I sat there yesterday afternoon at the Military Personnel Flight, reading a new book I had obtained at the BX to kill time between test portions (Queen of Dragons, by Shana Abé), when it hit me. I had finished the Professional Development Guide portion (feeling more confused than ever on what, precisely, a commander's responsibilities entail), and was waiting to take the Skill Knowledge Test portion (not having bothered to crack open my 5-level Career Development Course books since they'd given them to me in 2007).
An epiphany struck.
I didn't care anymore. I knew that, once again, I was not going to make the next rank. I was not going to carry the line number over with me to reserves, which would have meant sewing on without having to wait for someone to die before a stripe became available. (Srsly, I know a guy on the guard side of the base who has been wearing his seven stripes since the 90s, at least.) And I couldn't have cared less.
It's quite liberating, this feeling of not giving a rat's ass. But it didn't quite keep me from feeling murderous when asked by Lobsterbush back at the office, "How'd you do??" **Must...resist...the urge...to strike...with the fancy letter opener the Boss Man got me in Puerto Rico...** And then BOSS MAN of all people asking me how I did!! "DAMN YOU, BOSS MAN!!" Followed by unnecessary feedback from the Man Cave that was ignored in favor of violently filing paperwork.