Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bruised Wrists and Inefficiency

Yep, I have bruised wrists and forearms right now. In class this week, since the painful OC pepperspray event, we have been learning various unarmed self-defense tactics, handcuffing procedures, weapon retention, weapon disarming, takedowns, pressure points, and strikes. Of course, in these type of classes you pair up with others and you practice on each other. Thus, I have been handcuffed, thrown on the grown, my wrists hit, etc. Of course, I've done these to others, but needless to say, shoulders, wrists, and forearms are fairly sore now. I did learn some things, so that is good.

HOWEVER, all of the classes of these type this week have been HIGHLY inefficient. The instructors weren't prepared, they were not on the same page (and this every day, not just day 1--I could give them some room day 1...), they made us (and them) take breaks every 45 minutes or so, and in general wasted a lot of time. There really wasn't one individual in charge of it all, and the first day I had endless powerpoint slides read to me. Want to get on my bad side, read me powerpoint slides. I can read quite well thank you, but what I can't do is take those way to wordy/busy slides and make them into throw downs or, you need to show me that. So don't read me slides, show me what you want me to do. Re-hash key issues while we hone our skills and learn to do it right, and if we finish early, let us go home. We have things to do, groceries to buy, dinners to cook, miles to run, and beds to sleep in, we don't need to hang around doing nothing. Needless to say, I have had to hold myself back from taking charge several times this past week! I may have "hinted" to the instructors a few times, to the side, to move things along, but I kept it mild. I will be glad to "test" tomorrow and get this part of it done.

In the efficiency vibe, there are the grocery store clerks I keep getting. They are as slow as pond water in MN in the winter. They seem to have no sense of urgency or even efficiency. Now, if I didn't personally realize how easy it is to be fast, maybe I'd be more forgiving. But, I've worked in the service industry (Chick-fil-A) and my brother and sister have worked grocery stores (Kroger and HEB respectively) and they were efficient. In fact, they took pride in being efficient. Why is it that so many people fail to take pride in what they do? Maybe myself, my friends, and my immediate family are the exceptions and that's the issue. It could be the competitive side that we all have that sometimes makes family game time a little "intense" if you will. But really, challenges drive us, pride in what we do makes us better. It's not the pride where you go around bragging about everything, but it's about making every time you do something better than the last. When I was a LT I was the company USR officer as an additional duty. I shall not bore you with the details of this mundane task, but suffice it say it required a lot of checking, double checking, i dotting, and t crossing. I then had to take it my higher HQs to turn it in and receive additional scrutiny. When I first got the duty I received little training, and turning in took forever because I had corrections, etc. Oh, and this became an all day event because I lived about an hour from where turn in was (2 different cities in Germany) the more mistakes, the longer my day. As mundane of job that this was, and as frustrating as it could be, it became my personal mission to get through turn in with NO corrections. It was like a game, and no one else was playing but me. I'm sure the HQs appreciated not having to make corrections, but in the big scheme, it reflected upon my ability, my pride in my own work, and, in my view, my ability as an officer to take a task, learn from first time mistakes, and make it better every time. That's how I work. I know expecting that from others probably isn't wise in America in this day and age, but I find that sad. Be the best at what you do, whatever it is that you do. Care, make it better, make mistakes only once, an in so doing, you will be a better person and all those you interact with will be better because of it, whether they know it or not!

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