Chair Force Engineer

Monday, July 24, 2006

Shit jobs really piss me off

Today I spent my birthday watching men urinate into plastic bottles. That's right--I had to monitor the random drug tests that the Air Force administers.

It's a known fact that Air Force lieutantants are routinely called upon to perform "shit jobs" that have absolutely nothing to do with your primary duties or your qualifications. Most of my days consist not of "chair force engineering," but buying office supplies, paying Blackberry bills, changing out equipment checklists, begging people to donate to the Combined Federal Campaign, or managing the facilities where I work. Things aren't that much better for other lieutentants. Even the prima-donna pilots have to be the snack-o every once-in-a-while.

In my mind, it makes absolutely zero sense that lieutantants have to do shit jobs instead of their primary duties. A rough estimate is that the Air Force has invested $80,000 in my bachelor's degree, plus thousands more in the military training that I received after commissioning. To this date, it has all gone to waste.

American taxpayers should be incensed about the way their money is being wasted. The Air Force needs less lieutenants and more entry-level, unskilled workers to get the shit jobs done. It doesn't take an aerospace engineering major to make micropurchases or run press releases around the office for signatures. It doesn't even require a high school diploma.

Why won't this tradition change? Because when the Air Force's leaders were lieutenants, they were stuck with shit jobs too. It's viewed as paying your dues, I guess. I usually believe that just because something was done in the past, it doesn't make it right. People need to have the fortitude to examine the way things are done and constantly examine better ways of doing them.