Friday, August 15, 2008

Ah, you worry too much: Going to the principal’s office

It seems that I have more readers of Musings than I thought.

Part of the blogging is my way of venting, my way of processing. Journaling, some people might call it. Certainly, my brain was swimming with the call earlier this week. And I needed to process it, and one method is blogging (I said that, right?). Anyway, I was going to write on the CGBlog blog, but on thinking about it, I realized that really wasn’t the right venue. I thought, “Oh, okay, I’ll put it on Musings; I don’t have too many regular readers here and it will not distract the other content.”

Well, I might not have too many readers, but I have some senior Coast Guard officers regularly reading not only that blog but here, also.

Including, as I now understand, a certain vice admiral.

So the message which then sped down the chain of command, delivered in person here in New London by my boss, was “The vice admiral doesn’t want you on pins and needles over the weekend.”

Normal human response on my part: I guess I’m a worry wort. Of course.

Here’s what seems to have happened. On Tuesday, I was at a planning meeting as a back row participant. The vice admiral came over in the morning to provide a senior leader welcome and vision and direction for the work group’s work. It was, I thought, on target and appropriate.

Tuesday morning, I was on the train headed north, and the vice admiral returned to the work group to say a few additional words. He noticed I wasn’t there.

Later, he also remembered that I missed the vice admiral’s all hands meeting on his first day of being onboard. I wasn’t there as the impending arrival of Henry “Chewbacca” Stinson was more important, at least in my mind, and we were turning and burning in preparation of his arrival.

Now, I ought to say that the vice admiral and I have never met in person. I’ve seen him, and he’s seen me, in group settings, but we’ve never talked in person. He did call and chat with me by phone to congratulate my wife and I on Henry’s arrival. (Funny story: When he called, I was “indisposed,” and Elliot, who’s all of 4, answered the phone. I could hear Elliot. “Hello… Daddy? He’s on the potty.”) How he realized I wasn’t at the all hands, with more than 150 staff members in attendance, I don’t know. Picture on the web, I guess, and he knows what I look like. And I guess I stand out…

Anyway, I wasn’t there, and he evidently realized that I’d missed two messages from him that he, as the senior leader and visionary for the area, wanted me, as a member of the staff, to hear.

So, he wanted to meet with me. And thus was the initial phone call.

And then he realized that if I missed the all hands, other staff members likely did too. And, setting the vision is important, so now a group of us are meeting on Tuesday to meet with the vice admiral to learn about his vision so we can align to it.

No keel hauling. No ass chewing. No caning.

I’m slightly disappointed. ;-)

Meanwhile, I think it’s time to think about the fact that people actually read this stuff. Perhaps I need an anonymous blog for journaling.

(P.S. Jim, thanks for the offer of the phonebooks... guess I don't need them... yet...)

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