Thursday, June 07, 2007

Career Changes


In the Navy I worked in the I & E Office. The I & E Office was the Information and Education Office.

Our office, like any other office, had an officer over it. Our squadron was a sea going squadron who furnished helicopters, pilots, and mechanics to non-aviation ships. Therefore, we had a high turnover of officer. Probably McDonald’s did not have a turnover of teenagers higher than our officer turnover.

We normally did not see much of our division officer. He would be out flying a helicopter for training. I think they had to get something like 50 hours of flight time a month in… either that or he was in the nice room that officers hung out in and drank coffee, told jokes, gossip, and whatever else officers do.

Usually our officer was someone of a low rank, usually an O-2, a.k.a. Ltjg. Most that paraded through were nice guys and joined in our nonsense play and weird sense of humor. Although, I remember one with the first name Kenny that I felt he was intimidated by us… when we talked to him and looked him in the eyes you could tell he wished he could look down and maybe we would go away. And human nature being what it is, we even picked on him a little…. Just enough to let him know who was boss.

Then along came Ltjg CW. CW was once an enlisted man. He was the first officer to come our way that was not a pilot. He was a lifer. He was smart. It was rumored that he was sent there to straighten us out - and that would have been justified - we were very loose, military speaking. He was also a good artist. But most of all, he was on to us. We couldn’t get anything by him, and worse of all because he was not a pilot he was in the office most the time. Was our playtime over?

No. We had a new play-friend.

Sex preoccupied CW’s mind most the time. He would set around and doodle. His drawings usually consisted of surreal penises and breasts – one that I remember was a lady with nothing put a kitchen apron on, which her boobs hung out the top bilb part and in one had was a garden water pale – the kind with a spout. She was watering a bunch of tulips at her feet… but wait! Looking closer, it is plain that they were not tulips at all, but penises sticking out the ground with the foreskin peeled back.

He always signed his pieces of art with CW. The C either pointed upward or downward, depending on hid mood and the W was so close to the upward or downward C the W looked like a set of testicles for the C.

C overheard my co-worker Don and I talk about some teachers we met who owned a beach house near Mammoth, New Jersey. He wanted to go with us. Which he did. He was surprised with Don introduced him as a CID agent and the teachers already KNEW Don was a Navy pilot from tales he had told them previously. I don’t remember what my role was. I think probably nothing…. I probably didn’t tell them anything and since I am invisible anyway, I got by unnoticed.

One time C invited Don and I to dinner. We went and met his wife and children. Several times his wife mentioned how hard workers we were, always working late and on weekends and insist C stay there to sign whatever needed to be signed.

Yep, we were hard workers alright.

The I & E Office was also in charge of re-enlistments. That was C’s job and his Chief Petty Officer or the First Class PO of the office to push. To make a long story short, after spending some time with us (I like to think) he decided to get out of the Navy himself.

Anna and I were freshly married when C decided to resign his commission. He and his family moved to his or his wife’s home town, Pensacola, Florida. C had a hard time finding a job but his wife got a job at a big discount department store to help support the family.

The next thing C was knocking on our door wanting a place to stay while he looked for a job in the Atlanta area. Which we welcomed him.

I remember one night he and I were hitting the night spots in Atlanta when suddenly his body demanded it had to use the bathroom NOW! We were on West Peachtree or Spring Street and there was a service station about a block away but the traffic was backed up. C got out of the car and started running to make it before he exploded. He had to run in a limping fashion to control his bodily functions – and I cracked up - the man sent to put us in line, so to speak, quit the Navy and at that moment was running up a street in Atlanta to use the bathrom. I wished I had a Super 8 movie camera.

In time C got a job of some kind, I forgot what, and he got a room in a boarding house in Buckhead, which is section of Atlanta. In the bedroom he used at the boarding house he and his roommate was separated by a small partition, just enough to give them visual privacy. One night he and his room mate were both in bed, not being able to see each other because of the partition but were able to talk. They talked about many subjects and then C pulled out a bottle of scotch and they drunk it. His roommate got more talkative and before too many minutes the guy confessed to C about being a rapist. He told him of several times he had raped women and got away without being caught.

C came up to talk to us about it. What should he do about it? He wondered. Should he report it to the authorities? It has been almost 40 years ago and I forgot the details, but I think we came up with some kind of solution.

I remember shortly after that C sent for his wife and family and they moved up.

C started a magazine. It was a magazine of want ads for jobs in the Atlanta area and it went over well.

After the magazine was a success C and his wife invited us over for dinner. They had bought a nice house and he was again in charge of his life. He looked happy.

Several years after that I applied for a part time job at the same national chain that I knew his wife worked at. What I didn’t know was she was now in the cooperate offices and was head of the region’s human resources.

The lady who hired directly hired me told me Mrs. W knew me and she knew I was well qualified and she said she was to offer me the maximum amount for that position and she said it took her years to reach that rate of pay.

I lasted two weeks and quit. I was not good trying to be a husband, daddy, and hold down two jobs. I had no time to play. Play is good for the soul – right?

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2 Comments:

Blogger MichaelBains said...

Several times his wife mentioned how hard workers we were, always working late and on weekends and insist C stay there to sign whatever needed to be signed.

Yep, we were hard workers alright.


That bit had me busted up laugin', Ed!

Great piece of memoir. I really enjoyed reading this one.

7:44 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Michael,
Thanks!
I often wondered if she ever caught up with C and his clever sneaky ways.

9:50 AM  

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