Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Taking Notes

This is the latest news from Kerry:

My meeting:

The other night I had a meeting discussing expansion efforts in the Eastern part of Afghanistan. This meeting is held every Saturday night at 1900 (7:00 PM for non-military people). The meeting is held in a large conference room in the Division Headquarters building. Like any "Type A" Army officer, I showed up 10 minutes early. The conference room is L shaped and I came in the door at the back of the room, walked through the small hallway, marched in and sat down against the wall (not at the main table). I did notice a few people already in the room as I entered....nothing unusual since we are all programed to arrive 10 minutes early. However....I looked up at the screen and saw a power point presentation (on-going) that discussed Engineer issues in Afghanistan. I surreptitiously turned my head to the right and glanced at the head of the table. There sat GENERAL Campbell, surrounded by a flock of Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels. I, the lone Major, was now sitting in on the wrong briefing, and I had interrupted a Four Star General briefing to boot! Holy Heck Batman!

In a split decision I was faced with the classic "fight or flight" syndrome. What to do...what to do? Do I get up and march back out and draw further draw attention to myself? Or do I collapse in a sweaty puddle of panic, curl up in a fetal position, and start drooling? Instead,....I simply pulled out my notebook and, with confidence and bravado, started taking copious notes and wrinkling up my brow like I was concentrating. I had no clue as to what was being briefed, but I knew that they did not know that I did not know what they were discussing, and this knowledge that they did not know combined with my quick and assertive note-taking reinforced the image that I was a young and aggressive Major simply attending the meeting and that I, in fact, did know what was going on.

The meeting broke in about 15 minutes. Everyone cycled out of the room without a word or glance at me. I looked down at my notes, which were very thorough and were almost verbatim what was in the presentation. I realized that I had no clue as to what I had written down. I then went over the the office of the guys in charge of the meeting I was originally supposed to attend. I walked in and they were sitting around a table having their meeting. I looked at them... and they looked at me... and said......"Uh, the meeting room got switched. Did you get the word?"

Obviously not!

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