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a summary of my interactions with the army, to date

[15 April]
From: coriolinus
To: generic internet recruiter
Msg: I want to fly helicopters. Here are some details about me. Am I eligible?

[18 April]
From: generic internet recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: Tentatively, yes. Here is the contact information of the local recruiter who will sign you up for testing.

From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: I have some questions for you. Beyond that, to fly helicopters, you will need to take four tests: the ASVAB (basic intelligence), the AFAST (flight aptitude), the physical, and the super-duper flight physical. After all that, you’ll need to pass a review board. You can take the first test, the ASVAB, on the 4th Tuesday of any month. The fact that you had laser surgery may cause problems.

From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: Here are the answers. I will come to take the ASVAB next Tuesday, the 25th.

[21 April]
From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: Here are directions to the testing center. You have to be there by 0730.

[22 April]
From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: I just got word that my boss died, and his funeral conflicts with the ASVAB. I will need to reschedule.

[25 April]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: You didn’t show up for your test. What gives?
coriolinus: As I said earlier, I had to attend a funeral this morning.
local recruiter: Well, I haven’t been checking my messages recently because my wife is due to give birth soon. You know, the army could fly you to guam to get all your testing done at once if that’s fine by you.
coriolinus: Guam would be awesome. Coincidentally, next week is Golden Week, a Japanese holiday, and I have all week off.
local recruiter: I’ll get working on that.

[27 April]
From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: What’s the status of guam?

From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: Still working on guam. The best way to contact me is by phone; email is too vague. I’ll let you know tomorrow, unless my wife gives birth overnight, in which case I immediately go on two weeks’ leave.

[3 May]
From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: I guess your wife gave birth. Congratulations. Here is a long list of specific questions; I don’t expect anything until you get off leave, but this is a heads-up of what I will ask.

[17 May]
(phone conversation)
coriolinus: Congratulations again. Did you have the answers to my questions?
local recruiter: yes, here they are. Also, you should be able to take the ASVAB on 23 May.

[23 May]
From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: I travelled to the testing center today. It took three hours, but I made it on time. On arrival, I discovered two very interesting facts. 1) They say they have not received any of the paperwork necessary for me to take the ASVAB from you. 2) The ASVAB is on the last tuesday of the month, not the fourth tuesday. Given that it costs me about $60 for each trip to and from the center, I’d appreciate you not screwing up again.

From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: It wasn’t my fault they told me the fourth Tuesday and I did fax your forms to them I will get a hold of them.

[30 May]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: I went to take the ASVAB today. It turns out that they still don’t have the necessary forms from you. The testing officer couldn’t get in touch with you, but she did manage to get ahold of an Air Force recruiter who sent in the necessary forms for me. It took five minutes. Why didn’t you send them? Either way, I now have the ASVAB on my record, but it’s filed as an Air Force recruitment record. When you find out my scores, I’d be interested to know them.

[7 June]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? When can I take the next test?

[9 June]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? When can I take the next test?

[14 June]
From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: It’s been two weeks since I took the ASVAB. I have had no contact from you. Questions: do you have my ASVAB scores? If not, when do you expect them? Also, when can I take the AFAST?

From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: I am checking in on you because I haven’t heard from you since last week in your message. My replacement is here now and I have been in and out all week. I will get your ASVAB scores from Hawaii. I will try to call later today.

[19 June]
From: local recruiter
To: coriolinus
Msg: The next AFAST is 14 July at 0800. Let me know if you can make that. It would be faster for you to do your processing in the US, you know, given that you’re heading back anyway.

From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: I will be sure to be at the AFAST. Do you have contact information for your counterpart nearest my US home?

[6 July]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? I would also like to confirm that I will be taking the AFAST next week.

[7 July]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? I would also like to confirm that I will be taking the AFAST next week.

From: coriolinus
To: local recruiter
Msg: I haven’t been able to reach you by phone. Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? I would also like confirmation that I’m scheduled to take the AFAST one week from today.

[11 July]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? I would also like to confirm that I will be taking the AFAST this Friday.

[13 July]
(phone conversation)
local recruiter: I’m not in right now, please leave a message after the beep.
coriolinus: Do you have my ASVAB scores yet? If not, when will you get them? If so, how did I do? I would also like to confirm that I will be taking the AFAST tomorrow.

[14 July]
To: local recruiter
From: coriolinus
Msg: Three times I have made the three hour trip to the testing center. Three times, I have been told that they have none of the paperwork from you that it is your job to fill out. RAGE!


I have been dealing with this recruiter for just under three months. In that time, he has gone from a helpful but somewhat hard to reach person to a poltergeist determined above all to ensure that I accomplish as little of the recruitment process as possible while in Japan. I can’t help but feel like, were someone competent in his place, I could have accomplished all of the necessary testing before leaving the country, instead of only the very first of four tests.

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4 Comments

Comment by anonymous
2006-07-14 17:22:24

*chuckle*

Sounds about right, from what I remember of my (very) brief conversation with the Army recruiters. :p

 
Comment by walligowdy
2006-07-14 19:35:21

Awesome. The obvious answer is to jump out of a plane. Replace frustration with risky expensive fun!

 
Comment by coriolinus
2006-07-15 07:49:43

Well, yeah. As you point out, it’s obvious.

 
Comment by para_cynic
2006-07-15 08:57:08

Dude.

Turn on CNN.

Watch for an hour.

Change your phone number to one the recruiter doesn’t have, tear up his number, and go to a commercial flight shcool.

And that’s advice from a Marine.

 

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