15 July 2009

LiveBlogging the PCS: Part Ohmygodarewedoneyet?, or 6

Ahhhh, Army housing. You and I have sort of a love-hate relationship. I love that you don't involve any leases, are located on post, are roomy (at least at the hub's rank) and easy to acquire*. I hate that you are sterile, have suspect oddly colored brown carpeting, are subject to frequent fly-overs and I get such a limited selection of what kind to live in.

And moreover, there is the whole process of applying for you. One would think that, with PCS orders, marriage certificate, proof of citizenship, promissory note for firstborn child and a Get Out of Jail Free card from Mr. Monopoly himself, one would be able to get housing on post quiet easily. But alas, one would be WRONG. Silly Rabbit, on post housing is only easy if you are physically present on post to get on the waiting list.

Once you geographically remove yourself from any offices that contain housing folks that could help you, things start to get exponentially harder. See, gone are the days of the fax and the actual paper application. Ha! That is for dinosaurs and anthropologists... paging Dr. Jones! Lady Army has gone electronic. Lady Army got all fancy on us in the last 6 months and has thusly rendered me, who is supposedly technologically savvy, useless as an Army Spouse. How you ask? Let me present the evidence:

First, refuse to let us re-open an application that was from a mere 8 months ago. I get this, because y'all told me it was because ranks change and promotions happen and yadda, yadda, yadda. But when I assure you that NOTHING has changed in said 8 months? Hmm, still no go.

Then, refer me to an online application form. Sweet. I can do online applications! But, require me to know random and seemingly unnecessary information about my husband. Like his ETS date. And his last DOR, even though you already asked me if he was promotable. Because these things matter when you are trying to decide if I live in planned community I or II. Right. Then, give me two separate places to list myself, the spouse. What to do? Why, list yourself in both! And then ask me to, not once, but twice, give you the location of where we intend to PCS to... even though this is a specific application for housing at said location. Yes, Lady Army, you are the Queen of redundancies. Long Live the Queen! But then, as a final act of ruthlessness, tell me that my application cannot be processed because "The following characters are not allowed `~!#$%^&*()_-+={[}]'<>?;:/ Please go to the following field and take out the unsupported character. Accessibility". So I go to look for said Accessibility field and guess what? Jokes on me! There is no Accessibility field! hahahahahahahhhahahahaah.

So what is a girl to do? Why yes, send an e-mail to the listed address for Tech Support. Then laugh manically when said e-mail gets returned due to delivery failure. Then smash head on desk. Then drink wine and whine about it on Twitter. Yes, this is exactly how my Tuesday night went.

Finally, call and leave a rambling message on the Housing Office's answering machine begging for help. When she gives you a secondary web site to check, go there and, with the assistance of your husband on the phone from Iraq, fill in all the nonsensical blanks and hit submit. And as one last salute to the madness, completely contradict what the nice lady at the Housing Office said. And by that I mean, she said I didn't have to send any of our million sheets of legal jargon (aka: PCS orders, next of kin, marriage certificate, Hall Pass from 7th grade, etc.) until one month before the intended move-in date, when they called me, they would ask for it. The web site? Wants to me scan them in and send them along rightthisminute. Sigh. What's a girl to do?

Simple. Drink more wine. Which is exactly what I am doing as I type this.

The plus side is that our application, for better or worse, right or wrong, is now in the hands of the Housing Folks. The downside? I may have done everything wrong and Fletch & I will be living in a tent somewhere remote on post, hoping the feral pigs and cougars don't get us while we sleep, waiting for dear, sweet Swiss to get home a bail us out. Meh, I suspect wine can fix that too.

I wish I had a moral to this story, but I do not. Just that this process gets one, big, fat DO BETTER. And that wine fixes everything. That is all. Oh, and please cross your fingers that Fletch and I may procure actual housing with four real walls upon our move to Fort X. I'm guessing Swiss won't appreciate the rustic nature of a tent after 12 months in the Sandbox.

*I vehemently redact this statement. VEHEMENTLY!


liberal army wife said...

oh dear. I'm sorry you had to deal with that... I suppose our mutual buddy isn't any help??? NOW you know one reason we don't live in quarters (although it isn't the major reason(S), truly)

Wine does cure most things... yup.


Bree said...

I have the very same Love-Hate relationship but now that we're actually in housing & I'm loving it then I won't complain LOL! Sorry it's been rough girl and if the wine helps then more power to ya ;o)

Jenny said...

I know I've said this about fifty times, but hang in there, lady.

I read your blog and those of other mil spouses and think, DANG. You ladies are amazing! I can't imagine how hard it is for you all to jump through all these hoops, stay on top of eleventy-billion reams of paperwork, keep your regular jobs, raise kids, take care of your homes (or sell 'em, in your case), and try to maintain your sanity instead of collapsing with worry over a deployed hubby.

I admire you all so much! Whenever I'm about to call my husband to come fix something easy, or take care of something I could probably handle myself, I think of you. Then I put on my big girl pants and do it myself. So thanks for being a boot in my butt, I guess. :)

silver star said...

As someone who has not been through this kind of stuff, the only piece of advice I can give you is to keep a minimum of 3 (or more) bottles of wine on you until you are finally moved into a home at the new base with Fletcher and Swiss. Lots and lots of luck to you!

Tucker said...

Silver Star- that is EXCELLENT advice! Thanks for enabling me! :)

Actually, thanks to all of you for a) understanding, b) not telling me to suck it up and c) totally encouraging my wino tendancies!

Love you gals!