On Duty

April 15, 2010 at 1:12 PM Leave a comment

We have been really lucky as a military couple. John has been around most of the time and he’s held assignments that don’t involve a lot of extra shifts – until recently. The office in which he works is a demanding and often fast-paced environment, which requires all of its staff be present during work hours. John’s previous supervisor saw to it that his staff did not get called up for staff or CQ duty, but this supervisor’s replacement has not (yet) seen the need to keep the staff off the roster.

I realize that I just used two terms that most people aren’t familiar with: staff duty and CQ. For John, staff duty means he works a 24 hour shift (845 AM – 8:45 AM) and checks people out on leave, and when he’s “lucky,” he also checks people into the dining facility for breakfast and lunch. CQ is the equivalent of babysitting a bunch of soldiers. It’s also a 24 hour shift, during which he is required to ensure there isn’t any “funny business” going on in the barracks (along with a few other things). If these duty days end on a day when there’s work, then the soldier is granted a recovery day, so he/she doesn’t have to go to their normal work for the day. That said, that means John’s office misses out on 2 days of support every time one of their soldier has a shift during the week.

So…staff duty and CQ. Are we clear? Good.

On Saturday, John had CQ. It wasn’t so bad because he and the other soldier assigned traded off after half the day. John had the daytime and the other soldier took the overnight. During the day, I got a lot done, which was great since we’re getting ready to go out of town. I did laundry (and folded), the dishes, baked lemon bread (yum!), brought John lunch and dinner, got my watch battery replaced, got the groceries, took Beni on a walk, pulled some weeds and started (and completed) a sewing project.

Yesterday, John had staff duty. It wasn’t so bueno. In addition to dealing with folks who have nothing better to do with their time and energy than to belittle and berate, he was there all except 4 hours of his shift. When he got off at 8:45, he had to head in to his normal job because they needed some help. I talked to him around 11, and he was finally heading home. He had just passed his 29th hour of being awake (minus a 2-hour nap) and 27th hour of work. I’m so glad this is only temporary.


Entry filed under: Our Goings On. Tags: , , , .

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