Category: T.A., Work,

The mills of the army grind slow…

The heading refers of course to the quote; “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.”  (1870 Longfellow poems, 1960) The army, whilst not god, does have to slowly grind through every process, however time consuming or irrelevant. Take the farcical case of my blood group. They told me to take written proof of my blood group to the assessment. They stated either written confirmation from my doctor or my blood donor card. Having neither I took my army issue I.D. from when I served in the regular army. An I.D. that the army issued me, with my blood group written on it. They wouldn’t accept it as proof of my blood group! O.K., it is twenty years old, but I’m not likely to have changed my blood group because B positive is so last season. So I went to the doctors (again) last Monday. She said my blood group was personal information and not stored on their system (!) so I had to arrange to see the nurse, again, for more bloods on Wednesday. Turned up Wednesday morning morning, the nurse said “Oh, we can’t take blood for blood groups here, you’ll have to go to the hospital.” I went home, fuming about the pointlessness of it all, and the fact the documents officer wanted this information A.S.A.P. An hour later the nurse ‘phoned me back and said “We can do your bloods here, can you come back?” So I did. Friday I got another call off the same nurse saying “Somebody has to pay for blood group testing, so they’ve not processed your sample.” In desperation I said I’d pay, so now I have to wait until tomorrow (Monday) to ring the doctors, to arrange another appointment, to have more blood taken, to pay for it, and to wait for the results to get back, then arrange to have the doctor put my blood group in writing. Then, finally, the army will know that my blood group is B positive, as they put on my I.D. card. In more positive news, I got a ‘welcome to the regiment’ pack yesterday. That was nice. It looks like I’ve got to do my basic training then a conversion course to army driving, then I’m fit to deploy. Sounds like I could be off to Afghanistan by the end of the summer, doesn’t it? But no. Even with opting for two out of the three fast track basic training courses I won’t finish my basic training until the end of September. The idea of the fast track courses is to try and put them more or less back to back, so students and the like can get it all done and dusted on their holidays. I considered doing all three of the fast track courses, but that would have meant starting training 10 –23 July (the first two courses, which I am going to do) come […]

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