30 December 2008

UPDATE: give me back my point of view

12/29, approx 2130 - a comment waiting to be moderated in my blog:

... I'm sorry you saw us as "a group of bitter, arrogant, hateful people who didn't even TRY to participate in the exercise. We aren't that bad, I swear. I don't think we understood each others role in the exercise from the beginning, and that gave each of us a poor impression of each other. I regret we didn't finish out that AAR on the last day so we could both benefit more from the MRX ...

In honesty, I'd searched his blog for contact info, wanting to reach out, but found nothing. I suppose it's a good thing that HE found ME a few days later, because at the time I was still reeling and probably would have said a lot of unfair things - and I KNOW I would not have been open to hearing his side of anything. Calm = excellent.

My emailed response, in part:

... I wish I could explain all of the work that went into [the MRX], that goes into every MRX we've done. This time, for whatever reason, it all fell apart right in the beginning. ... I got a general feeling of suspicion from much of your unit, and maybe some of that, like you said, was just misunderstanding our roles. In our internal AAR, we agreed that next time, all members of the unit as well as the entire training staff will be present so there is no confusion.

I, too, wish the AAR hadn't been cut short. I felt like, after everything that went so wrong, there was no closure; WHY did it go wrong? What can we, as trainers, do to keep that from happening again? I can't speak for everyone, but it was a hugely unpleasant experience for me, too ...

In his initial comment, he'd suggested we get together next week and talk about the unresolved issues we all still had. I agreed, and he's right: the public affairs community is much, MUCH too small to just let it go. Our paths will cross again; I've stumbled across 46-type people I hadn't seen in years in the most random places.

Anyway, he wrote back:

... One thing about having to work at the PA office. We had a serious issue with transportation and it was hard getting a ride to the PA office from our warehouse/office. Our office had a ton of space and power outlets for broadcasters to work. I wish we had thought of seeing if it were possible for the broadcast MTT [Mobile Training Team - us] personnel to come to us. One of our AAR comments should have been that the Fort Dix PA office doesn't have good space for video editing. I don't want that to come across like an arrogant broadcaster thing because we need some space, power outlets, and quiet to do some good editing.

I do hope with all of our bitching, you were at least happy with our product. We worked hard as a broadcast section to put together those stories and the newsreel. Putting up the DVIDS was good training, too ...

He also apologized for the "instructor" thing and even made an amendment to the post, both of which I appreciate very much.

I wrote back:

... As a Q, quiet space to record audio never occurred to me, and evidently [the LT] didn't think of it either. I will bring that to her attention, as well as any other concerns you have ...

I added that I didn't really know what I was looking at in terms of the video products (I'm a print journalist myself) but that their print products were all solid.

There were a few more emails back and forth, mostly about crappy Fort Dix, marketing and DVIDS, and deploying with a PAOC. I also asked permission to use parts from our conversation here in my blog. I'm glad we were able to clear the air a little, and I look forward to speaking more in person. (I'll be sure to add a post on the meeting, as well.)

We're going to try to meet up early next week, hopefully, and any other members of the unit are welcome to come. As for Fort Dix representation, I'm not bringing the LT with me, so I'll be the only training staff member at the meeting; the rest of the staff at the MRX were TDY from other locations.

Anyway, wanted to share that.

Exhausted, and going to bed.

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