Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anchors Aweigh!

Remember last week’s post on waiting?  Well, last Thursday I got a text from my recruiter saying that some jobs might be opening up and that I would know for sure on Friday or Monday.  Friday happened, I got down with some friends, but I didn’t hear anything regarding Navy jobs.  Saturday happened, Sunday happened, and while I wasn’t expecting to hear anything over the weekend, doubt still managed to creep in.

Come Monday morning all kinds of reasons as to why I shouldn’t get in or hear anything were jumping around in my head like a herd of poisonous toads.  But then shortly after noon I got the message: “Hey Cliff, you’re on the schedule to process tomorrow.  We just got the word that you’re good to go.”  I just happened to be on a call when the text came through – and no, I don’t make it a normal habit to read text messages while on phone calls, but I was a bit jittery, plus the caller at the time was looking for his bill to give me his account number.

As soon as I read the text I had to suppress a “Whoopee!”  However, what started out as an average, good-natured call on my part suddenly turned into an enthusiastic and exciting experience for my customer.

When break time rolled around shortly thereafter, I made contact with my recruiter and details were ironed out for that evening and the next day: I’d crash at the hotel again and drive over to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) the next morning and since I wouldn’t need to do anything else but process, I’d probably be done by noon.  And by process, of course I don’t mean “dealing with issues”, but rather being processed into the military.

Tuesday morning my roommate and I woke up at 4, went down for breakfast at 5, then I followed the bus to the MEPS at 5:30 and I was ready to rock and roll by 6.  All I needed to do was wait to clear up a couple issues with the security clearance folks (pay your parking tickets on time), then wait to meet with the job classifier.  I was ready to rock at 6AM.  By nine, my enthusiasm had wavered just a bit – but I was able to watch some fascinating programming on tanks, submarines and jet fighters on the Military channel in the lobby.

About 9:45 I was called back and got the security clearance issue cleared up (pay your parking tickets immediately!  It will come back to haunt you!), and was told that if the job classifier didn’t call me back by 10:30 to go get some food in the cafeteria.

10:30 rolled around – I was hungry.  I went and got some food in the cafeteria.  Now, heh, they say it’s free.  They say that staying at the hotel the night before, the breakfast and then lunch is all free.  I appreciate the idea, I do, and I like not having to fork out five or six bucks at a time or whatever it cost to stay at the hotel.  However, I pay my taxes every year.  If you want a return on that investment, join the military. ;)

But I digress…

By 11 I was back in the lobby waiting to hear from the job classifier – well, one of two classifiers.  What would happen would be I’d go back and talk with her about the available jobs and see which ones would be the best fit based on my personality inventory, job history and ASVAB score.  It was about 1:15 when I was called.

There were no options.  Well, I should say we didn’t discuss any options because the job I was hoping to get was available.  I’m going to be a journalist for the Navy.  I actually get to use my original degree in Communication (media production and such) for a career!

By 2PM I was sworn in as a sailor for the United States Navy.  I ship out for nine weeks of basic training in November followed by six months of training in my specialty.  And that’s that!  God’s been working every step of the way.  I was not expecting things to happen so quickly.  But I see the delay from last week as a chance to take care of those parking tickets (pay ‘em!) and get everything squared away before the whole process would engage.  When it’s time to move on God’s schedule, things get crackin’!

So what does that mean for the blog?  For the time being, nothing.  I’ll continue along the normal schedule.  I have ideas for stories and things to share which I’ll have posted in my absence during basic.  Of course, at that time I won’t be able to respond, but I’ll see about having someone moderate comments and such on my behalf.  Plus, a couple of folks have said they’d still be interested in writing guest posts so you’ll get to enjoy the likes of Danny from Connective Tissue, Sharon from She Worships, and more (definitely some more Grady Nutt – his talks are just a gold mine of good stories!).

And I reckon that’s all I have to say about that.  Happy Wednesday!


  1. Congratulations Cliff! This is a big deal! Thanks for being willing to serve our country.

  2. Oh, HURRAY! I'm glad everything came together for you. I laughed at the idea of you waiting all day - hurry up and wait, it's the motto of the US military and all hospitals. And while I do pick, thanks to prior personal experience, I have utmost respect for the ladies and gentlemen (ahem, that's you!) that sign up. Good luck! My step-father was in the Navy, he has such wild stories about his time in uniform.

  3. Thanks guys! I'm really excited. :) Can't wait to tell more stories from THIS experience!