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When Work Makes Me Crazy (A Prayer Request)

I believe that working for the United States Government to increase our national defense is an important job. Sometimes, it’s also an incredibly frustrating, exasperating, futile experience.

The farther away I get from the Soldier on the front lines, taking fire from the enemy, the more bureaucratic and self-serving the organizations in which I find myself seem to get.

Service with Wrong Motives

There are some amazing public servants out there: smart, capable people who care deeply about doing their job well for the Citizens of the United States. People who work tirelessly to improve their organizations and the effectiveness of its service. Unfortunately, they seem to be the rare few.

For the majority of the population, careerism seems to be more important than mission success, “CYA” seems more important than personal courage, and looking good seems more important than being good.

When you couple that with poor hiring practices, a lack of training, education, or development, lack of accountability to how resources are spent, and leaders who aren’t taught about organizational behavior, it makes for a bureaucratic nightmare for the rest of us trying to get anything done.

Recent Stressed

Two weeks ago, my felt powerlessness at getting basic help from my organization to hold a collaborative meeting led me to depart my unit with tears streaming down my face. Last week, seeing my higher unit completely disregard our operational needs as they built tools “for us” that don’t actually help us left me dumbfounded. No matter how many times I brought up my concerns, I was met with a proverbial raised hand as if to say, “Yeah, it sucks. Shut up and color.” Sympathy without action is just another manipulative ploy: to look good, but not be good.

I began to suffer from high anxiety. I stopped being able to stay asleep at night (a sign of high cortisol at the wrong time of day). These experiences (which were the straw that broke the camel’s back) brought back symptoms of CPTSD that I hadn’t experienced in a couple of years. I had to walk away from the office and take a break from the crazy so that I could restore my hormonal balance and my mental health. After all, nothing is worth giving up my health; especially not the military, which chews you up and spits you out as soon as you are considered “not deployable” and, therefore, a negative score on their readiness charts.

Good Boundaries are Key

Today, I have to remember that I am only responsible for trying to do my part well, but if other people are obstructing me from doing my part, that is their responsibility. I am not responsible for making people do their jobs so that I can do mine (but unfortunately, this is a common practice in the military). They are supposed to be adults and tax-payer paid public-servants; if they don’t care about doing their jobs in a way that enables other people to do their jobs, there will eventually be a fall-out of the natural consequences of those choices.

Let’s be honest, it won’t get the self-serving people fired, or even get them a bad evaluation. (In a unionized Government Civilian culture, employee protection has turned to enabling gross failures without consequences). They will still be promoted on time and be told they walk on water because our military doesn’t promote honesty or healthy conflict management.

Therefore, it may be the Soldier on the front line, taking enemy fire, or the Citizen at home, who loses their life to an act of war by a foreign nation who experience the natural consequences of the choices of their public-servants.

But I hope I am wrong.

A Request for Prayer

Will you please pray for our government, that this self-serving public-servant culture, which ultimately heaps natural consequences onto the most defenseless and undeserving, be eradicated from our Nation? Either we change our ways, or we die. Those are our only two options.

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