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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/ltlttmfrunkle-after-posting-to-the-wrong-14623949.aspx

Subject:  Re: Annoying Clients Date:  3/25/2001  9:49 AM
Author:  TMFRunkle Number:  7183 of 37588

<<TMFRunkle, ( after posting to the wrong board) - Personally, I could never call someone I do business with on weekends, much less at 7:30 AM or
10:00 PM. Sheesh! >>

Then you should never join the military!

I knew I'd get a response like that. When I'm pulling active duty with the Reserves, I expect inconveniences. I also expect being called late at night and so on, which happened to me when I was in the Guard and was activated for state active duty. Service in the military involves just that - service for a higher purpose.

My own civilian business is to provide services for people too - but lives, democracy, and freedom don't depend on my engineering firm. Unless it's an emergency (a building falling down, or something has to be done quickly or a sale won't go through), there's no reason for my clients to call me at odd hours. As I said in the previous message, I posted this by mistake here instead of the Self-Employed Fools board.

There is a HUGE difference between the level of service that has to be provided to the military and to a civilian occupation (with exception of ones like firefighter/police/doctor, where lives depend on you). It amazes me how much people don't understand that. In 1996, my Air National Guard unit was flying refueling missions for Bosnia. They were getting less than 24 hours notice for each mission, and it was snowing all through that winter. I had to keep a crew on alert to plow snow off our ramp and taxiways all winter. I was in on Christmas Eve plowing snow. I actually had friends say "how can they make you do that?" Well, it's not the same as a civilian business. If we didn't plow snow, the missions would get scrubbed, and if another tanker unit couldn't be available, the flight carrying troops would be canceled. A whole series of problems would happen.

I'm sure I've ranted a number of times here about people who duck exercises, operations, and deployments. I've had people count up their hours they worked on active duty and try to demand "comp time". One captain I knew claimed he was owed 45 days of "compensation time" for all the extra hours he supposedly worked overtime. He was forced to resign by the way - he did some pretty unethical stuff, so there was a deeper problem with him. A level of dedication is required to the military that you just don't get compensated for financially.

Now, in a civilian business I don't need to come in on late Christmas Eve to provide a design for a client. However, there are ones that have no lives that will try to insist on it. I had a boss in Texaco that called me one Christmas Eve and wanted me to contact every contractor and tell them to submit to us invoices for all work owed them that day. It would mean they would all be working late instead of being with their families, and I'd have to work late too. I ignored him and didn't do it. On Christmas while driving home from my in-laws I passed by our office. Guess who was at work - my boss! For what? Nothing depended on us getting work done, he was just being stupid. A couple years later the company forced him to retire, so that's what it got him. Generally, businesses in civilian life function to provide a service or product for a profit. That has to be remembered when you are scheduling your own work, or dealing with others.

Anyway, I hope I've made my point. The military is not the same as civilian life. Unfortunately, I've seen people put dedication in the wrong order.

George
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