Lack of Planning

Many years ago, when I was in the service, I had signed up for a volunteer military police (MP) program.  I

thought it was kind of neat.  I would get away from my regular job for a week as long as I was able to get

the work done in the evenings.  I got to enjoy some police training and it was good training, take down

procedures, pepper spray, traffic control, etc.  One day I was in a bit of a rush and needed to talk to the

Provost Marshall Office (PMO) Chief about something before I had to get back to my regular job.  I stepped

up to the door of his office.  He was on the phone.  It sounded like he was half discussing something work

related and half “BS”ing with his buddy.  I caught his eye and he gestured me in.  I waited respectfully

standing and looking around at the items in his office.  It was impressive.  His office was just a plain room in

an old worn down building but the pictures and mementoes from his years in the service told a long story.  

The combat action ribbon, Purple Heart, and Vietnam campaign medals in the shadow box on the wall.  

The plaques from the various units he had been in and a wooden sign sitting in the middle front of his

desk.  A sign that when you sat down in the low chair right in front of his desk was almost exactly at eye


A sign which read:

“Lack of Planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on my part.”

It struck me as interesting and a bit philosophical at that moment.  Then it seemed just and true in a

professional way and as the time lingered on, while I waited for him to get off the phone, trapped in a chair

so low that I felt as if I was sitting in a hole and it was slowly sucking me in; I grew to resent and even hate

that sign and the arrogant expression etched upon it.  Somewhere after a half an hour waiting around I

realized I could not wait any more and had to go.  I made a hesitant jester to leave and he motioned for me

to say.  Not wanting to offend someone who was so much my senior and also my boss in at lest part of my

duties I stayed.  Another twenty minutes went by before he finally got off the phone.  I asked him my ten

second question and he basically said, “I don’t know.  I can’t help you.  Have a nice day.”  I thanked him for

his time and then dashed out the door not fully able to express my frustration and growing anger till I had

got to my truck and was now breaking multiple speed limits on the base to get to my assigned duty station

on time.  I made it.  Just barely, but I made it and was happy, that I, a volunteer MP, didn’t get pulled over

for speeding on base.  I was also pissed that I had wasted my time with him.

The Point:

It’s not their problem.  It’s your problem.  Whatever it is.  If you are in need then are not in charge and have

to wait.

The Lesson:

Although tension and stress can be used to force and or excuse actions and behavior it is never the

preferred choice of situation.  Emotions are wild things and the impact of them on others and the response

of others to them is unpredictable.  It is better to not let yourself get into a situation where you have to use

an emotional press in order to resolve a situation.  Plan way in advance and consider ever possibility and

you will be better off.  You will end up in control and in charge.  

The Brutal Truth:

People don’t care.  If you rely on others compassion for and or understanding of your situation then you

will be disappointed at best and a victim at worse.