Friday, June 1, 2012

A Day Off / Being "situationally aware"

After an extended stay on the bench, one would think a " day off " would be the last thing a guy like me would look for.  Well the program I am on in the sandbox provides a "day off" once a week, unlike the DOD ones I worked before where you were locked into a 7 day a week, 12 hour a day schedule for the term of the contract.  Even though those who work on the 7 day a week schedule get R&R, working 5-6 months straight on a 84 hour a week schedule w/o a day off wears down even the strongest of workers.  So the 6 day week deal seems like a better idea.

The key thing is there isn't anywhere to go on the day off.  Unlike being at home, you can't take a ride to the beach, visit friends or even go out for a bite.  The nature of this assignment means you accept certain "limitations" along with the assignment.  No worries, as I was aware of what would be required before heading out overseas. I understand the issues presented and I am glad to be here, helping others who need it and also providing what is needed for my family.

Working overseas is not ideal but there are situations that many face today which are much much worse.  Middle aged workers out of work and/or underemployed, families facing foreclosure, people that sacrificed to provide a college education for their kids see them graduate into a rough economy and a general feeling that there is a complete lack of leadership from the present administration and those in charge on our state level.
People at home are scared of what the future holds. Many are presently still out of work in a morbid economy that has produced stagnant wage levels, no opportunity for workers who have spent their lives building a solid career with hard work, while local/state/federal employees have rewarded themselves with lifetime income & benefits on the taxpayers to the detriment of all others by rigging the system. Add to that politicians who are dedicated only to their own reelection.

Yeah, it is a depressing set of circumstances all the way around.  Sorry to be a real buzz kill.  I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell it like it is.

What can each of us do ?  Too many sit on the sidelines when it comes to voting and being aware of what is going on in your local town and state politics.  Like baseball, you can't tell the players without a score card. Be aware of what is going on.

One of the first rules of being in an area that is problematic and/or dangerous is to be " situationally aware".  To wit, understand the nature of your location and/or battlefield, where the problems can be and how you can best prepare yourself to face adversity.  The average family at home finds itself facing much adversity.  If this is so, why are so many willing to ignore the actions of those who game the system and make it tougher for families to provide for themselves and their future?  If you don't think daily life for most is a "battle", you are not willing to see the reality of things.

Getting involved, participating in local government by being aware, voting and making sure those in decision making positions know you are aware goes a long way toward changing things.  Yeah, I understand each of us already has a lot on our plates but not taking this aspect of your responsibility as a citizen seriously could be more harmful than you can imagine to your life and the lives of your kids.  How much better would things be if 90-100% of those eligible to vote would vote ?  You need to take personal action to make your situation better.  At the same time, you'll be helping others too.

The toughest part of a day off with no where to go is it gives you a lot of time to think about what is important and what is required of each of us. I'm doing my part and will keep aware even from afar.  I'd advise you to spend some time thinking about what you could do to improve your "situational awareness" on your day off.  Yeah, there are more fun things to do on a day off, but this one is kinda important.  Take it from me, we'll all be better off if you do.

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