There’s a great compilation of quotes from reality TV shows on YouTube:
Luckily, Advanced Leaders Course, or ALC (nee BNCOC) isn’t really like that – it’s not a competition, for one thing, and for another, most people in the Army aren’t quite so vapid. In fact, in schools like this, where nobody seems to know what’s going on and everyone is apprehensive about upcoming events, the opposite effect occurs. Like a bunch of ungulates, we quickly form herds, so that we can have as many eyes facing outward as possible to see threats while we chew our cud good Army chow.
Despite the fact that I’ve been here for five days, nothing has really happened yet. My master plan of arriving early (Wednesday evening instead of Thursday) backfired spectacularly, since the night staff duty NCO couldn’t give me a room in the barracks after hours. I had to go off-post and stay in a hotel, only to return the next day at 0700 (as directed). This also proved to be a red herring – nobody was ready to receive us then either (by now, there was one other early arrival, who I’ll call Vic Viper), so I had a whole day to kill. That was fine, really, since I had to unpack, clean my room (which was filthy), and purchase various equipment from the item store, as befits the beginning of any quest. Items included toilet paper, garbage bags, laundry soap, and internet service (no free internet for the Signal Corps!).
Friday was the usual inprocessing jive, beginning at 0530 with the classic company first sergeant comedy routine, which consisted of funny anecdotes about past classes as examples of what not to do, as well as a lot of defensive talk about how we shouldn’t criticize how things are run here, because none of us come from perfect organizations either, so shut your mouth. I guess since no other organization is perfect, we can’t strive to improve this one, either. Obviously he gets a lot of complaints about various things. The rest of the day was spent waiting for various briefings to start (there seems to be a problem with scheduling around here), as well as sussing out the other class members. Everyone in the class is active duty except me, which means that I might as well be from the British Army, so different are our organizational cultures and experiences. As the sole National Guard representative, I spent most of the time shedding light on the mysterious world of the Guard and my Clark Kent-like dual life as a military technician.
The day ended with a view of the fate that awaited us: another class was sweeping the leaves out of the parking lot and raking the grass. We walked by, looking at them, and they looked back with a mixture of hatred (why aren’t you doing this too?) and despair (please save us!).
Saturday was mandatory fun – another class was having a fundraiser and a cadre-vs-class flag football game, so we were forced to attend. We did our minimum time, then “popped smoke,” as they say.
Cisco training starts today, and presumably, our tenure as janitors.