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Need To Know

Posted on 2013.06.13 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

In 1992 I was stationed at the newly commissioned Joint Analysis Center in the United Kingdom. I was on a secure line, relaying classified information to a superior, when I turned to a co-worker and asked him to clarify a piece of information I didn't have immediate access to. Rather than recite the requested information, he asked me who I was talking to - he wanted to know who was on the phone.

The exchange of classified information doesn't work that way, and I explained he wasn't required to know who was on the phone if I was the one asking for the information. I was cleared, I already had access to the information, and I simply needed him to recite it for me.

It was a simple request. He refused until he knew who was on the other end of line.

And I haven't run across a scenario like that since. Until last week.

A coworker sent out an email to everyone with a ticket number he had opened. I made note of the server and deleted the email (for a technologies company we're given a woefully inadequate amount of online email storage). When the monitoring center contacted me the next day asking about the server, I recalled the information, but had not (obviously) committed the ticket number to memory. So when I asked the admin for the ticket number again, he naturally asked why.

Telling him why, however, started a philosophical conversation about why they were asking me for it - a conversation I wasn't prepared to get embroiled in - I was in the middle of numerous simultaneous tasks - he felt he had a need to know. And while I appreciated that, and readily agreed to have that conversation with him at a more appropriate time, I simply required the ticket number immediately.

It turned out to be too difficult a request.

Then I went all passive-aggressive on my boss, which is embarrassing only because I don't do passive-aggressive. Like, ever. When I apologized to him later I cited, "potential confluence of events" leading up to my communication. Still trying to figure out *why* I responded in a such a manner despite my frustration. I think it was simply reliving the 1992 event. Is that some serious baggage or what? Maybe its out of my system now forever!


michelle1963 at 2013-06-14 04:02 (UTC) (Link)
It is interesting how old experiences and new ones can get crossed up. I haven't had it manifest in quite the way you have, where one event so perfectly overlays another.

Me? I have a negative visceral reaction to the word "revisit." It is a perfectly good word. Really. However, when a former passive-aggressive supervisor used it, it meant we were never going to get a decision from her, she was never going to give any direction, and if we were forced to deal with a situation surrounding the unmade decision she was not going to have our backs. The longer she was supervisor, the more often she used it. Fortunately, I don't hear it often now.
jobu121 at 2013-06-14 13:36 (UTC) (Link)
I hate that kinda BS.
At the puzzle palace in Kuwait, I was trying to manifest a plane ride home. At the front gate they gave me a "Green" badge, yet I did have an account and access to the sipernet - The secure Internet to perform such things as scheduling planes and freighters and other things like convoys etc...

So, all of these SGTs and what not starting screaming 'Green Badge!' and began to close their laptop screens and turn off monitors. They were on the same network that I was seconds away from logging on myself. Why else would I be back where they were?

The SGT began to read the riot act to the Warrant Officer that was escorting me. The Warrant apologized to me. So, I walked out to the gate and asked the guard how hard would it be for me to get a red badge, which means access everywhere on every network except the Data Center.

He looked me up and within seconds I had a red badge. So, I decided to visit that SGT that was spazzing out earlier :)
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