A Tender Tale

Chapter 5:

Potholes and other hidden "surprises."

Ever have an experience where:
You feel like every time you take a step foreward -
Something knocks you back two?

"Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun,
And the first one said to the second one there,
I hope you're having fun."
....Paul McCartney

With "the" supply fixed several people had gotten backto their routine tasks - Don Morris testing Multi-Speed RepeaterGear trains. That was his niche. No one - I mean NO ONE coulddo them as fast and consistently accurate as he could.Would have driven me nuts. But that was his thing -- andhe was the best. After we grabbed a cola - and checked the mailbox - we were getting ready to go on up to Anderson - when someonerealized I hadn't been there all day. "Hey - you haven'theard - have ya?" "Guess not - what?" "You'reon the list!" "What list?" "THE list man-you made it!" One of the other guys chimed in: "Well,probably - you're on the selectee list - but you're real highup - so you probably will get rated." They were right. ApparentlyI hadn't done just "OK" on that exam - I'd blitzed it!
Sure enough July 16, 1974 I received my appointment to ElectronicsTechnician First Class. E6. PAY RAISE! My thoughts drifted backto that morning in the chief's "office." In reality- and in hind sight - I shouldn't have been rated. I was too young.Still didn't have the mouth under control. And now that I AM asenior Petty Officer of the Fleet (WOW!) - a much higher standardof conduct would be expected. But for the moment - I had accomplishedthat "not easy" task. I had stood up to a real challenge- and met it. And I AM a senior Petty Officer.


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