Oh boy. Here’s how my week has gone so far.
I tried to go to bed early on Sunday night so I’d be bright tailed and bushy eyed for my first day at work. Instead I was treated to the incessant rat-a-tat-tat of a jack hammer coming from the street construction nineteen floors beneath me. The worked stopped (or I fell asleep) at around 2:00 a.m.
My otherwise worthless phone did manage to wake me at the appointed time. The crappy phone is dumber than my old flip phone. Wireless won’t open and the data network moves at such an excruciatingly slow pace as to render it unusable. Second time I’ve had this problem. Jee Yeun is down at the Samsung store as I write trying to get a replacement phone. Failing that, I’ll have to buy a new one and eat the penalty on the contract we signed when I bought the Edsel of handphones. UPDATE: Jee Yeun came home with a new and nicer phone, and only paid a W50,000 penalty. She’s quite the negotiator!
Monday morning the admin person at my new gig signed me onto post and dropped me at the CPAC where I anticipated I’d spend the entire day in orientation. Instead, after completing a couple of forms and being handed a packet of information I was sent on my way in just over an hour. So, I hoofed over to DHRM (my office) to begin my new old career. Which is off to a slow start.
One issue is I can’t access the computer network (or get on base for that matter) until I get my CAC (common access card) and ID card. I can’t get those until my hiring has been captured in DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) which I’m told takes five or six days after the RPA (request for personnel action) is submitted. That was done last Wednesday, so hopefully tomorrow or Thursday I will have “flowed” into DEERS. When that happens I’ll be able to get registered in DBIDS (Defense Biometric Identification System) and have my CAC issued. Until then I’m SOL
In that packet of info provided by the CPAC there was a procedure for getting temporary base access and a temporary ration card. When I called the number provided I was told it takes two days to process the base pass and I’d have to call a different number for ration control. Meanwhile my boss was completing the paperwork for a visitor’s pass which provides the needed base access and can be done the same day. So that’s what we did.
Forms completed, signature from the Provost Marshal, and I was back in the car with the pleasant admin person (Ms. Song) bound for Camp Kim where visitor cards are processed. Now Camp Kim is right across the street from Yongsan Garrison, but because of bus lanes and turn restrictions you have to go the round about way via Camp Coiner. We drove three miles to get to our destination less than half mile away, but I had the coveted visitor’s pass in less than 30 minutes. Then we drove back to the Ichon gate where Ms. Song signed me out, and then I re-entered the base using my new visitor pass. Easy peezy.
Seeing as how I was on a roll I had Ms. Song drop me off at the building where the CPAC said ration control was located. The room number they provided turned out to be a storage closet. I asked someone where the ration office was and was told it was over at the 1RC (First Replacement Co.) near the Dragon Hill Lodge. So I hiked over there and was able to get my Letter of Employment stamped which gives me access to the stores on base (I need my Diet Coke fix!). Then I walked back over to the office.
Did I mention it was hot on Monday? Because it was. And all that walking left me a sweaty mess. But I wasn’t quite done walking yet. The S-2 (security office) wanted to give me a short five minute in-brief. I understood this was going to happen at 1500, so once again Ms. Song drove me to the other side of the base. When I arrived at the appointed office at the appointed I was told by the S-2 Captain’s Sergeant that he was in a meeting with the S-3. So I waited around for half and hour, then hoofed it back to my office sans the promised briefing. And got more sweaty.
That pretty much ended my first day at work, but my day was far from over. I still had a darts tournament to run in Itaewon. I elected to take a cab into town because I had somehow managed to develop an embarrassing (and painful) diaper rash and the top of my thighs. Ballsy of me, I know. Heat and friction, a tortuous combination for sure.
Finished second in the tourney, hightailed it out of there and caught the 110B bus home, arriving a little after midnight. Put on some diaper rash ointment and hit the sack. Only to wake up tired four and a half hours later.
I’m still tired. Too tired to write about day 2. Suffice to say it involved a lot less walking.