 PM
My experiences...had two jobs so far since retirement, one "civilian" and one GS civilian (current).
Little loyalty (both directions in the civilian world)...some would say the AF is going in the same direction
Clock watching (not a minute past quitting time)...unless overtime has been approved
Set break times (no more BS'ng when ever you want)
Benefits (healthcare, retirement, education, leave, etc.) don't always start at day one
"Unprofessional" civilians push the extremes on dress & appearance
Civilian world more resistant to change in procedures/policies (this can be a good thing...but it wasn't in my case)
Unrealistic production goals
Unstructured, ineffective OJT (lots of "job security"...those that keep that kernel of knowledge to themself)
No defined promotion system
Everything in your paycheck is taxable
Time accountability (need to account for your 40 hours each week)
Less, little, or no autonomy
Middle management blocking innovations

As a GS in a military setting, I thoroughly enjoy being able to focus solely on my job, work steady hours, and NOT have to put up with the mass amount of military related bs that my co-workers endure (includes mandatory PT). Life is good. No, life is GREAT!

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
05-10-2014, 05:49 PM
I wish the military did a 401K so people could get out at 6-10.

And if they do go to a 401K, then people WILL get out at 6-10. Only a fool would piss away 20+ years of their life for a stock market dependent 401K pay-off (at age 59 1/2).

wxjumper
05-10-2014, 05:56 PM
testing c

Airborne
05-11-2014, 02:22 AM
And if they do go to a 401K, then people WILL get out at 6-10. Only a fool would piss away 20+ years of their life for a stock market dependent 401K pay-off (at age 59 1/2).

Which is why they dont do it! Youd have a force full of E5s and O3s. They would have to revamp the entire pay schedule (to include BAS/BAH incentives) to get senior Os and SNCOS to stay.

LogDog
05-11-2014, 04:01 AM
Which is why they dont do it! Youd have a force full of E5s and O3s. They would have to revamp the entire pay schedule (to include BAS/BAH incentives) to get senior Os and SNCOS to stay.
When I entered the AF back in 1975, I knew the military retirement system was better than the civilian system. I never believed working for a company 20 - 30 years would provide me a livable retirement let alone medical benefits. After seeing the changes in civilian retirement programs over nearly four decades my initial assessment was correct. I retired from the AF after 28 years with 75% of my base pay plus one of the nation's top healthcare benefits, commissary, BX privileges, etc...

Measure Man
05-12-2014, 11:16 PM
Now that I have been retired 4 years, was a Services troop in the Air Force, and used my job skills on the outside (I know some of you think Services folks have no real job skills, I'll get to that),

I've always thought that for a Services troop, the "place to be" would be Mortuary Affairs for solid marketable job skills.

Food Services is a tough field, I think...there is so much cheap and exploitable labor out there unless someone has bonafide professional chef credentials or owns their own spot.

A union contract is, I'm sure, a much better way to go for the worker...


I shall give you all the basics, And this is the private sector, which is the "real world", unlike government employment, which is pretty much just like the Air Force only without the military status and even lower pay. And forget about how much education you have or how many awards you have won in the Air Force. Education helps, but a degree is most certainly not everything.

Since retirement, I have worked in the food service field, or mostly food service. Won't go into great details, but the Air Force was NOT a good teacher in terms of work ethic and brushing up on job skills, even if you put in your best effort. It's tooth and nail outside, even the Army makes it look easy!

My present job has been a union contractor with the Air Force, but it's a shady cronyistic company that will try to screw over people that are not friends or family of management. Only the union can help you out if you have documentation or if they want to. And most of the people working for the company are jaded roughnecks that have never known of being in the military and many generally dislike the military thinking they're a bunch of pampered complainers.

My main point is even if you think you are not appreciated, underpaid, got a bad EPR, didn't get the award you think you deserved because a favorite in the squadron got it, or of course, think the PT evaluation is wrong or unfair, you have it easy! You can't get fired, just maybe at the worst not get promoted or have a stripe taken, but at least you still have your job!

As an enlisted person, you are actually paid pretty well, considering the free medical, dental, and 30 days paid vacation a year. Many years ago as a SSgt, my boss was a GS-9 and he took home about the same as I did, but with much more responsibility!

Civilian experiences vary as much as the weather...I've had a pretty great transition and found that civilian life suits me well. What I most like about being a civilian is that every process must make practical sense...you no longer do things "because this is the military"...I always hated that "reason" why the AF does stupid things.

I was fortunate in that my military career field translates directly into a decent civilian career, and in fact military tech schools and training are often a desired qualification...I also was doubly fortunate in that some of the best jobs are in DOD contracts, and my military experience and network is highly sought after and valuable to civilian companies vying for those contracts.

The job security, or perceived lack thereof, is a bit nerve-wracking after 20+ years of taking it for granted...especially when contract re-bid time comes around. But it almost always works out...something like >98% of workers are signed on to the new contract...and now there is even an Executive Order that old contractor employees have the right of first refusal on the new contract. So, unless you are not qualified, or the new contractor cuts positions and you're low on seniority...you are generally pretty safe.

Rusty Jones
05-13-2014, 12:53 AM
I don't think that jondstewart is saying anything that people don't already know, though I have to disagree with his statement that being a government employee is the same as being in the military, just with without the military status. The only thing we really have in common with the military that we don't with the private sector is a fixed pay chart. Though, he's likely speaking from the experience of a government civilian who works with military personnel. I'm a Navy civilian, but I don't work with military personnel at all; there isn't a single person in uniform in my chain of command.

BRUWIN
05-13-2014, 05:10 PM
I don't think that jondstewart is saying anything that people don't already know, though I have to disagree with his statement that being a government employee is the same as being in the military, just with without the military status. The only thing we really have in common with the military that we don't with the private sector is a fixed pay chart. Though, he's likely speaking from the experience of a government civilian who works with military personnel. I'm a Navy civilian, but I don't work with military personnel at all; there isn't a single person in uniform in my chain of command.

Even the Navy military is not like the real military. Navy is more corporate and fat.

retiredAFcivvy
05-13-2014, 05:18 PM
I've always thought that for a Services troop, the "place to be" would be Mortuary Affairs for solid marketable job skills.

Food Services is a tough field, I think...there is so much cheap and exploitable labor out there unless someone has bonafide professional chef credentials or owns their own spot.

A union contract is, I'm sure, a much better way to go for the worker...



Civilian experiences vary as much as the weather...I've had a pretty great transition and found that civilian life suits me well. What I most like about being a civilian is that every process must make practical sense...you no longer do things "because this is the military"...I always hated that "reason" why the AF does stupid things.

I was fortunate in that my military career field translates directly into a decent civilian career, and in fact military tech schools and training are often a desired qualification...I also was doubly fortunate in that some of the best jobs are in DOD contracts, and my military experience and network is highly sought after and valuable to civilian companies vying for those contracts.

The job security, or perceived lack thereof, is a bit nerve-wracking after 20+ years of taking it for granted...especially when contract re-bid time comes around. But it almost always works out...something like >98% of workers are signed on to the new contract...and now there is even an Executive Order that old contractor employees have the right of first refusal on the new contract. So, unless you are not qualified, or the new contractor cuts positions and you're low on seniority...you are generally pretty safe.
That is some good info you gave on that EO concerning Right of First Refusal. Used to be it only applied to contracts where services went from in house to contract and government emloyees were displaced.

WeaponsTSGT
05-13-2014, 05:23 PM
I really don't know anyone who gets out and expects their pay/benefits to stay the same, but to be honest being in the military is much more expensive a lifestyle then being a civilian. I'm hit up for money several times a week for either a retirement,baby gift,graduation or some stupid banquet. I joined the AF in 1995 with a wife, 2 kids, a mortgage and 2 car payments, I know what it's like to live as a civilian, many do not, and I believe that is where the problem lies. How can a person have accurate expectations about living as a civilian when there whole life they were cared for by someone else, first their parents then the AF? I will be medically retired in the next couple of months; I already know that my pay will be less and so will my benefits. But guess what, I will be solely responsible for my actions and will have much more personal freedom then I have in the past 19 years. I also will not go the GS or government contractor route, I've had just about all I can take working for the government. It amazes me at the number of retirees and those that have separated that can't wait to go and sign up as a civilian with the government. It's almost as if they can't separate themselves from the military. I will be 400 miles away from the nearest active duty military instillation and can't wait.

Measure Man
05-13-2014, 05:55 PM
That is some good info you gave on that EO concerning Right of First Refusal. Used to be it only applied to contracts where services went from in house to contract and government emloyees were displaced.

Absolutely...

You read more about it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/nondisplacement-qualified-workers-under-service-contracts

Measure Man
05-13-2014, 06:00 PM
It amazes me at the number of retirees and those that have separated that can't wait to go and sign up as a civilian with the government. It's almost as if they can't separate themselves from the military.

I won't argue that there is a certain comfort in doing what you already know.

There is also value in the what and who you know...retiring military personnel often are the most qualified for jobs directly relating to support of the military because they already know the infrastructure and language that can often be difficult for civilians with no military background.


I will be 400 miles away from the nearest active duty military instillation and can't wait.

retiredAFcivvy
05-13-2014, 06:56 PM
Absolutely...

You read more about it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/nondisplacement-qualified-workers-under-service-contracts
Thanks. I also saw where it was incorporated into the FAR.

BRUWIN
05-13-2014, 10:56 PM
I really don't know anyone who gets out and expects their pay/benefits to stay the same, but to be honest being in the military is much more expensive a lifestyle then being a civilian. I'm hit up for money several times a week for either a retirement,baby gift,graduation or some stupid banquet. I joined the AF in 1995 with a wife, 2 kids, a mortgage and 2 car payments, I know what it's like to live as a civilian, many do not, and I believe that is where the problem lies. How can a person have accurate expectations about living as a civilian when there whole life they were cared for by someone else, first their parents then the AF? I will be medically retired in the next couple of months; I already know that my pay will be less and so will my benefits. But guess what, I will be solely responsible for my actions and will have much more personal freedom then I have in the past 19 years. I also will not go the GS or government contractor route, I've had just about all I can take working for the government. It amazes me at the number of retirees and those that have separated that can't wait to go and sign up as a civilian with the government. It's almost as if they can't separate themselves from the military. I will be 400 miles away from the nearest active duty military instillation and can't wait.

We can't wait for you to be 400 miles from the nearest military installation either. If you move to someplace even farther from a military base like China we'd be even happier

Stalwart
05-13-2014, 11:08 PM
Even the Navy military is not like the real military. Navy is more corporate and fat.

I am big boned.

WeaponsTSGT
05-14-2014, 01:10 AM
We can't wait for you to be 400 miles from the nearest military installation either. If you move to someplace even farther from a military base like China we'd be even happier

Oh wah wah me was a Chief now me big bad government employee.....cause me can't work unless it's for uncle sam.

TJMAC77SP
05-14-2014, 03:52 AM
Another hook sunk deep.....................

Slyoldawg
05-14-2014, 04:29 AM
I have been trying to respond to this thread since it first appeared, but now with the new format it seems that I can finally sign in and post.

I retired from the Air Force as a Flight Engineer in 1981 and enrolled in college that year. I graduated in 1983, but was hired by a small airline in Atlanta several months before graduating. I went from that small airline to Continental Airlines and on to UPS when they started their own airline. Prior to that UPS was leasing other airlines to haul their cargo. I spent twenty years with the airlines and although I did pretty much the same thing I did in the Air Force I found of the two careers the Air Force treated its Flight Engineers and trained them much better than the civilian airlines. Even though I was in the Flight Training Department of all three airlines I was allowed to only allowed to teach basics and the flight crews mostly learned on the job after completing basic aircraft training. The Air Force had a very exacting training program for each level of flight crew position and a demanding recurrent training program for all levels of crew positions. The airlines felt they were losing money when a pilot sat in a classroom and wanted him/her on the line ASAP.

Although I did the same thing at the airlines as I did in the Air Force the same amount of time I wish my whole career was spent in the Air Force. The people I flew with in the AF were the best in the aviation business and I am still in daily touch with many officers and enlisted I flew with while in uniform. I spent the same amount of time in the civilian airlines, yet never hear from a single person I flew with or trained. A different and better class of people in the Air Force I believe.

Of course I made a lot more money with the civilian airlines.

sandsjames
05-14-2014, 04:20 PM
My experiences...had two jobs so far since retirement, one "civilian" and one GS civilian (current).
Little loyalty (both directions in the civilian world)...some would say the AF is going in the same direction
Clock watching (not a minute past quitting time)...unless overtime has been approved
Set break times (no more BS'ng when ever you want)
Benefits (healthcare, retirement, education, leave, etc.) don't always start at day one
"Unprofessional" civilians push the extremes on dress & appearance
Civilian world more resistant to change in procedures/policies (this can be a good thing...but it wasn't in my case)
Unrealistic production goals
Unstructured, ineffective OJT (lots of "job security"...those that keep that kernel of knowledge to themself)
No defined promotion system
Everything in your paycheck is taxable
Time accountability (need to account for your 40 hours each week)
Less, little, or no autonomy
Middle management blocking innovations

This takes me back to the conversation Rusty was involved in about some people not being meant for civilian life. I am now a civilian, in a military shop, and I am all those things you mentioned. I am a clock watcher. I was briefed that I cannot, under any circumstances, stay past my 8 hours. I understand how this can be difficult for an ex-Chief, not being able to nitpick about the things he had control over before. But that's why some people are better suited for the military life.

One thing to realize is that every civilian job, paid by the hour, consists of all those things you mentioned. Especially the dress and appearance thing. I'm not aware of any dress and appearance standards (other than safety toe boots) I am required to adhere to. As far as pushing the extremes, that's something that is only noticed because you are ex-military. To everyone else, it's no issue.

ChiefAD
05-14-2014, 11:23 PM
Well, you can apply Jon's opening statement to any branch of the service whose member has retired. In my case, I been on active duty for nearly 11 years and prior to that was in the Guard for six years. But in the late 80s and early 90s, I was on active duty in the Marines; now a Soldier. In between my AD years in the Marines and now Army, I worked for corporate America in banking, retail and IT on Wall Street and in Stamford, CT. I was laid off twice due to mergers and acquisitions (Barings Securities and Chemical Bank). I was fired (or politely told to resign) by a manager that I disagreed with at Prodigy Internet in the mid-90s. Overall, I had great jobs with at least three weeks of vacation (four weeks was when I worked for a non-for-profit). And only had unemployment for two weeks. So I have had an excellent corporate America experience.

The civilian world is a great gig. We tend to forget that the majority of our citizens work in the civilian sector and a good amount make great careers. On active-duty, yes, I can agree about the job security and not getting involuntary separated so easy but I easily work 14 hours a day everyday. I have morning formations at 0600 with daily mandatory PT (never did that in the civilian world except when I was in law enforcement), weekend duty, deal with Soldiers issues 24/7 and get home about 1900/1930 hours. That is all encompassed into my salary.

In the 90s, I was making nearly 70K a year without all this fuss. An as Army Chief, I make nearly 90K and hopefully if I get promoted this year, it will be over 100K; but still, I am putting much more hours than I did as a civilian. Thus the military pension is much deserved and should never banished as IBM did with it back in the day. 401K is a gamble. I take the 50 percent after 20 years for life anyday than a 401K after 59 1/2. I have nearly 25 years of service, so I cannot complain about the pay and bennies I have earned from the military. My take-home in the military is much better than my civilian stint because I lived in New York City.

I always recommend young people to attempt to make a career out of the service. I would have been done by now, if I did not get out and do Reserve time. But I yearn to return to that nice 9 to 5 civilian job.

Chief_KO
05-15-2014, 03:24 AM
Welcome back sandsjames!

Trust me, I watch the clock too. My first job we got approved for OT to try to make that unrealistic production goal. Got closer, but it was an unrealistic goal. I really enjoy not being "in charge", I am a worker bee and happy to be.

It is funny... org is contractor & GS (no military). The contractor has a stringent dress & appearance requirement (no open toed sandals, no shorts, no frayed/holey jeans, no non-collared shirts. But on the GS side...anything goes. And the "unprofessional" GS push the extremes to create (and increase) the GS v. contractor friction.

sandsjames
05-15-2014, 11:22 AM
Welcome back sandsjames!

Trust me, I watch the clock too. My first job we got approved for OT to try to make that unrealistic production goal. Got closer, but it was an unrealistic goal. I really enjoy not being "in charge", I am a worker bee and happy to be.

It is funny... org is contractor & GS (no military). The contractor has a stringent dress & appearance requirement (no open toed sandals, no shorts, no frayed/holey jeans, no non-collared shirts. But on the GS side...anything goes. And the "unprofessional" GS push the extremes to create (and increase) the GS v. contractor friction.

I can see this. I guess we do kind of have a dress code. Just nothing official that has ever been briefed. We are expected, to a point, to were clothing appropriate for teaching tech school students. I do it because it seems professional. However, there is nothing is the 4 sections of my evaluation that refers to dress/appearance. It's all strictly job related items. I'm sure a civilian without prior military experience could push the extremes without even realizing it, just because they may have never had to deal with those standards.

One thing I do know about civilian vs military, especially in a job working with military, is that it's awesome to sit in morning meetings and listen to the NCOIC briefing the military guys on all the bullshit they have to deal with throughout the day and all I have to do is twiddle my thumbs.

sandsjames
05-15-2014, 12:25 PM
Another thing I'll add is this (and this is from my specific experience at my location). The AF throws around the word integrity a lot. I find ACTUAL integrity far more from the civilians I work with. Maybe it's the possibility of being fired, I don't know. We currently don't have a GS11 in our office. He just moved to another job, so there is no civilian supervisor. However, the civilians all still do what we are supposed to do. When in the military, if the boss was gone it was like the flood gates were opened for everyone to do whatever the hell they wanted. Again, maybe it comes down to knowing I could actually lose my job.

CYBERFX1024
05-15-2014, 04:33 PM
Another thing I'll add is this (and this is from my specific experience at my location). The AF throws around the word integrity a lot. I find ACTUAL integrity far more from the civilians I work with. Maybe it's the possibility of being fired, I don't know. We currently don't have a GS11 in our office. He just moved to another job, so there is no civilian supervisor. However, the civilians all still do what we are supposed to do. When in the military, if the boss was gone it was like the flood gates were opened for everyone to do whatever the hell they wanted. Again, maybe it comes down to knowing I could actually lose my job.

Where are you located again? I can come and be your GS-11 Supervisor. I am trying to get the hell up out of California, and I am a GS-11 right now with the USGS.

retiredAFcivvy
05-15-2014, 05:13 PM
Welcome back sandsjames!

Trust me, I watch the clock too. My first job we got approved for OT to try to make that unrealistic production goal. Got closer, but it was an unrealistic goal. I really enjoy not being "in charge", I am a worker bee and happy to be.

It is funny... org is contractor & GS (no military). The contractor has a stringent dress & appearance requirement (no open toed sandals, no shorts, no frayed/holey jeans, no non-collared shirts. But on the GS side...anything goes. And the "unprofessional" GS push the extremes to create (and increase) the GS v. contractor friction.

Possible the GS are pushing the envelope and would file some kind of formal complaint if they were approached by management on it, especially if there is no written dress code. Contractors can enforce their dress codes more easily.

sandsjames
05-15-2014, 05:28 PM
Where are you located again? I can come and be your GS-11 Supervisor. I am trying to get the hell up out of California, and I am a GS-11 right now with the USGS.

Sheppard...they haven't advertised the job yet. Our recent GS-11 just moved laterally because you can't move up from GS11 from this position. Just no idea on when the job will actually be advertised. We've got a couple GS9s here who are going to apply for it. I imagine one of those guys will get the position, but who knows.

BRUWIN
05-15-2014, 08:37 PM
Oh wah wah me was a Chief now me big bad government employee.....cause me can't work unless it's for uncle sam.

Can't help but wonder why you have to take digs at folks that work for the government after retiring. What's your issue? Ok...I am retired and still work for the government...what the hell does that have to do with you that you feel compelled to post something that basically insinuates I am a loser for doing so? It's not taking anymore tax money from you because someone is going to still do the job whether it's a retired guy or not. I sense you don't like the fact that I get retirement and still work for the government. Why...I do not know.

And yes...I was a chief. Again...it sounds more like sour grapes when you bring it up. I don't bring it up much, but you seem to enjoy bringing it up like it is some badge of shame. It's not...really, I don't feel guilty about wearing Chief's stripes at one time at all.

Oh...and here's another point of view for you. I WORK for the government....you'll be medically retired and LIVING OFF the government. Don't like my insinuation as it applies to you and you only? Yeah...didn't think so.

LogDog
05-15-2014, 10:17 PM
I have a question for those of you who are retired SNCOs and working for the government. Do you ever find yourself wanting to step-in when you see a supervisor handling a problem in what you consider the wrong way? And if you do, how do you handle the situation?

sandsjames
05-15-2014, 10:36 PM
I have a question for those of you who are retired SNCOs and working for the government. Do you ever find yourself wanting to step-in when you see a supervisor handling a problem in what you consider the wrong way? And if you do, how do you handle the situation?

I wasn't a SNCO but I was an NCOIC. I have absolutely no desire or need to chime in on any situation (maybe that's why I was never a SNCO). It's actually quite comical watching the goings on. It actually makes me realize that I was completely right, while still in, that the majority of the shit people worry about in the military just doesn't matter.

Chief_KO
05-15-2014, 11:11 PM
I have a question for those of you who are retired SNCOs and working for the government. Do you ever find yourself wanting to step-in when you see a supervisor handling a problem in what you consider the wrong way? And if you do, how do you handle the situation?

Yes, but it is not my place to do so. If my supervisor asks for my advice (which does happen on occasion), I freely give. If a coworker asks my opinion on some decision, I say I support the supervisor's opinion. Nothing worse than anyone undermining the boss's authority or decisions.

sandsjames
05-16-2014, 12:16 AM
Nothing worse than anyone undermining the boss's authority or decisions.I just can't get this concept. Maybe it's the different positions we are in. I have no concern on what my opinion of things will make other think. I'm not a supervisor. I'm a worker bee. I come in, do my job, and go home. If the boss says some stupid shit at the morning meeting, I have no problem telling others that I think the boss is clueless.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should feel the way I feel about it. I just think that's the difference between those in the military who relied on and bought in to the military propaganda and those who didn't. I think you'd find that in a normal civilian job (non GS/WG) not related to the military you'd find that the large majority of people feel the same way and the job still gets done just fine. In a civilian job, the workers rarely show any concern for the management. It's the workers job to do the work and the managers job to do the managing. If the managing is done wrong (or in a way the workers disagree with) they speak up about it. Outside of the military, it's not the job of the worker to watch the boss's back.

BRUWIN
05-16-2014, 03:15 AM
I have a question for those of you who are retired SNCOs and working for the government. Do you ever find yourself wanting to step-in when you see a supervisor handling a problem in what you consider the wrong way? And if you do, how do you handle the situation?

I have only had one time where I walked to up a Capt and mentioned his MSgt was an ass clown. Other than that I stay out of it.

Chief_KO
05-16-2014, 04:28 AM
I just can't get this concept. Maybe it's the different positions we are in. I have no concern on what my opinion of things will make other think. I'm not a supervisor. I'm a worker bee. I come in, do my job, and go home. If the boss says some stupid shit at the morning meeting, I have no problem telling others that I think the boss is clueless.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should feel the way I feel about it. I just think that's the difference between those in the military who relied on and bought in to the military propaganda and those who didn't. I think you'd find that in a normal civilian job (non GS/WG) not related to the military you'd find that the large majority of people feel the same way and the job still gets done just fine. In a civilian job, the workers rarely show any concern for the management. It's the workers job to do the work and the managers job to do the managing. If the managing is done wrong (or in a way the workers disagree with) they speak up about it. Outside of the military, it's not the job of the worker to watch the boss's back.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I think the differences lie in what kind of job the "worker bee" does, the size of the organization, etc. Let's say the worker bee is on an assembly line at Ford, putting a widget on the product as it passes by. That worker says something negative about management...not a big deal. Let's say the worker bee is assembling a product in a small shop, where "management" is located within the same general work area...that worker says something negative about management...different result I'm sure.

I think no matter the organization, civilian, GS, military...disagreements or problems with supervision or management should be taken into a private area and discussed, not on the shop floor, cubicle farm, or office.

BOSS302
05-16-2014, 11:00 AM
Oh wah wah me was a Chief now me big bad government employee.....cause me can't work unless it's for uncle sam.

Ass .

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2014, 11:15 AM
I just can't get this concept. Maybe it's the different positions we are in. I have no concern on what my opinion of things will make other think. I'm not a supervisor. I'm a worker bee. I come in, do my job, and go home. If the boss says some stupid shit at the morning meeting, I have no problem telling others that I think the boss is clueless.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should feel the way I feel about it. I just think that's the difference between those in the military who relied on and bought in to the military propaganda and those who didn't. I think you'd find that in a normal civilian job (non GS/WG) not related to the military you'd find that the large majority of people feel the same way and the job still gets done just fine. In a civilian job, the workers rarely show any concern for the management. It's the workers job to do the work and the managers job to do the managing. If the managing is done wrong (or in a way the workers disagree with) they speak up about it. Outside of the military, it's not the job of the worker to watch the boss's back.

Of course you are concerned what other people think of your opinion, you wouldn't be spouting off and bad mouthing your boss otherwise.

You think you are superior, and you want to make sure everyone hears you.

What you call buying into propaganda, I call being part of the team.

I call into question the amount of knowledge you have about how things work in the civilian world since you retired from the Air Force, and now work for it again.

You'll create a bad reputation very quickly in a regular company trash talking your bosses. I seriously doubt you'd be so mouthy working in the corporate world.

sandsjames
05-16-2014, 11:21 AM
I agree with a lot of what you're saying. I think the differences lie in what kind of job the "worker bee" does, the size of the organization, etc. Let's say the worker bee is on an assembly line at Ford, putting a widget on the product as it passes by. That worker says something negative about management...not a big deal. Let's say the worker bee is assembling a product in a small shop, where "management" is located within the same general work area...that worker says something negative about management...different result I'm sure.

I think no matter the organization, civilian, GS, military...disagreements or problems with supervision or management should be taken into a private area and discussed, not on the shop floor, cubicle farm, or office.

I agree with this. The type of job does make a difference. The one thing I know for sure is that it's nice to have a job description that lays out specifically what my responsibilities are and each one of those responsibilities is directly job related. I have the choice to take on an additional duty or not. Taking the additional duty or not has no impact on my annual evaluation. I suppose that in a time when GS workers were more likely to get a monetary bonus the incentive might be there but since those are pretty much nixed where I'm working there really no reason to do so.

sandsjames
05-16-2014, 11:26 AM
Of course you are concerned what other people think of your opinion, you wouldn't be spouting off and bad mouthing your boss otherwise.

You think you are superior, and you want to make sure everyone hears you.

What you call buying into propaganda, I call being part of the team.

I call into question the amount of knowledge you have about how things work in the civilian world since you retired from the Air Force, and now work for it again.

You'll create a bad reputation very quickly in a regular company trash talking your bosses. I seriously doubt you'd be so mouthy working in the corporate world.

This is very sweet of you. Thank you. You want to know what helped me get this job? The GS 11 had a big say in the hiring process. I worked both with him and for him for 4 years while I was AD. I guess my "reputation" didn't hurt me too bad. I guess I didn't gain the reputation of being a whiney cry baby while he was my NCOIC. I guess he understood that I know how to do my job, very well, and that's the only thing that's important once you are able to peel away from the BS fed to you about what's important while you're in.

So, yeah, I'd say my "reputation", as you see it, has really put me behind the 8 ball.

Rusty Jones
05-16-2014, 04:07 PM
Even the Navy military is not like the real military. Navy is more corporate and fat.

Nah, just our cocks. Ask your daughter.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2014, 05:14 PM
This is very sweet of you. Thank you. You want to know what helped me get this job? The GS 11 had a big say in the hiring process. I worked both with him and for him for 4 years while I was AD. I guess my "reputation" didn't hurt me too bad. I guess I didn't gain the reputation of being a whiney cry baby while he was my NCOIC. I guess he understood that I know how to do my job, very well, and that's the only thing that's important once you are able to peel away from the BS fed to you about what's important while you're in.

So, yeah, I'd say my "reputation", as you see it, has really put me behind the 8 ball.

It sounds like you cultivated a personal relationship and leveraged it into getting a job. Nothing wrong with that, actually that is how the majority of jobs are filled.

I wasn't commenting on that, I was talking about your assertion that in the civilian world one can freely trash talk about management with no repercussions. Simply not true.

Besides, you didn't venture into the corporate world, did you? Sounds like you picked up a GS job in your old shop and didn't venture that far from the nest once you retired.

In the corporate world you don't get very far talking trash about the bosses and always being negative. It isn't military propaganda, but common courtesy to handle differences of opinion with management in a discreet manner.

If you think a boss is clueless, why do you feel the need to broadcast your opinion to the rest of the workplace? Sounds like a dick move to me.

Do you do that to peers and subordinates also?

Rusty Jones
05-16-2014, 05:32 PM
Oh wah wah me was a Chief now me big bad government employee.....cause me can't work unless it's for uncle sam.

What I don't get is why so many people think that being a government employee is the exact same thing as being in the military, sans the uniform and UCMJ. Or that getting into the government is just as easy as getting into the military, or that employment with the government means that you're equally as "sheltered" from the "real world" as the military; when none of that is true.

sandsjames
05-16-2014, 09:55 PM
It sounds like you cultivated a personal relationship and leveraged it into getting a job. Nothing wrong with that, actually that is how the majority of jobs are filled.

I wasn't commenting on that, I was talking about your assertion that in the civilian world one can freely trash talk about management with no repercussions. Simply not true.

Besides, you didn't venture into the corporate world, did you? Sounds like you picked up a GS job in your old shop and didn't venture that far from the nest once you retired.

In the corporate world you don't get very far talking trash about the bosses and always being negative. It isn't military propaganda, but common courtesy to handle differences of opinion with management in a discreet manner.

If you think a boss is clueless, why do you feel the need to broadcast your opinion to the rest of the workplace? Sounds like a dick move to me.

Do you do that to peers and subordinates also?

No, I did not "venture" into the corporate world. I took a job that I'm very comfortable doing. I wasn't even looking, but it fell into my lap. And it's easy. Hell, the military job is easy...doing it without all the military bull shit makes it even easier. I'm all about making a good amount of money with no stress.

Plus, it's a union job. I'm expected to dislike management.

I don't have any subordinates. My peers are 4 other GS9s and, yes, we joke about the boss (a MSgt) all the time. I hope you aren't going to attempt to tell me that management/leadership (SNCOs) don't sit in their meetings and bitch about the workers. And I hope you aren't going to tell me that those same people don't undermine the shop leaders below them. It happens constantly, every time they micromanage.

Monkey
05-16-2014, 10:18 PM
No, I did not "venture" into the corporate world. I took a job that I'm very comfortable doing. I wasn't even looking, but it fell into my lap. And it's easy. Hell, the military job is easy...doing it without all the military bull shit makes it even easier. I'm all about making a good amount of money with no stress.

Plus, it's a union job. I'm expected to dislike management.

I don't have any subordinates. My peers are 4 other GS9s and, yes, we joke about the boss (a MSgt) all the time. I hope you aren't going to attempt to tell me that management/leadership (SNCOs) don't sit in their meetings and bitch about the workers. And I hope you aren't going to tell me that those same people don't undermine the shop leaders below them. It happens constantly, every time they micromanage.

I thought your plan was to live entirely off of your retirement check and to never work again. I'm curious, was that not as feasible as you expected? Or was it not as enjoyable as you wanted?

sandsjames
05-16-2014, 10:24 PM
I thought your plan was to live entirely off of your retirement check and to never work again. I'm curious, was that not as feasible as you expected? Or was it not as enjoyable as you wanted?

It was very enjoyable. The job fell into my lap. We were going to live here for a couple years, fix the house up, sell it, and move. Then I got a call saying "We've got a slot, apply, you'll probably get it." So now I'm getting paid GS9 pay for the couple years while we are fixing up the house.

Also, I stated that IF I were to take any job after retirement, it would be an instructor job. I really enjoy it. Who knows how long I'll do it, but something this easy while, at the same time, very enjoyable, for 50k a year is a pretty sweet deal.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-17-2014, 12:08 AM
No, I did not "venture" into the corporate world. I took a job that I'm very comfortable doing. I wasn't even looking, but it fell into my lap. And it's easy. Hell, the military job is easy...doing it without all the military bull shit makes it even easier. I'm all about making a good amount of money with no stress.

Plus, it's a union job. I'm expected to dislike management.

I don't have any subordinates. My peers are 4 other GS9s and, yes, we joke about the boss (a MSgt) all the time. I hope you aren't going to attempt to tell me that management/leadership (SNCOs) don't sit in their meetings and bitch about the workers. And I hope you aren't going to tell me that those same people don't undermine the shop leaders below them. It happens constantly, every time they micromanage.


Okay, let's review:

You want to be a "worker bee" with only the responsibility to do your job, but anytime a SNCO gives you guidance, it's micromanaging.

I see you as being a lousy worker bee, because each time I've looked inside a beehive I've never seen the workers complaining about their duties or rank.

I envision you complaining about having to do the pollen dance, not being able to eat royal jelly, and being resentful of the drones for having sex with the queen.

I'm afraid you'd make a crummy worker bee, or any other type of social insect for that matter.

Perhaps you could be an aphid or a boll weevil?

sandsjames
05-17-2014, 12:49 AM
Okay, let's review:

You want to be a "worker bee" with only the responsibility to do your job, but anytime a SNCO gives you guidance, it's micromanaging.

I see you as being a lousy worker bee, because each time I've looked inside a beehive I've never seen the workers complaining about their duties or rank.

I envision you complaining about having to do the pollen dance, not being able to eat royal jelly, and being resentful of the drones for having sex with the queen.

I'm afraid you'd make a crummy worker bee, or any other type of social insect for that matter.

Perhaps you could be an aphid or a boll weevil?

That's pretty good stuff.

You have nothing to worry about. My responsibilities consist of nothing other than teaching. That's it. And I do it very, very well.

Oh...and I no longer answer to a SNCO. Only to another civilian. So they can micromanage all they want. And I will discuss how ridiculous it is with my peers...the other civilians who do not answer to the SNCO.

I know that drives you nuts...that people can actually think for themselves and do their job without having someone hold their hand step by step. It kind of makes a person in your (former?) position pretty worthless.

LogDog
05-17-2014, 01:21 AM
Yes, but it is not my place to do so. If my supervisor asks for my advice (which does happen on occasion), I freely give. If a coworker asks my opinion on some decision, I say I support the supervisor's opinion. Nothing worse than anyone undermining the boss's authority or decisions.
That's what I would do if I was working as a civilian in a military unit. I wouldn't be imposing myself but I'd let my supervisor know, on my initial meeting, of my experience and let him take it from there. Otherwise, I'd withhold my opinion on his management style unless it got to the point it was negatively impacting the unit/mission and then I'd talk privately to him.

sandsjames
05-17-2014, 01:31 AM
That's what I would do if I was working as a civilian in a military unit. I wouldn't be imposing myself but I'd let my supervisor know, on my initial meeting, of my experience and let him take it from there. Otherwise, I'd withhold my opinion on his management style unless it got to the point it was negatively impacting the unit/mission and then I'd talk privately to him.

Why is it, as Rusty stated, that people think that being a civilian in a military unit is any different than a civilian in any other job? Do you think that bosses in any civilian job give a shit about the opinions of the people who work for them?

I would like to point out to everyone that there are plenty of civilian GS workers who have no prior military/government experience. To expect those civilians to follow any sort of military structure or format is silly which means that to expect ANY civilian in that position to do so is equally as silly.

LogDog
05-17-2014, 02:30 AM
Boy, somewhere at sometime someone really hurt you.

Good managers/supervisors listen to their people. It doesn't mean they automatically adopt what their people say but they listen. I've supervised civilians had the same expectations of their supervisors and the military had of theirs. One GS-9 I supervised was really good at listening to her people. She actually engaged in talking to them about their opinions and if she could or couldn't change something she'd do it or explain why she couldn't do it. Her civilian workers, like most workers, would grumble but they knew she treated them straight and they appreciated her for doing that.

I talk with a lot of civilians working for the military and non-military and from my experience the non-military civilians aren't looked to for their opinions. The reason, I've deduced, is simply because they don't have any supervisory/management training when it comes to people.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-17-2014, 07:06 PM
Why is it, as Rusty stated, that people think that being a civilian in a military unit is any different than a civilian in any other job? Do you think that bosses in any civilian job give a shit about the opinions of the people who work for them?

I would like to point out to everyone that there are plenty of civilian GS workers who have no prior military/government experience. To expect those civilians to follow any sort of military structure or format is silly which means that to expect ANY civilian in that position to do so is equally as silly.

Not undermining your boss isn't unique to the military. That applies to any working environment, in every country and culture across the globe.

You can disagree with a boss and still not talk trash about them and call them clueless.

Does it ever cross your mind to try to help a boss you think is clueless instead of calling them names and telling your peers that you are smarter than the boss.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-17-2014, 07:16 PM
Boy, somewhere at sometime someone really hurt you.

Good managers/supervisors listen to their people. It doesn't mean they automatically adopt what their people say but they listen. I've supervised civilians had the same expectations of their supervisors and the military had of theirs. One GS-9 I supervised was really good at listening to her people. She actually engaged in talking to them about their opinions and if she could or couldn't change something she'd do it or explain why she couldn't do it. Her civilian workers, like most workers, would grumble but they knew she treated them straight and they appreciated her for doing that.

I talk with a lot of civilians working for the military and non-military and from my experience the non-military civilians aren't looked to for their opinions. The reason, I've deduced, is simply because they don't have any supervisory/management training when it comes to people.

It certainly appears that way from his comments.

He is either carrying emotional scars from a terrible boss or has a tremendous ego problem. The sad thing about it is, everyone has a terrible boss or two along the way. That's part of life, you can learn from it and overcome, or you can turn into a bitter complainer.

sandsjames
05-17-2014, 08:14 PM
Does it ever cross your mind to try to help a boss you think is clueless instead of calling them names and telling your peers that you are smarter than the boss.Nope...not my concern. He's got SNCOs above him who can do that if they choose. It matters not to me as the choices the current NCOIC makes have zero impact on my daily life.

sandsjames
05-17-2014, 08:20 PM
It certainly appears that way from his comments.

He is either carrying emotional scars from a terrible boss or has a tremendous ego problem. The sad thing about it is, everyone has a terrible boss or two along the way. That's part of life, you can learn from it and overcome, or you can turn into a bitter complainer.

I'm curious as to why you didn't comment about SNCOs/Officers doing the same thing to the troops below them when BSing with other SNCO/Officers. Is it because you want to claim it doesn't happen, that you've never done it? I'd find that pretty hard to believe that you never had troops that you made fun of in conversations with your peers. I'd also find it hard to believe that you've never commented on your superiors.

I'm sure that every time your boss did something stupid you always either discussed it with him professionally or kept it to yourself. Yep, I'm sure that happened. Never a bad thing to say about anyone you worked for/with, or who worked for/with you. And if you believe that happened then I'm not the only one who has a tremendous ego problem.

Rainmaker
05-17-2014, 10:16 PM
Absolutely...

You read more about it: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/nondisplacement-qualified-workers-under-service-contracts

Be sure to check with the man. A lot of Professional Service contracts in DoD are exempt from the Service Contract act.

retiredAFcivvy
05-19-2014, 05:17 PM
Be sure to check with the man. A lot of Professional Service contracts in DoD are exempt from the Service Contract act.
Good advice. You're right, there are some exemptions.

Rainmaker
05-21-2014, 02:28 PM
Why is it, as Rusty stated, that people think that being a civilian in a military unit is any different than a civilian in any other job? Do you think that bosses in any civilian job give a shit about the opinions of the people who work for them?

I would like to point out to everyone that there are plenty of civilian GS workers who have no prior military/government experience. To expect those civilians to follow any sort of military structure or format is silly which means that to expect ANY civilian in that position to do so is equally as silly.

Yes, any "Boss" worth a shit would want to have his employees respect.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 03:16 PM
Yes, any "Boss" worth a shit would want to have his employees respect.

Absolutely. Unfortunately, there are many bosses who aren't worth a shit and couldn't lead someone out of a wet paper bag.

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 03:33 PM
I think leadership is somewhat overemphasized...what the AF and DOD really needs is good followership.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 04:06 PM
I think leadership is somewhat overemphasized...what the AF and DOD really needs is good followership.

What the Air Force needs is good leaders, not leadership. A good leader will have good followers. The emphasis has been on becoming a leader, learning how to be a leader. A good leader doesn't learn how to do so, they just are, and they don't care whether they are or not. The worst leaders are those who follow a template on how to be a good one.

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 04:24 PM
What the Air Force needs is good leaders, not leadership. A good leader will have good followers. The emphasis has been on becoming a leader, learning how to be a leader. A good leader doesn't learn how to do so, they just are, and they don't care whether they are or not. The worst leaders are those who follow a template on how to be a good one.

I can nod in agreement with your first and last sentences (although I don't really understand the first one, it sounds good)...everything else I disagree with.

Rainmaker
05-21-2014, 04:24 PM
I think leadership is somewhat overemphasized...what the AF and DOD really needs is good followership.

Like Rainmaker's old Football coach used to say....sometimes it ain't the x's and o's sometimes it's the Jimmies and Joe's... Management skills can be learned. But, Leadership is natural trait. just like athleticism or musical inclanation...Rainmaker can't carry a tune in a bucket, so why waste money on voice lessons NomSayin? Today's crop of leaders suffers from a lack of natural leadership ability. Most of them don't know the first thing about it. Watchin the way most of these jackasses carry themselves, It's like watchin a retard try to fuck a football. If you got nothing to work with to begin with all the Harvard Business school seminars in the world won't turn someone with no natural leadership ability whatsoever into a good leader.

Rusty Jones
05-21-2014, 05:25 PM
How can you tell when someone doesn't know shit about leadership? They like to wax intellectual and philosphical on "leadership."

Especially when it comes from someone in the military who has never advanced to a paygrade that requires a selection board.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 05:27 PM
I can nod in agreement with your first and last sentences (although I don't really understand the first one, it sounds good)...everything else I disagree with.

What I'm saying is that the Air Force thinks that anyone can become a good leader with the right training. That's not true. Some people are good leaders. Some are not, no matter how much training. Instead of trying to make leaders to fill the positions they should be promoting the leaders in the positions of leadership.

A good leader is someone people want to work for, someone people want to do a good job for. Others, no matter how many classes they go to, how much they are taught about leadership skills, they just aren't cut out for it.

If I'm working with a group of people, there is always going to be a least one who assumes the role of leader, even if he isn't trying to do so. It's the natural charisma. It's the person who does what they need to do to get the job done without worrying about whether people are following him or not. When this happens, the people will follow without being told they have to do so.

Everyone else is nothing more than a manager. ALS/NCOA/SNCOA are not leadership couses, they are management courses. A good leader does not need any of this in order to get people to follow him and trust him. It will just happen.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 05:28 PM
How can you tell when someone doesn't know shit about leadership? They like to wax intellectual and philosphical on "leadership."

Especially when it comes from someone in the military who has never advanced to a paygrade that requires a selection board.

I wanted to "like" but do not have the option with you for some reason.

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 05:29 PM
Like Rainmaker's old Football coach used to say....sometimes it ain't the x's and o's sometimes it's the Jimmies and Joe's... Management skills can be learned. But, Leadership is natural trait. just like athleticism or musical inclanation...Rainmaker can't carry a tune in a bucket, so why waste money on voice lessons NomSayin? Today's crop of leaders suffers from a lack of natural leadership ability. Most of them don't know the first thing about it. Watchin the way most of these jackasses carry themselves, It's like watchin a retard try to fuck a football. If you got nothing to work with to begin with all the Harvard Business school seminars in the world won't turn someone with no natural leadership ability whatsoever into a good leader.

I disagree.

While I do think some are more naturally taken to leadership than others...I do think most people can improve their leadership by learning, and perform at least satisfactorily at it. Especially if they have good followers.

I don't consider myself a natural leader. As a child I was quite shy and reserved, and am still somewhat of an introvert. But, I do believe I have functioned effectively as a leader, and I'm quite sure I've improved at it throughout my career. Although I'm still not likely to inspire a cult following.

I also find that you can see a very stark difference between everyday joe civilians, who were simply hired to be the supervisor because they were there the longest or had the most technical skill, but have no leadership training whatsoever; and those people who were NCOs or SNCOs and received leadership training and mentoring for a number of years.

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 05:34 PM
What I'm saying is that the Air Force thinks that anyone can become a good leader with the right training. That's not true. Some people are good leaders. Some are not, no matter how much training. Instead of trying to make leaders to fill the positions they should be promoting the leaders in the positions of leadership.

A good leader is someone people want to work for, someone people want to do a good job for. Others, no matter how many classes they go to, how much they are taught about leadership skills, they just aren't cut out for it.

If I'm working with a group of people, there is always going to be a least one who assumes the role of leader, even if he isn't trying to do so. It's the natural charisma. It's the person who does what they need to do to get the job done without worrying about whether people are following him or not. When this happens, the people will follow without being told they have to do so.

Everyone else is nothing more than a manager. ALS/NCOA/SNCOA are not leadership couses, they are management courses. A good leader does not need any of this in order to get people to follow him and trust him. It will just happen.

I understand what you are saying...I just respectfully disagree.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 06:39 PM
I understand what you are saying...I just respectfully disagree.

So you think that non-leaders can be turned into leaders? I don't think it can happen. I think poor leaders can be taught good leadership skills, but I don't think they ever really become leaders. I think that leadership has to do more with personality than skill.

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 06:51 PM
So you think that non-leaders can be turned into leaders?

Yes


I don't think it can happen. I think poor leaders can be taught good leadership skills, but I don't think they ever really become leaders. I think that leadership has to do more with personality than skill.

I can not disagree more. Personality (call it leadership talent) will only get you so far without training, practice, etc.

360BHR
05-21-2014, 07:25 PM
[QUOTE=Measure Man;341669]I disagree.

While I do think some are more naturally taken to leadership than others...I do think most people can improve their leadership by learning, and perform at least satisfactorily at it. Especially if they have good followers.QUOTE]

If you have 'good' followers, how do you know they're not following because they 'have to' versus because they 'want to'? I think there's a big difference in how someone follows based on the type of leader. I've gone along with leaders because I had to, doesn't make them a 'good' leader.

LogDog
05-21-2014, 07:26 PM
So you think that non-leaders can be turned into leaders? I don't think it can happen. I think poor leaders can be taught good leadership skills, but I don't think they ever really become leaders. I think that leadership has to do more with personality than skill.
Everyone has some leadership talent in them and sometimes it takes being placed in a position for it to come out. Leadership courses help the individual to recognize the traits, duties, expectations, etc. of a leader but these traits/qualities are useless unless the individual has the opportunity to be a leader.

In a group there are formal and informal leaders. The informal leaders usually rely upon their personality/charisma to get people to follow them while formal leaders use a structured hierarchy to achieve those goals. However, this doesn't mean either the leader has to stick to one style but can draw upon the attributes of both the formal and informal leadership styles. Leadership is about how you get people to work to achieve a goal.

As for leadership having to do more with personality than skill, you have to look at the situation the leader and group face. The more difficult the situation the more the group will look towards the leader's skill (competency) and the less difficult the situation the less the group will look towards the leader's personality (harmony). A good leader knows the differences and uses them for the appropriate situation.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-21-2014, 07:28 PM
How can you tell when someone doesn't know shit about leadership? They like to wax intellectual and philosphical on "leadership."

Especially when it comes from someone in the military who has never advanced to a paygrade that requires a selection board.


Nor did they pursue their education, because that's "useless" too, but they'd have you think that they are smarter and that they know more about the Air Force than any General ever born.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 07:43 PM
Yes



I can not disagree more. Personality (call it leadership talent) will only get you so far without training, practice, etc.

A good leader does not need leadership talent. He is just a leader. He leads by example and other choose to follow.

I had a guy in my shop who would never sit around. If he had "free" time he was out in the work bay sweeping, sorting parts, keeping himself gainfully employed. Not once did he bitch about others not helping. Not once did he even care if others helped him. He just did what he did.

Over time, everyone followed him. Not because he wanted them to but because his actions drew people to him. That's a leader.

Someone who "learns" the "skill" of leadership never gains this kind of respect or followership.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 07:45 PM
Nor did they pursue their education, because that's "useless" too, but they'd have you think that they are smarter and that they know more about the Air Force than any General ever born.

I've admitted several times that I am no leader. I don't claim to be a leader and never have.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-21-2014, 08:16 PM
What I'm saying is that the Air Force thinks that anyone can become a good leader with the right training.That's not true.

The Air Force isn't a sentient entity, it does not think; however, the curriculum of PME does contend that leadership skills can be taught. I also contend that leadership skills can be taught.

However, I have never been led to expect that each and every person can be a good leader. I've never seen any Air Force policy make that claim, or have I seen such a claim in any PME course that I've taken.

Where are you getting that idea from specifically?






Some people are good leaders. Some are not, no matter how much training. Instead of trying to make leaders to fill the positions they should be promoting the leaders in the positions of leadership.

A good leader is someone people want to work for, someone people want to do a good job for. Others, no matter how many classes they go to, how much they are taught about leadership skills, they just aren't cut out for it.

If I'm working with a group of people, there is always going to be a least one who assumes the role of leader, even if he isn't trying to do so. It's the natural charisma. It's the person who does what they need to do to get the job done without worrying about whether people are following him or not. When this happens, the people will follow without being told they have to do so.

Everyone else is nothing more than a manager. ALS/NCOA/SNCOA are not leadership couses, they are management courses. A good leader does not need any of this in order to get people to follow him and trust him. It will just happen.

Of course some people have a natural inherent ability to lead, charisma is part of it, but that doesn't mean that a crummy leader can't learn to work with what they've got.

Anyone can improve a little, so I don't think PME is a waste of time, nor do I think it has ever been touted as being able to miraculously transform anyone into a great leader.

The curriculum can certainly be improved, but I see nothing wrong with the concept of having PME.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-21-2014, 08:21 PM
I've admitted several times that I am no leader. I don't claim to be a leader and never have.

Got it, I'll keep that little factoid handy when I am reading your critiques and musings on Air Force leadership. :)

Measure Man
05-21-2014, 08:24 PM
If you have 'good' followers, how do you know they're not following because they 'have to' versus because they 'want to'?

I'm not sure it makes a difference.


I think there's a big difference in how someone follows based on the type of leader. I've gone along with leaders because I had to, doesn't make them a 'good' leader.

True. This is why I was saying we need some emphasis in good followership.

OtisRNeedleman
05-21-2014, 08:29 PM
I believe the art - and it IS an art - of leadership gets cracked up to be a really big, difficult thing to learn and practice, and it really isn't.

Here's my overarching theory of leadership - take care of the people, and the people will take care of the mission. Any mission, any place, any time. The leader runs interference for his/her people. The leader provides as clearly defined a task as possible, with everyone knowing that sometimes circumstances change and flexibility is paramount. The leader ensures adequate resources (people, time, equipment, materials) to get the mission done. The leader eschews bullshit - bullshit rules, bullshit administrivia, bullshit people. The leader tells it like it is, upward and downward, tactfully, yet candidly. The leader treats everyone like adults and professionals, and deals with problems and problem people by exception. When problems arise, the leader is involved in not just solving the problem, but determining what happened, why, and what needs to be done to keep the problem from happening again. The leader stays in the communication loop and provides input and feedback as needed. And the leader never asks more from his/her people than he/she does from himself/herself.

Perhaps a little oversimplified, but it worked for me.

Having said all this, I encourage anyone and everyone in a leadership position or who simply aspires to be a leader to read the Follow Me and What Are Generals Made Of? books by Major General(Ret) A.S. "Red" Newman, US Army. Written many years ago, these books contain very short, concise chapters on leadership, most based on MG Newman's own experiences. Read these books years ago. Have recommended them to new supervisors in places I have worked since retiring. Might be at the base library. May be able to find them used on Amazon. Good investment of time and money.

Otis

360BHR
05-21-2014, 09:12 PM
I'm not sure it makes a difference.


It makes a big difference. There are followers who will do what they are told and that's it, that's what has been ingrained with them since basic. Then there are followers who go above and beyond not because they are brown-nosing or trying to trying to 'score points', but because they know what their leader expects before having to be told.

Scenario: Wing CC will be touring base. Leadership wants trash detail around the base.

Squadron A: E-9 assigns 3 Airmen and 1 SSgt to supervise. Trash is picked up around the buildings & all looks good for Wing Kings visit. Mission accomplished.

Squadron B: Chief mentions at an All Call that he needs folks to help 'spruce up' for pending visit. During lunch least 15 Airmen, NCOs & SNCOs including the Chief are out picking up trash, sweeping sidewalks, clearing cobwebs doorways. Some members even extend their pickup to the parking lot, sidewalks, roads leading up to their facility. Mission accomplished.

In following weeks, Squadron A starts to have trash and debris accumulating around the buildings and Squadron B is still trash free, because unit members pick up trash as they see it, not waiting for an official reason.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 09:13 PM
The Air Force isn't a sentient entity, it does not think; however, the curriculum of PME does contend that leadership skills can be taught. I also contend that leadership skills can be taught.

However, I have never been led to expect that each and every person can be a good leader. I've never seen any Air Force policy make that claim, or have I seen such a claim in any PME course that I've taken.

Where are you getting that idea from specifically?







Of course some people have a natural inherent ability to lead, charisma is part of it, but that doesn't mean that a crummy leader can't learn to work with what they've got.

Anyone can improve a little, so I don't think PME is a waste of time, nor do I think it has ever been touted as being able to miraculously transform anyone into a great leader.

The curriculum can certainly be improved, but I see nothing wrong with the concept of having PME.I would agree with most of your points here, if you replace the word leader with manager...terms that the Air Force (or members of the Air Force...since the AF does not think) often confuse. PME is not useless at all. It will teach you management skills. It will not, however, teach you how to lead.

Leaders do not have to convince people to follow them. They inspire through actions.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 09:29 PM
I'm not sure it makes a difference. It absolutely makes a difference. A good leader will not have to worry about what his "followers" are doing while he's away.




True. This is why I was saying we need some emphasis in good followership.If we focus on good leadership (promoting those who are going to do well in the leadership postions) then the followers will be there and it won't take the "emphasis" to make it happen.

A great coach can get a mediocre team to be competitive at the highest level.

A great team can be completely ruined by a poor coach.

The thing those great coaches have in common is the relationship with there players. The coaches can teach the play book, they can try to motivate as much as possible, but if they are missing that X-factor, the team will most likely not succeed.

edit: I'd just like to add that I do think that leaders can learn to improve their leadership skills and how to implement those skills. But I think the person has to have that thing inside of them. It's a natural trait. You can't take someone who doesn't have that trait, whatever it is, and make them into a good leader.

Chief_KO
05-21-2014, 10:55 PM
In following weeks, Squadron A starts to have trash and debris accumulating around the buildings and Squadron B is still trash free, because unit members pick up trash as they see it, not waiting for an official reason.

Chief picks up trash as he walks around the area. E-9 doesn't, but sends email to SNCOs to have Amn police the area. O6 sends photo (via Blackberry) of trash to unit/CC...then calls unit/CC within the hour to check on status of trash pickup.

Chief_KO
05-21-2014, 11:02 PM
Back to the topic:
Civilian (GS, Gov't Contractor, or "Civilian" Civilian) will walk past the trash and tell their supervisor (assuming the civilian supervisor will then tell the custodian).
Or they will snap a photo with their smartphone and post on FaceBook complaining how dirty their area is.

sandsjames
05-21-2014, 11:43 PM
Back to the topic:
Civilian (GS, Gov't Contractor, or "Civilian" Civilian) will walk past the trash and tell their supervisor (assuming the civilian supervisor will then tell the custodian).
Or they will snap a photo with their smartphone and post on FaceBook complaining how dirty their area is.

And point out how it's now in my contract to pick up the trash...then point out that I need two weeks notice and a letter from my union rep before I'm allowed to assist.

Measure Man
05-22-2014, 12:58 AM
It absolutely makes a difference. A good leader will not have to worry about what his "followers" are doing while he's away.

They hypothetical proposed already assumed the were doing what they were supposed to be doing.

I don't care how good a leader is, not all people/groups will follow them willingly all the time. A good leaders may use different approaches for different situations (see also situational leadership).


If we focus on good leadership (promoting those who are going to do well in the leadership postions) then the followers will be there and it won't take the "emphasis" to make it happen.

A great coach can get a mediocre team to be competitive at the highest level.

A great team can be completely ruined by a poor coach.

The thing those great coaches have in common is the relationship with there players. The coaches can teach the play book, they can try to motivate as much as possible, but if they are missing that X-factor, the team will most likely not succeed.

edit: I'd just like to add that I do think that leaders can learn to improve their leadership skills and how to implement those skills. But I think the person has to have that thing inside of them. It's a natural trait. You can't take someone who doesn't have that trait, whatever it is, and make them into a good leader.

Nowhere in my point that leaders can be taught should one assume that means there are no poor leaders...or that leaders do not have an impact on the organizations. You are throwing in irrelevant points here.

I still disagree.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-22-2014, 01:02 AM
I worked a good chunk of my career with NSA civilians and would have to say that the vast majority keep very sloppy work spaces.

There were a few office chiefs, usually ex-military, that would enforce policy on keeping a tidy office space. When I first showed up there, 1988, most offices would clean up a little on Fridays, but for the most part, those old offices in OPS1A, looked like shit.

Government office workers are sloppy, defense contractors in their company's work space are cleaner from my observations; however, when attached to a government work center, they are piggies too.

When I was a team chief at NSA, we cleaned up our desks on Fridays, myself, the troops, my two civilians, and one contractor all cleaned our area.

We gave a lot of presentations and briefings in our area, and I never thought it was a good idea to let visitors to our section to see a mess, that includes peer-level analysts, not just high ranking visitors.

Why work your ass of on a briefing, and then not do something as simple as having a clean briefing room?

I worked a lot with a good number of our allies and would have to say that the Japanese have the cleanest facilities that I've ever seen, everything they do says professionalism, in subtle and profound ways.

Of our European allies, I would say that Norway has a good understanding of projecting a professional image, backed up by solid work.

Americans can do this too; however, we tend to only focus only on high visibility work spaces. We usually let the sea of office cubicles go to shit, the Japanese and Norwegians don't, they keep the trenches clean.

I think cleanliness should be an integral part of the workplace culture. I always hated having clean up for VIPs, why not clean up for yourselves? In my mind, my team mates are just as important as any VIP, and I want us to work in a nice looking professional office.

sandsjames
05-22-2014, 01:20 AM
I worked a good chunk of my career with NSA civilians and would have to say that the vast majority keep very sloppy work spaces.

There were a few office chiefs, usually ex-military, that would enforce policy on keeping a tidy office space. When I first showed up there, 1988, most offices would clean up a little on Fridays, but for the most part, those old offices in OPS1A, looked like shit.

Government office workers are sloppy, defense contractors in their company's work space are cleaner from my observations; however, when attached to a government work center, they are piggies too.

When I was a team chief at NSA, we cleaned up our desks on Fridays, myself, the troops, my two civilians, and one contractor all cleaned our area.

We gave a lot of presentations and briefings in our area, and I never thought it was a good idea to let visitors to our section to see a mess, that includes peer-level analysts, not just high ranking visitors.

Why work your ass of on a briefing, and then not do something as simple as having a clean briefing room?

I worked a lot with a good number of our allies and would have to say that the Japanese have the cleanest facilities that I've ever seen, everything they do says professionalism, in subtle and profound ways.

Of our European allies, I would say that Norway has a good understanding of projecting a professional image, backed up by solid work.

Americans can do this too; however, we tend to only focus only on high visibility work spaces. We usually let the sea of office cubicles go to shit, the Japanese and Norwegians don't, they keep the trenches clean.

I think cleanliness should be an integral part of the workplace culture. I always hated having clean up for VIPs, why not clean up for yourselves? In my mind, my team mates are just as important as any VIP, and I want us to work in a nice looking professional office.

So what you've just pointed out is that the civilian side of thing isn't wasting time with such things as making things pretty in order to present the appearance of efficiency while the military spends as much time making things look professional as they do actually performing duties. For once you and I couldn't be in more agreement than we are now.

Chief_KO
05-22-2014, 01:25 PM
AA,
I only served two years at the NSA, but I totally agree with your observations. The intel world is "unique" and until one experiences the "mother ship" at Ft Meade you never fully can appreciate that uniqueness.

I still remember at the newcomers orientation day, one of the briefers said how you can tell the introverts from the extroverts, "the introverts look at their shoes in the elevator, the extoverts look at your shoes". Also, you can tell what decade a civilian employee started at the agency by their wardrobe...tie dyed 60's, polyester 70's...

Ops 1 was a $shithole, was being renovated when I was there.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-22-2014, 07:25 PM
So what you've just pointed out is that the civilian side of thing isn't wasting time with such things as making things pretty in order to present the appearance of efficiency while the military spends as much time making things look professional as they do actually performing duties. For once you and I couldn't be in more agreement than we are now.

How is cleaning your workplace a waste of time?

Especially if the product you are producing, a briefing, is being presented to your customers in the workplace.

You almost sound as if you are too important to be bothered with doing anything other than the bare minimum.

Why over look something as basic as keeping a tidy office, especially if you have customers in the office. That's a fundamental TQM concept.

sandsjames
05-22-2014, 07:40 PM
How is cleaning your workplace a waste of time?

Especially if the product you are producing, a briefing, is being presented to your customers in the workplace.

You almost sound as if you are too important to be bothered with doing anything other than the bare minimum.

Why over look something as basic as keeping a tidy office, especially if you have customers in the office. That's a fundamental TQM concept.

I do like how you completely discredited everything you said by mentioning TQM. I do hope that was intentional.

I'm not saying we shouldn't keep things tidy. I'm saying we shouldn't be worrying about making everything look pretty any time a "DV" is coming around.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-22-2014, 07:55 PM
I do like how you completely discredited everything you said by mentioning TQM. I do hope that was intentional.

I'm not saying we shouldn't keep things tidy. I'm saying we shouldn't be worrying about making everything look pretty any time a "DV" is coming around.

I was hoping that by merely invoking TQM that it would make your skin burn and you'd cry out in pain, the way vampires do in sunlight.

I hate cleaning for DVs, I am of the philosophy that your workplace should always be in inspection order.

If it isn't, you've got problems.

sandsjames
05-22-2014, 09:08 PM
I was hoping that by merely invoking TQM that it would make your skin burn and you'd cry out in pain, the way vampires do in sunlight.

I hate cleaning for DVs, I am of the philosophy that your workplace should always be in inspection order.

If it isn't, you've got problems.

For once we agree...tidy is easy. Unfortunately, it seems that even if you keep your place inspection ready, there is still going to be a "spring cleaning" that goes on each time someone comes around to visit.

BRUWIN
05-23-2014, 04:19 PM
I think the best evaluation of your leadership is what is going on when you aren't around. Your absence tends to indicate whether troops or going through the motions when you are around...or truly following even when you aren't.

LogDog
05-23-2014, 06:51 PM
I think the best evaluation of your leadership is what is going on when you aren't around. Your absence tends to indicate whether troops or going through the motions when you are around...or truly following even when you aren't.
BINGO!

Of course, if the troops are producing more when you're away that might be indicative of problem with you. Not that I ever had that problem. http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-025.gif

Rusty Jones
05-23-2014, 06:56 PM
BINGO!

Of course, if the troops are producing more when you're away that might be indicative of problem with you. Not that I ever had that problem. http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-025.gif

I have to disagree. If someone is a shitty leader, sometimes the work gets done better BECAUSE they're gone. I'm sure many of you have seen this happen before.

Other times, you can be the best damned leader there is, but there are some people that just won't produce without a foot in their ass.

Measure Man
05-23-2014, 07:24 PM
I think the best evaluation of your leadership is what is going on when you aren't around. Your absence tends to indicate whether troops or going through the motions when you are around...or truly following even when you aren't.

When I was an Airman or NCO...our shops would always make a huge effort to try and increase production whenever the boss was gone.

Chief_KO
05-23-2014, 08:14 PM
Air Force (probably military as a whole): Time off...Goal Days, Wingman Days, Safety Days, Family Days, Holiday "accountability" schedules, intramural sports, medical appointments, kids appointments, spouse appointments, pet appointments...probably more, but my fingers are bleeding.

Civilian: Taking leave (annual, sick, or without pay) for any/all the above.

Even those "warriors" on the flightline or manning posts will have some adjustments to make when you enter (or reenter) the civilian workforce.

LogDog
05-23-2014, 08:30 PM
I have to disagree. If someone is a shitty leader, sometimes the work gets done better BECAUSE they're gone. I'm sure many of you have seen this happen before.
That's the point I was humorously trying to make.


Other times, you can be the best damned leader there is, but there are some people that just won't produce without a foot in their ass.
Then you're not the best damned leader there is if they're still there. I'd rather work with 50% manning than having 100% manning with a handful of people dragging the rest of the flight down.

sandsjames
05-23-2014, 09:15 PM
Air Force (probably military as a whole): Time off...Goal Days, Wingman Days, Safety Days, Family Days, Holiday "accountability" schedules, intramural sports, medical appointments, kids appointments, spouse appointments, pet appointments...probably more, but my fingers are bleeding.

Civilian: Taking leave (annual, sick, or without pay) for any/all the above.

Even those "warriors" on the flightline or manning posts will have some adjustments to make when you enter (or reenter) the civilian workforce.

It does definitely take an adjustment. The fact that I had to put off a necessary surgery for a few months because I don't have enough leave yet is a perfect example. I can't take the leave without pay as I'm still in my first year "probation" period. Not a big deal, really, but it's definitely different than what I'm used to.

Measure Man
05-23-2014, 09:40 PM
I had said for years that the time-off the military gets is one of the most-underrated and oft overlooked benefits.

Being a contractor now, this point has become abundantly clear. I'm salaried, so at least I can go to a dentist appointment or something without being charged leave...but for our union guys, all of their time is accountable, they are either here at work or on charged leave...extended lunch, dental appointment, pick up kids form school...all charged agains their leave. True they do not get charged weekends like military though.

ChiefAD
05-23-2014, 09:55 PM
I spent some time at NSA Georgia and it is a decent gig. From an Army perspective, that place is totally civvy world with its escalators and offices.

ChiefAD
05-23-2014, 09:56 PM
I had said for years that the time-off the military gets is one of the most-underrated and oft overlooked benefits.

Being a contractor now, this point has become abundantly clear. I'm salaried, so at least I can go to a dentist appointment or something without being charged leave...but for our union guys, all of their time is accountable, they are either here at work or on charged leave...extended lunch, dental appointment, pick up kids form school...all charged agains their leave. True they do not get charged weekends like military though.

+1. I am definitely going to miss the four-day weekends like the Memorial Day weekend I am having now. It feels good to sleep late on a Friday and Monday. :)

sandsjames
05-23-2014, 10:01 PM
+1. I am definitely going to miss the four-day weekends like the Memorial Day weekend I am having now. It feels good to sleep late on a Friday and Monday. :)

Yep. I sat at work today with nothing to do. Military all gone on the family day...no students to teach...still at work earning my money. Was much easier to do before we had youtube cut off.

ChiefAD
05-23-2014, 10:12 PM
Youtube blocked? That is harsh.

sandsjames
05-23-2014, 10:29 PM
Youtube blocked? That is harsh.

I was thinking about contacting my union rep to find out if they can do that to me without prior notification.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-24-2014, 12:09 AM
I was thinking about contacting my union rep to find out if they can do that to me without prior notification.

You can always come work for me, I started my own software company that specializes in training software. I just landed a big ass contract with McDonald's to provide them with an array of CBT's to enhance their Mc'OJT program.

We're covering fire extinguisher training, fryer ops, cash register orientation, and menu orientation. Do you think you are dedicated enough to work for me?

If you don't think you are creative enough for software design, I could give you a position in the cult that I just started.

It's a cool concept, a moon goddess cult, I've already hired a hot asian stripper to play the moon goddess, and I've already have a 75 person congregation living on some ranch land near Billings, MT. I would put you in the compound as 2nd Deacon, you'd basically be responsible for informing on the congregation members and be a overseer of production on the small labor floor I built.

We have them building, "do it yourself" moon goddess shrines to sell at new age conventions and renaissance fairs, but we want to come up with another line of products.

Think you could move to Billings, MT?

I don't have enough time to spend on the cult with the big software contract, I really need another person to help me keep an eye on things.

wxjumper
05-26-2014, 09:02 PM
Air Force (probably military as a whole): Time off...Goal Days, Wingman Days, Safety Days, Family Days, Holiday "accountability" schedules, intramural sports, medical appointments, kids appointments, spouse appointments, pet appointments...probably more, but my fingers are bleeding.

Civilian: Taking leave (annual, sick, or without pay) for any/all the above.

Even those "warriors" on the flightline or manning posts will have some adjustments to make when you enter (or reenter) the civilian workforce.

True, but Military does not get overtime for working over 8 hours. If I got paid overtime for every day I gave over 8 hours to the military, I would be rich.

Capt Alfredo
05-26-2014, 10:26 PM
You can always come work for me, I started my own software company that specializes in training software. I just landed a big ass contract with McDonald's to provide them with an array of CBT's to enhance their Mc'OJT program.

We're covering fire extinguisher training, fryer ops, cash register orientation, and menu orientation. Do you think you are dedicated enough to work for me?

If you don't think you are creative enough for software design, I could give you a position in the cult that I just started.

It's a cool concept, a moon goddess cult, I've already hired a hot asian stripper to play the moon goddess, and I've already have a 75 person congregation living on some ranch land near Billings, MT. I would put you in the compound as 2nd Deacon, you'd basically be responsible for informing on the congregation members and be a overseer of production on the small labor floor I built.

We have them building, "do it yourself" moon goddess shrines to sell at new age conventions and renaissance fairs, but we want to come up with another line of products.

Think you could move to Billings, MT?

I don't have enough time to spend on the cult with the big software contract, I really need another person to help me keep an eye on things.

If you make that Missoula, you might have a deal...

jondstewart
06-13-2014, 08:25 PM
I've always thought that for a Services troop, the "place to be" would be Mortuary Affairs for solid marketable job skills.

Food Services is a tough field, I think...there is so much cheap and exploitable labor out there unless someone has bonafide professional chef credentials or owns their own spot.

A union contract is, I'm sure, a much better way to go for the worker...



Civilian experiences vary as much as the weather...I've had a pretty great transition and found that civilian life suits me well. What I most like about being a civilian is that every process must make practical sense...you no longer do things "because this is the military"...I always hated that "reason" why the AF does stupid things.

I was fortunate in that my military career field translates directly into a decent civilian career, and in fact military tech schools and training are often a desired qualification...I also was doubly fortunate in that some of the best jobs are in DOD contracts, and my military experience and network is highly sought after and valuable to civilian companies vying for those contracts.

The job security, or perceived lack thereof, is a bit nerve-wracking after 20+ years of taking it for granted...especially when contract re-bid time comes around. But it almost always works out...something like >98% of workers are signed on to the new contract...and now there is even an Executive Order that old contractor employees have the right of first refusal on the new contract. So, unless you are not qualified, or the new contractor cuts positions and you're low on seniority...you are generally pretty safe.

I never did mortuary affairs during my career; very few ever do such a thing and usually for every Services Squadron on base, regardless of size, there is usually just one or two people in it.

And you are so right about food service being cheap and exploiting labor for many. So many kitchen people in the civilian world have problems with drugs and alcohol. Unless you are a well-trained chef working at a high end restaurant or resort, a general manager (which constantly have turnover), work in a remote environment or at sea for weeks on end, or fortunate enough to be a Wage Grade cook for the government, you pretty much have to settle for $9 to $13 an hour jobs if you choose to stay in that field.

And if my present job loses the contract this September, I could easily be let go, since I've only been with them for 2 years and many others have been there 15-20 years. Fortunately I have a Wage Grade position lined up for me at my old stomping grounds.

Glad to see it has worked out great for you! Always pretty sure if it has anything to do with computers or aircraft you can pretty much write your own ticket.

Rusty Jones
06-13-2014, 08:36 PM
I never did mortuary affairs during my career; very few ever do such a thing and usually for every Services Squadron on base, regardless of size, there is usually just one or two people in it.

And you are so right about food service being cheap and exploiting labor for many. So many kitchen people in the civilian world have problems with drugs and alcohol. Unless you are a well-trained chef working at a high end restaurant or resort, a general manager (which constantly have turnover), work in a remote environment or at sea for weeks on end, or fortunate enough to be a Wage Grade cook for the government, you pretty much have to settle for $9 to $13 an hour jobs if you choose to stay in that field.

And if my present job loses the contract this September, I could easily be let go, since I've only been with them for 2 years and many others have been there 15-20 years. Fortunately I have a Wage Grade position lined up for me at my old stomping grounds.

Glad to see it has worked out great for you! Always pretty sure if it has anything to do with computers or aircraft you can pretty much write your own ticket.

And there you have it, ladies and gentleman! The man who bashes the Army on what he perceives to be a lack of intelligence is a cook!

That's really not much different than the fat fuck Soldier or Marine who keeps saying "chair force."

Stalwart
06-13-2014, 10:19 PM
Well, the military needs cooks too. There is nothing like being on a long field op and getting some hot chow brought out or coming back from extended operations and returning to the FOB and being able to sit in a chair and eat a hot meal.

Everyone has their role in what we do, either the actual operations or supporting those that do. Bickering about the MOS, AFSC, rating or even the particular service is kind of splitting hairs. Some jobs are physically harder, some are technically harder, some are just a routine grind that will wear you down.

I find irony in overly vocal people about how 'tough' or 'vital' they are to the mission or spout their experience or deployments with operators to make up for not having been an operator, but are generally removed from actual operations; it seems like they are overcompensating for not having what is perceived as the 'hard job.'

Rusty Jones
06-13-2014, 10:28 PM
Well, the military needs cooks too. There is nothing like being on a long field op and getting some hot chow brought out or coming back from extended operations and returning to the FOB and being able to sit in a chair and eat a hot meal.

Everyone has their role in what we do, either the actual operations or supporting those that do. Bickering about the MOS, AFSC, rating or even the particular service is kind of splitting hairs. Some jobs are physically harder, some are technically harder, some are just a routine grind that will wear you down.

I find irony in overly vocal people about how 'tough' or 'vital' they are to the mission or spout their experience or deployments with operators to make up for not having been an operator, but are generally removed from actual operations; it seems like they are overcompensating for not having what is perceived as the 'hard job.'

I agree with you. The reason I'm picking on johndstewart is because over half his posts are Army-bashing, and mostly having to do with his perception of Soldiers' intelligence. When he likely barely got into the Air Force himself, and the majority of the Soldiers outside of the Quartermaster Corps can boast greater intelligence than he has (No disrespect intended to the Army Quartermaster Corp. My grandfather was the Command Sergeant Major of the Quartermaster Corps in the 1970's, and my sister was a Quartermaster Corps officer).

That's why I equated him to overweight Soldiers and Marines who say "chair force."

jondstewart
06-14-2014, 11:37 PM
I agree with all the posts. Yes, cooks, chefs, whatever you want to call them are unintelligent people and on the same level as a janitor. Let's see, a cook that works for the government is usually a WG-6 or WG-8. Anything that is a WG-4 or less is usually low or no skill. Anybody that cooks for a living certainly doesn't have enough intelligence or ambition to see the lack of intelligence in general in another branch of the military. ;).

Give me a map of the world that is blank and I WILL get 90% of the countries right!

Oh by the way, I also have quality assurance skills, logistics, and weather observer with an AWOS skills. So I'm more than just a good cook!

Airborne
06-15-2014, 04:11 PM
Well, the military needs cooks too. There is nothing like being on a long field op and getting some hot chow brought out or coming back from extended operations and returning to the FOB and being able to sit in a chair and eat a hot meal.

Everyone has their role in what we do, either the actual operations or supporting those that do. Bickering about the MOS, AFSC, rating or even the particular service is kind of splitting hairs. Some jobs are physically harder, some are technically harder, some are just a routine grind that will wear you down.

I find irony in overly vocal people about how 'tough' or 'vital' they are to the mission or spout their experience or deployments with operators to make up for not having been an operator, but are generally removed from actual operations; it seems like they are overcompensating for not having what is perceived as the 'hard job.'

Im a new generation GI so every time Ive come back from an op in a remote location, it hasnt been an E5 serving me up grub, it's been a 3d country national. Thats not to say that there isnt some logistics troop making it all happen behind the scenes as far as putting together food contracts or buying cooking aparatus, but food prep and service has been done by the citizens of the country we are occupying.

LogDog
06-15-2014, 08:12 PM
Well, the military needs cooks too. There is nothing like being on a long field op and getting some hot chow brought out or coming back from extended operations and returning to the FOB and being able to sit in a chair and eat a hot meal.

Everyone has their role in what we do, either the actual operations or supporting those that do. Bickering about the MOS, AFSC, rating or even the particular service is kind of splitting hairs. Some jobs are physically harder, some are technically harder, some are just a routine grind that will wear you down.

I find irony in overly vocal people about how 'tough' or 'vital' they are to the mission or spout their experience or deployments with operators to make up for not having been an operator, but are generally removed from actual operations; it seems like they are overcompensating for not having what is perceived as the 'hard job.'
What's funny about the complaining about the cooks is how many of those same complainers have shown up for second in the mess line?

During my career, I've used both military and civilian dining halls as well field mess during a major exercise and actual deployment. After a hard day (okay, somewhat hard day)it was nice to be able to go to a field kitchen for a hot meal.

Lay off the cooks; they are okay.

BRUWIN
06-16-2014, 04:39 AM
What's funny about the complaining about the cooks is how many of those same complainers have shown up for second in the mess line?

During my career, I've used both military and civilian dining halls as well field mess during a major exercise and actual deployment. After a hard day (okay, somewhat hard day)it was nice to be able to go to a field kitchen for a hot meal.

Lay off the cooks; they are okay.

Most cooks are narcissistic. Fact.

VFFTSGT
07-02-2014, 03:54 PM
As an enlisted person, you are actually paid pretty well, considering the free medical, dental, and 30 days paid vacation a year. Many years ago as a SSgt, my boss was a GS-9 and he took home about the same as I did, but with much more responsibility!

I have been saying for a while military is paid/compensated quite well.

But it never goes over well because it's not the politically correct point.

The tax free benefits of BAH, BAS, COLA (and other allowances), no copays/deductibles for self, minimal for family (at least for health, dental can get expensive still), a retirement package you don't contribute your earnings too, education benefits that are out of this world, and so much more.

I don't regret getting out early for one minute. I've done pretty well...actually have lived more comfortably because I manage my money better now.

I've seen others not do so well though and in every case it appears to be a lack of planning and a lack of budgeting.

If you are getting out...you need to get rid of your bills and debt first (i.e. expensive phone/phone plan; car payments - sell the nice car and buy a cheap car; credit cards - don't get rid of they can keep your credit score high, just pay off), and get a cushion in the bank.

Have a back up plan to your back up plan.

LogDog
07-02-2014, 07:23 PM
I have been saying for a while military is paid/compensated quite well.

But it never goes over well because it's not the politically correct point.

The tax free benefits of BAH, BAS, COLA (and other allowances), no copays/deductibles for self, minimal for family (at least for health, dental can get expensive still), a retirement package you don't contribute your earnings too, education benefits that are out of this world, and so much more.

I don't regret getting out early for one minute. I've done pretty well...actually have lived more comfortably because I manage my money better now.

I've seen others not do so well though and in every case it appears to be a lack of planning and a lack of budgeting.

If you are getting out...you need to get rid of your bills and debt first (i.e. expensive phone/phone plan; car payments - sell the nice car and buy a cheap car; credit cards - don't get rid of they can keep your credit score high, just pay off), and get a cushion in the bank.

Have a back up plan to your back up plan.
I agree with you that military personnel are well paid. I knew one young Navy couple who had financial problems and they would complain about their problems. Then they would start talking and showing everyone the new tattoos they just got. It doesn't get through to them that perhaps their problems is spending hundreds of dollars on tattoos.

Money management, budgeting, saving/investing is one of the things that's not taught much in high school or by parents. Too often, when young people leave school/home, they have no clue how to budget their income let alone plan for their future financial needs. The military can and does some financial education but from the looks at how many people have problems it isn't getting through to them.

Measure Man
07-02-2014, 07:37 PM
I have been saying for a while military is paid/compensated quite well.

But it never goes over well because it's not the politically correct point.

Welcome back...we missed you.


The tax free benefits of BAH, BAS, COLA (and other allowances), no copays/deductibles for self, minimal for family (at least for health, dental can get expensive still), a retirement package you don't contribute your earnings too, education benefits that are out of this world, and so much more.

I don't regret getting out early for one minute. I've done pretty well...actually have lived more comfortably because I manage my money better now.

I've seen others not do so well though and in every case it appears to be a lack of planning and a lack of budgeting.

If you are getting out...you need to get rid of your bills and debt first (i.e. expensive phone/phone plan; car payments - sell the nice car and buy a cheap car; credit cards - don't get rid of they can keep your credit score high, just pay off), and get a cushion in the bank.

Have a back up plan to your back up plan.

I think military members are generously compensated...there is also an awfully lot asked of some, but not all.

I don't know how much we should pay someone for going door-to-door in Afghanistan to root out terrorists...but it's a lot.

On the flip side, the AF guy that spent his whole career inside the wire, or never even inside a combat zone (me) gets the same pay and benefits, which is probably over-generous for what they've actually been asked to do (vice "might be asked to do")

A potential solution, in my mind, is to cut back on the pay and/or benefits of basic military service, but reward combat duty much more generously.

Of course, as you said, any cuts to military benefits is met with hard and fast resistance, politically.

Airborne
07-02-2014, 11:56 PM
Welcome back...we missed you.



I think military members are generously compensated...there is also an awfully lot asked of some, but not all.

I don't know how much we should pay someone for going door-to-door in Afghanistan to root out terrorists...but it's a lot.

On the flip side, the AF guy that spent his whole career inside the wire, or never even inside a combat zone (me) gets the same pay and benefits, which is probably over-generous for what they've actually been asked to do (vice "might be asked to do")

A potential solution, in my mind, is to cut back on the pay and/or benefits of basic military service, but reward combat duty much more generously.

Of course, as you said, any cuts to military benefits is met with hard and fast resistance, politically.

At least in the Air Force, those that usually go kicking in doors in Afghanistan usually collect any combination of freefall parachutist pay, combat dive pay, special duty pay, per diem for being on the road endlessly, enlistment bonuses and reenlistment bonuses in upwards of $100K (which the majority manage to get in a tax free zone). So I would say those guys are well compensated as well. Many of them dont manage their money well either and retire only to realize they are only getting a percentage of their base pay.
As for the Army and Marine infantrymen that do similar things but dont get all of the special pays...not sure...

As Ive said before, the compensation is good for the now, but Id rather get all of those benefits as a percentage of my base pay which I then get at retirement. The government is taxing your base pay but giving you some tax free benefits that it doesnt have to pay you for in retirement. It's a win/win for the government and a win/lose for the member. (in my opinion)

Shove_your_stupid_meeting
07-03-2014, 01:39 AM
Welcome back...we missed you.



I think military members are generously compensated...there is also an awfully lot asked of some, but not all.

I don't know how much we should pay someone for going door-to-door in Afghanistan to root out terrorists...but it's a lot.

On the flip side, the AF guy that spent his whole career inside the wire, or never even inside a combat zone (me) gets the same pay and benefits, which is probably over-generous for what they've actually been asked to do (vice "might be asked to do")

A potential solution, in my mind, is to cut back on the pay and/or benefits of basic military service, but reward combat duty much more generously.

Of course, as you said, any cuts to military benefits is met with hard and fast resistance, politically.

It would be an interesting Air Force if the pay wasn't only based on the type of work, but on the amount of work and the quality of work performed. That'll never happen for multiple reasons, and it's probably a good thing, but it sure would be interesting to see how some folks may adjust their perspectives and their approach if that's the way we operated.

VFFTSGT
07-03-2014, 06:13 AM
Money management, budgeting, saving/investing is one of the things that's not taught much in high school or by parents. Too often, when young people leave school/home, they have no clue how to budget their income let alone plan for their future financial needs. The military can and does some financial education but from the looks at how many people have problems it isn't getting through to them.

I haven't always been the best at managing my money; however, if I learned anything from when I grew up (because it wasn't always done then)...it was to always pay my bills, period, and so they always got paid. And to have enough money for food and gas.

I did spend more than my fair share while in the Air Force though. However, from the time I decided to get out, until I got out (arounds 8 months)...I got rid of practically every bill and paid off all debt. I walked away debt free.

And when look back on it...I wonder where it all went and think there is no reason why I couldn't have had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank. Never was taught to save and never thought I really should until the last couple years. But...at least I walked away debt free; many walk away with debt and no job. Now, I do have a growing savings.


Welcome back...we missed you.
...
I don't know how much we should pay someone for going door-to-door in Afghanistan to root out terrorists...but it's a lot.

On the flip side, the AF guy that spent his whole career inside the wire, or never even inside a combat zone (me) gets the same pay and benefits, which is probably over-generous for what they've actually been asked to do (vice "might be asked to do")

A potential solution, in my mind, is to cut back on the pay and/or benefits of basic military service, but reward combat duty much more generously.

Of course, as you said, any cuts to military benefits is met with hard and fast resistance, politically.

Thanks...not really back... just lurk every once in a while to see if there is anything of interest or where I might have some useful input.

I remember coming out of Iraq (Balad aka LSA Anaconda for the Army folk) back in the mid-00's and stopping off at the Died...

I had just spent a few months getting mortars shot at us on base practically everyday and many times several times a day. Several times they were close enough to me personally where I did fear for my life. And watching Army guys go in and out of the base all the time on convoys, something I was very thankful I didn't have to do.

...and had a conversation with a buddy about how it was jacked up everyone at the Died was getting the same exact combat pays/allowances as us that just came out of Mortarville.

Before that deployment, I had another one in another country a couple years prior where I lived in Tent City and got all the combat pay/allowances but then permanent party at that same base got nothing. I had a friend that was permanent party and we had discussions on this topic as well. I didn't mind having the extra money, but it sure didn't make sense to me that I got it and people just down the road from me were not getting it.

I tell you what though, while I do think there needs to be changes...before individual service members start getting cuts in their pay and benefits, I want to see substantial cuts to many big military contracts and systems that are billions over budget, years behind schedule, and still useless.

LogDog
07-03-2014, 06:36 AM
I haven't always been the best at managing my money; however, if I learned anything from when I grew up (because it wasn't always done then)...it was to always pay my bills, period, and so they always got paid. And to have enough money for food and gas.

I did spend more than my fair share while in the Air Force though. However, from the time I decided to get out, until I got out (arounds 8 months)...I got rid of practically every bill and paid off all debt. I walked away debt free.

And when look back on it...I wonder where it all went and think there is no reason why I couldn't have had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank. Never was taught to save and never thought I really should until the last couple years. But...at least I walked away debt free; many walk away with debt and no job. Now, I do have a growing savings.
The only schooling on finances I had in high school was a class project in the 9th grade on the stock market. They really didn't explain much on how the market worked but we picked stocks and followed them for six months. My dad did well investing but he didn't explain an of it to me. I never was much of a spender preferring to save. When I was in the dorms I didn't drink so I didn't waste money on having a "good time". When I moved off-base I rented furnished apts and then later, when I had more stripes, I bought some descent but not expensive furniture figuring with the PCSing I was doing I didn't want to get good furniture banged up. At about the 10 year mark, I had saved plenty of money in the mid-80s and decided to start an IRA when they opened up to the military. I maximized my contributions every year and now I have about six times the amount I put in it. I'm retired and haven't needed to touch it and I don't expect to until I have to start mandatory withdrawals at age 72.

The key to saving is to live below your means. In other words, don't spend more than you earn. Payoff your bills and look upon debt as something bad. About the only good debt is a mortgage for a house you can afford. Once you payoff your bills then you pay yourself by putting money aside for savings or investing. Every promotion, put more money into savings or investing. Given time, your money will growth.

Port Dawg
09-11-2014, 08:32 PM
No, I did not "venture" into the corporate world. I took a job that I'm very comfortable doing. I wasn't even looking, but it fell into my lap. And it's easy. Hell, the military job is easy...doing it without all the military bull shit makes it even easier. I'm all about making a good amount of money with no stress.

Plus, it's a union job. I'm expected to dislike management.

I don't have any subordinates. My peers are 4 other GS9s and, yes, we joke about the boss (a MSgt) all the time. I hope you aren't going to attempt to tell me that management/leadership (SNCOs) don't sit in their meetings and bitch about the workers. And I hope you aren't going to tell me that those same people don't undermine the shop leaders below them. It happens constantly, every time they micromanage.

What job do you do? And are there any openings?

sandsjames
09-11-2014, 09:52 PM
What job do you do? And are there any openings?

Tech school instructor...check usajobs.gov

MikeKerriii
09-17-2014, 05:34 PM
One major difference if a civilian employer tells me he won't continue a employment contract becasue if won't swear a religious oath he will soon be buying me a nice new house

Niirs
09-19-2014, 03:08 AM
I have been saying for a while military is paid/compensated quite well.

But it never goes over well because it's not the politically correct point.

The tax free benefits of BAH, BAS, COLA (and other allowances), no copays/deductibles for self, minimal for family (at least for health, dental can get expensive still), a retirement package you don't contribute your earnings too, education benefits that are out of this world, and so much more.

I don't regret getting out early for one minute. I've done pretty well...actually have lived more comfortably because I manage my money better now.

I've seen others not do so well though and in every case it appears to be a lack of planning and a lack of budgeting.

If you are getting out...you need to get rid of your bills and debt first (i.e. expensive phone/phone plan; car payments - sell the nice car and buy a cheap car; credit cards - don't get rid of they can keep your credit score high, just pay off), and get a cushion in the bank.

Have a back up plan to your back up plan.


Its a bit apples to oranges when you compare the military paycheck to what a civilian makes; the military member is being asked to pick up and PCS every 3/5 years, deploy when told (possibly into dangerous locations/a possibility of death), live/perform within strict standards and as you know being in the military is a lot more than what happens from 0730-1630. While a civilian can live where they want and move when they want, they have the option to stay in one place for years and years. They also typically may only have a few jobs over a 20 or more year career. Finally, besides a drug/dress code, civilians are pretty free to do what they want during their off time. Sure it would be easy to say a young SSgt is doing pretty good making $40K a year - but the military Vs civilian $40K a year salary is just not the same thing.

TJMAC77SP
09-19-2014, 03:38 AM
One major difference if a civilian employer tells me he won't continue a employment contract becasue if won't swear a religious oath he will soon be buying me a nice new house

Today's winner of the cross-thread obscure reference post..............................

Rainmaker
09-19-2014, 08:39 PM
Its a bit apples to oranges when you compare the military paycheck to what a civilian makes; the military member is being asked to pick up and PCS every 3/5 years, deploy when told (possibly into dangerous locations/a possibility of death), live/perform within strict standards and as you know being in the military is a lot more than what happens from 0730-1630. While a civilian can live where they want and move when they want, they have the option to stay in one place for years and years. They also typically may only have a few jobs over a 20 or more year career. Finally, besides a drug/dress code, civilians are pretty free to do what they want during their off time. Sure it would be easy to say a young SSgt is doing pretty good making $40K a year - but the military Vs civilian $40K a year salary is just not the same thing.

See: being ordered into an Ebola Hot zone.