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Thread: Is the Chief position respectable?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Reading this I kind of wonder exactly what we expect a Chief to be these days. When I worked Finance customer service I knew every Chief on base. Most of them probably kept my name and number in the rollodex on their desk. It always amazed me how often I would get a call from a Chief about the most mundane issue that even a SrA could handle. Most of the times these Chiefs were approached by an Amn who completely skipped the chain of command. The Chief of course wearing the almighty chevron wielded his amazing power to pick up the phone and call me. You know what I would tell him? The exact same thing I told the Amn and would have told the Amn's supervisor (if they had called). Chiefs don't have any special ability to handle things. Most of the time they have simply just been around long enough to get to know a few people. It is true Cheifs command some extra respect but when dealing with simple issues it is not really necessary.

    Based on my perspective the difference between Chief and E-9 seems to be whether that person is willing and able to get you what you want. While most Chiefs could probably call up AFPC and get you an assignment the question is should they be doing this? In my opinion the Cheif's position is to advise on Enlisted issues within the unit. Someone who is handling minor pay issues that a supervisor should take care of really isn't a Chief. They might win some cool points but they just stole an opportunity for a supervisor to learn how to handle issues and also earn some trust from their subordinate.

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    I ran across the McChord command chief and I had little respect for him. This was 08ish.

    My group Chief sucked at Ft Lewis he was spinless and talked out of both sides of his mouth.

    I had a good one at first while at Nellis then he left and we got a douche. More concerned with how we looked in the range than actually how we did our jobs. How many students we graduated, how many sorties we used to get the students graduated. Douche bag. That's all.

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Although there has got to be something built in for different situations, I have always had better luck with SMSgts than CMSgts (tactically). I suppose at my level I haven't dealt with many or very often, but really, not all that impressed.

    Most impressed by CMSgt Klukas. Guy is awesome.
    “To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.” - Unknown

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    SRG: I rarely contacted a base agency unless it was clear that there was an error or an emergency situation that the Airmen failed to relate to that agency. In fact, I can only recall maybe five times in 6 years...But, I always took the the time to explain the situation to the Airman, NCO, or SNCO so they had an understanding of the bigger picture. It is easy to blame finance, MPF, etc. for an error when usually it was due to the member himself.
    Like I've said before, I did my own DTS, cleaned my own office, answered my own phone, managed my own calendar, etc. When offered "priority" service I declined and took my seat in the waiting room (usually Regis and Kelly was on anyway). I declined "Flight Medicine" for "Family Practice", the only "perk" I regularly used (and still do) is the Chief parking slot at the BX, Commissary, and club.
    Regarding pay, I felt very well compensated for my position. Yep, counting it all $100K and when I went to E-Tap (executive TAP) we computed our compensation to be around $125K. Not too shabby for a guy with 2 AS degrees. And at the end of most days and definitely at the end of my career I can honestly say that I did my best.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    It always amazed me how often I would get a call from a Chief about the most mundane issue that even a SrA could handle.
    Agreed. This is not rocket surgery. Every issue that I've engaged on, was an issue that a SrA could handle....... but didn't. It makes me crazy that one of my teammates could deal with a pay issue for MONTHS before I take a walk with them over to Finance and get the issue resolved that day.

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Quote Originally Posted by DWWSWWD View Post
    Agreed. This is not rocket surgery. Every issue that I've engaged on, was an issue that a SrA could handle....... but didn't. It makes me crazy that one of my teammates could deal with a pay issue for MONTHS before I take a walk with them over to Finance and get the issue resolved that day.
    Not arguing, just making an observation. How often have customer "service" organizations acted like a group of insolent, vindictive little brats towards just about anyone? I've had my fair share of dealings with Finance and MPF; you run into a TSgt Shaqueesha or SSgt Jones who decides that they are just going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.

    There's a social psychology term for this and I'm too lazy to Google and edit my post later; basically, it deals with people who have a tiny but essential amount of authority or power & abuse it simply because they know that society despises them; this is their "One-up" on everyone else. Think parking wardens, town council officers, your hall monitors in school, etc. In the UK, they call them "jobsworths".

    I've run into many "jobsworths" in MPF and Finance. Yes, they could take care of your minor issue then & there, but that's not good enough for them. They play a bullshit power game or they are absolutely inept at their job but do not want to admit as much. CES is no stranger to this; there are plenty of technicians who will purposefully make the customer suffer for no reason whatsoever other than to say, "Mine is bigger than yours."

    Sometimes, maybe a member feels only a Chief can remedy this. Sometimes, this is true.

    Most often, it's simply a case of the member losing too much period blood as they uselessly flail about in the AF world while their immediate supervisors are too busy playing "Pass the buck".

    Just a thought.

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Chiefs are people, some are good and some are bad. Some Chiefs are charismatic and great to be around, others are socially awkward and make you want to run from the room.

    Some Chiefs were obnoxious at TOP-3 meetings when they were Senior Master Sergeants, others weren't.

    Chevrons aren't magical, they are just a piece of cloth on your sleeve. Of course there are idiot Chiefs; however, there are good ones too.
    Quote Originally Posted by 45ACP View Post
    It's a crap shoot in today’s Air Force. I have seen good and bad ones. To me 80% are Chiefs and 20% are E-9s. One toxic E-9 can ruin the squadron like a fast spreading cancer. I have noticed in my 17 yrs in, for some reason it seems like the ones with flat tops and mustaches are POS, narcissistic, low IQ, vindictive douche bags.
    This! This is my squadron E-9 right now. The dude gets mad at me at the Top 3 meetings when I make logical points that he knows he can only counter with "because I'm a Chief and I said so!" And every time I see the Group one all I can think of is the battle droids from Star Wars, "Roger, roger." I.E. No original thought or honest discourse. Just regurgitated rhetoric. Oh and I've had the distinct... um... experience... yeah that's good word for it... of encountering the one and only Blutarski before the SWA e-mails.

    I know there's good ones out there. But the bad apples have been spoiling the lot of them and it's a shame.
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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Chiefs are nothing more now than another 1st Sgt, involved with every personnel issue. I can't count how many times in my last 5-10 years that either my troops or I were called to see the Chief about stuff that should have been handled by the Shirt. Oh, and they are also too busy "mentoring" to actually do their job, which is to take care of the enlisted.

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Chiefs are nothing more now than another 1st Sgt, involved with every personnel issue. I can't count how many times in my last 5-10 years that either my troops or I were called to see the Chief about stuff that should have been handled by the Shirt. Oh, and they are also too busy "mentoring" to actually do their job, which is to take care of the enlisted.
    By "mentoring", do you mean golf, Top III steak burns, and golf?

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    Re: Is the Chief position respectable?

    Quote Originally Posted by BOSS302 View Post
    Not arguing, just making an observation. How often have customer "service" organizations acted like a group of insolent, vindictive little brats towards just about anyone? I've had my fair share of dealings with Finance and MPF; you run into a TSgt Shaqueesha or SSgt Jones who decides that they are just going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.

    There's a social psychology term for this and I'm too lazy to Google and edit my post later; basically, it deals with people who have a tiny but essential amount of authority or power & abuse it simply because they know that society despises them; this is their "One-up" on everyone else. Think parking wardens, town council officers, your hall monitors in school, etc. In the UK, they call them "jobsworths".

    I've run into many "jobsworths" in MPF and Finance. Yes, they could take care of your minor issue then & there, but that's not good enough for them. They play a bullshit power game or they are absolutely inept at their job but do not want to admit as much. CES is no stranger to this; there are plenty of technicians who will purposefully make the customer suffer for no reason whatsoever other than to say, "Mine is bigger than yours."

    Sometimes, maybe a member feels only a Chief can remedy this. Sometimes, this is true.

    Most often, it's simply a case of the member losing too much period blood as they uselessly flail about in the AF world while their immediate supervisors are too busy playing "Pass the buck".

    Just a thought.
    Honestly, I have seen the attitude you speak of from both the inside and outside. At times I have even been that person who was too busy with other things to drop everything and handle your issue. If I am being honest that attitude was the result of other people expecting me to drop everything to help them with the smallest of issues. Let me give you an actual example from one day when I was working the customer service counter. I was at a base with a heavy volume of travel vouchers. In an average week we processed between 700-1000 different vouchers. We usually turned them around pretty fast so you coudl expect to get paid in about 5-7 days. I would say that 90% of our walk in customers were checking on the status of their voucher because it had been longer than 7 days. Usually when I worked at the counter I would bring some vouchers with me to process when no customers were in the lobby. So on this particular day I was processing away at vouchers and was right in the middle of a semi complex voucher. A customer walks in and signs in. I call him up hoping that he has some other question besides travel so I do not have to close out my complex voucher so I can check on his voucher.

    Me: What can I help you with
    Customer: I wanted to see when my voucher will pay out
    Me *sigh* Hang on one second I need to save this voucher and close it before I can check yours.
    Customer: No Problem
    Me: (after closing voucher and marking my place so I can come back to it) What is your SSN?
    Customer: xxx-xx-xxxx
    Me: (after searching) It appears your voucher has not been entered yet. When did you turn it in?
    Customer: Oh, I turned it in yesterday
    Me: Let me go check and make sure it was recieved and everything is ok. (at this point I walk to the back, dig through the stack, find his voucher, and check over everything)
    Me: It looks like everything is ok with your voucher. Is there a reason you are checking on it the day after dropping it off? Is your Travel card late or something?
    Customer: No, my card is fine. I just want to get my per diem money. I am planning to use that money to pay for my daughter's braces
    Me: *facepalm*

    Basically, In this story the customer interuppted me from processing someone else's voucher and wasted about 10 minutes of my time so that I could tell him the voucher he dropped off yesterday will be processed as soon as we have time. The ironic thing is he is now delaying the process for everyone including himself by wasting my time. Customers like this start to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. After you have dealt with a few hundred of them you start to get a little dimissive of the customers who actually do have an issue.

    The other day on Facebook I saw a post from a friend of mine who is an ER nurse. It was basically saying there is a reason why you can go to the "emergency" room and still end up waiting 3 hours to get seen. The point she was making is that some nurses intentionally make you wait hoping you will realize that you do not in fact have an emergency. I think either consciously or subconsciously some customer service units are doing the same thing. If they make it incredibly painful to deal with them you are much less likely to bother them unless you have a true "emergency"

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