It’s Gotta Be The Sand


While my weird hours leave me almost no time for Husband, they do make it much more convenient for me to chat with Offspring; I’m not staying up for him anymore, if anything he’s staying up for me.


Which means I’ve got more info on the life of PFC Squdgee Booboo than I do on your favorite engineer.


And I’m sure you won’t be surprised which one is currently experiencing overwhelming job dissatisfaction.

army meme: Jumps out of a perfectly good aircraft with a parachute packed by a 19 year old; forced to wear a reflective belt while raking dirt. (pair of soldiers raking dirt in hi-vis safety belts)



PHONE:  (blares Offspring’s ringtone)
ME:  Hey!
OFFSPRING:  Hey.  How goes.
ME:  We’re fine.  You?
OFFSPRING:  This is some bullshit.
A. HAM: (enters, hops up)
OFFSPRING:  People all day bitching about how their email is running slow.  First off, I’M NOT THE GODDAMNED HELP DESK.  We have a dedicated number for your bullshit problems.  Second, have you noticed we’re in the middle of a fucking desert?
ME:  “Oh, your internet is slow?  Go look out that window.”
OFFSPRING:  “See all that that gritty stuff?  We call it saaaaaand.  See those big mountainy looking things?”
ME:  “Note the lack of what we’d call infrastructure, civilization, or anything that doesn’t explode.”
OFFSPRING:  And these bitches are whining because they can’t watch YouTube videos.
A. HAM: (purrs into phone, licking it)
ME:  (giggling)  He comes running when he hears your ringtone now.
OFFSPRING:  He really is the best cat.
ME:  Right?  Wait… you really can’t watch YouTube?
OFFSPRING:  Well… I can.
ME:  Oh, good.

meme features baby monkey sucking his thumb and the words, Every day at work I worry that I'm going to scream "shut the fuck up" out loud instead of in my head.


On nights I’m haunting, I usually call him as I’m driving home.  This helps keep me awake while allowing me to wind down and connect with my son by hearing about his shitty, shitty job.


This might sound like a bit of a downer, but it’s hard to feel too bad for him when the things he’s bitching about are either things we all deal with, every day, our whole lives…



OFFSPRING:  How do they not understand?  I’m the network guy—I keep the network up.  If they can’t log into their email or their program is running weird… all of that is support desk shit.  NOT ME!
ME:  Okay, so here’s a thing you need to understand—and this is a sad universal fact, so internalize it now.  To people who know very little about computers, all Computer Stuff is done by Computer People.
OFFSPRING:  Right, but you still need the right
ME:  No.  All Computer Stuff is done by Computer People.  People who sit at computers.  (mocks)  It’s all just typing.
OFFSPRING:  You say that like it’s a joke, but I’ve literally heard—
ME:  And you will again.  I’ve heard it too.
OFFSPRING:  You… don’t even have a tech job.
ME:  Nope.
OFFSPRING:  You—I don’t think, anyway—never really have.
ME:  Nope!
OFFSPRING:  So… how—
ME:  If you sit at a desk in front of a computer and work around anyone who knows very little about them, you will eventually hear this.  Data entry, accounting, receptionist, programmer, IT, tech writer… it’s all the same to them.
ME:  So, next time they’re asking you to do the impossible—
OFFSPRING:  Like increase their bandwidth—
ME:  There ya go.  Just know that they’re assuming you can literally open a Word document and do that.
OFFSPRING:  … I’m going to go stand in front of a rocket now.
ME:  Love you!



Or, even better, are just so ridiculous I almost don’t make a note of them because there’s no way you’ll ever believe me.


Seriously, if nothing else I need current and former military readers to back me up here: the following actually occurred and, stupid as it sounds, isn’t even all that surprising.



OFFSPRING:  And then the Major calls up.  And he’s got his panties in a bunch.
ME:  I’m telling you, it’s all the sand.
OFFSPRING:  And I had to explain to him that we’d get right on his problem as soon as we sorted the thing for the Colonel, but—because this is Afghanistan and these are the rules—the Colonel’s bullshit issue comes before his bullshit issue.
ME:  Meanwhile they’re all bullshit issues.
OFFSPRING:  And he says, “Well I don’t know who this Colonel guy is, but I’m pretty sure I outrank him!
ME:  (blinks audibly)
ME:  I…
ME:  That…
ME:  No.
ME:  You’re making that up.
ME:  He actually said the words
OFFSPRING:  I don’t know who this Colonel guy is—
ME:  A Colonel!
OFFSPRING:  —But I’m pretty sure I outrank him.
ME:  That… how…
OFFSPRING:  Army strong, not Air Force smart.
ME:  Please come home.
OFFSPRING:  I’m trying!
ME:  Just… come home.  You’re not safe out there with those idiots.
OFFSPRING:  (sighs)  Mother…
ME:  I’m legit worried.
OFFSPRING:  It’s okay.  What’s he gonna do?  He still doesn’t have internet.

desiccated corpse sitting in front of computer; text reads, "NetOps will surely deliver. I just need to be patient..."



14 comments on “It’s Gotta Be The Sand

  1. faillingson says:

    And you wonder why we have a separate camp from those guys. The man didn’t know what he was asking for or even what his own goddamn position was.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Allison says:

      Oh I feel you. I’m in IT (programmer) and I get All The IT Questions. “My email won’t let me in, can you fix it?” Nope, probably not. I can write you a new email front end, but I can’t do shit about Outlook. Would you ask an obstetrician to do your heart surgery? No? Then quit bugging me.

      I can get away with being snarky though since no one outranks me. Although if the Major doesn’t know what a Colonel is, maybe you can convince him that Privates who are in IT outrank him? 😉 Good luck and be safe!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • It might’ve helped if he’d been able to google any of those things…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack Herlocker says:

    You nailed it about the average person’s view of how computers work, Chase. My wife (whom I love dearly, but is NOT a techy) is the “computer expert” in her office because she can do things like, “Remember that thing we did that fixed this problem last time? And the time before that? Why don’t we try that now FIRST this time?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • And when you fix it by googling the problem and then doing the thing? Like you’re an actual wizard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jack Herlocker says:

        {*groan*} Ah, yes, the Google. Someone (a friend of my wife, let’s say) asks a question about computers. No, not even computers, how to do something on a phone. I reply, “I don’t know, have you tried Googling the question?” This gets me a nasty look from my wife, who thinks I’m being sarcastic. [No! Okay, a little. Alright, mostly.] My wife says I can look into it. [Giving the friend a chance to say, “No no! I can do it!” Which, of course, they don’t.] So later I Google the question, copy the link to the top answer, and email it to the friend, with a cc to my wife. [See honey! I followed up! Do I get a cookie?] My wife remarks that, “I don’t think they can figure that out; it’s pretty technical.” [Bad husband. No cookie.] Silence from the friend. Fine. I copy the article, delete all the “confusing” parts, add some clarification, save it as a PDF, email it to the friend. A day later, get a reply back: “Thanks, [daughter-in-law] figured it out and got it fixed for me.” [And still — no cookie.]

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Rivergirl says:

    Definitely the sand. I know how cranky I can get if I come home from a day at the beach with it in my bathing suit…. can’t imagine living in an Afghan desert. And no YouTube? Oh, the horror.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. emmaclaire says:

    I”m sure Lt. Buddy gets roped into that kind of nonsense with his AF crew as well, just with more golf…

    Hang in there PFC Squdgee Booboo! Keeping the world safe for YouTube watchers everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arionis says:

    Being a Navy veteran I can most definitely attest to the sorry state of “military intelligence”.

    Liked by 1 person

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