I have been with this organization for way, way too long.
I'm wandering the EXPO floor, my omni-present black knapsack over my right shoulder and a plate piled high with rolled chicken quesadelas, when this guy comes up to me and exclaims, "Peter Stinson!"
Huh, think I.
Turns out we served together in 1990 at Station Plum Island; 1990 was quite a year; that's the last SAR season the Coast Guard had a presence on Plum Island, a small island just off the tip of the Door County peninsula. Now he, Justin Russell, is the Director of Port Security for Anteon Corporation, a beltway bandit. Appears he's doing well for himself.
Also today I spoke with Guy Goodwin, retired Coast Guard Captain who remembers me from the late 1980's when he was the Group Commander at Group Milwaukee and I was at Plum Island. I will not blog here about why he remembers me; let's just say that I was a second class petty officer who made an impact for the Group. Often, too often, too much of an impact.
I've seen a slew of other folks I haven't seen in a while: former clients from my work as a Performance Consultant with the Maintenance & Logistics Command; flag officers I've worked with; the former weapons officer from my short tour in Port Security Unit 305; former co-workers and colleagues; current clients; a shipmate from the Atlantic Area command center.
Like I said, "Old home week."
In conjunction with the EXPO, we Performance Consultants are meeting. For the first time ever, I have the sense that our conversations have shifted. For years, we always talked about the same issues and presented the same points. This go-round, I sense there's something different. It's like international diplomatic negotiations: rounds and rounds of saying the same thing and then suddenly a new word, a subtle difference in the message, and there's a sense of progress. I sense progress, however slight. Of note, a couple of things I've preached are now being preached by others, and they are presenting the ideas as if the ideas are their own. That's okay; at least we're not having the same conversation we've had for the last eight years.