Heck, military or not, this is a perfectly typical audio tech story. Happens with regularity in sound-world. The malicious compliance was delicious.


Not just sound techs. I've been a theatre lighting technician as a side gig (from my day job as an electrical engineer) ... I do it because I like the more artistic side of designing lighting for shows, but I understand the technical stuff so I often get dumped with it. The number of times some important person says "I'm the producer, just do what I say". I don't care how important you are, we can't stick 20kW of lights on a single 10kW dimmer. Or hang 30 lights off a support bar rated for 20. That's not how numbers work.


So many managers need to learn this. Your job isn't to come up with every answer all by yourself. It's to find the best solution with the resources you have. But egomaniacs are gonna ego


Also, the old classic of "how complicated could it be". The answer is very complicated.


In Sales and Marketing this stuff happens as well. Just a little less clear. You state your opinion and why it matters. Either you get the stinkeye because you were bold enough to claim proficiency or you stepped on the guys toes who did this as a low level drone for years and now is head of with less experience than you.


That's because economics isn't a science. It's a religion.


"But I am a *man*ager - if I ask for help I will be less of a man"


The Smart manager: "I want this to happen, technician make it happen... if it can't happen, tell me what you need to make it happen and I'll get it for you or change what I want to happen..."


>I'll get it for you or change what I want to happen The Smarter Manager: "Heck, I'll even admit what I wanted to happen in the first place was stupid, or even ask the technician what he thinks!" The Smartest Manager: 404


I don’t understand why this seems to be so hard. I’ve managed people for quite a few years now. I always ask them for their opinion and acknowledge they know more than me on their specialist topics, though on occasion practical experience trumps knowledge. Occasionally you get a situation where two people seem to be telling you opposing things so you just get them together and work out the right answer - which usually comes down to one person having misunderstood the requirements. You don’t need to know everything to ‘manage’ but you do need to know how to get the best out of your team(s).


"My job is to tell you what needs to happen. Your job is to tell me what you need to do it"


This reminds of years ago when I was in seventh grade and my two older brothers were in high school. Both of them ended up in the drama club which at the time was still able to put on full length plays once a semester (that was the last year we were able to do one for various reasons I no longer really remember) and somehow or another my entire family got roped into helping out with the production (I genuinely have absolutely no idea anymore how it happened). My grandmother was a retired long time drama and music teacher and enjoyed sitting just in front of the stage giving pointers to the actors. My mom and I mostly helped with sets and I think we donated a few things. My dad on the other hand spent several years working various roles behind the scenes on different television shows (camera work and a lot of sound and lighting) and had spent even more time installing and setting up lighting and sound systems in various event centers and big churches. He realized very quickly that everything for the stage was poorly done and underutilized because of how screwed up everything was. I no longer remember all the problems but I do remember he spent literal months making sure the lights and sound system functioned the way they were supposed to. The difference between the old set up and after my dad fixed it was just night and day. And I’m fairly certain the school said nobody would mess with the settings or anything he changed so that it would stay that way. And then of course we get back to school after the summer break and find out that the janitors (who I believe were the ones that messed with everything originally) had fucked everything up because they were pissed somebody had come through and changed it. Don’t ask me why they were messing with anything but school admin just shrugged and said they couldn’t do anything about it and it never got fixed. So we got a properly working lighting and sound system for a couple of months and then everything got screwed up again due to admin. Then again these are the same admin who a couple of years later decided to move the attendance and nurse’s office into a couple of “unused rooms” in the same building that housed the theater room and band room. Now unused rooms is in quotes because the nurse got moved into the room that was the primary storage space for the set pieces because there just wasn’t enough room off stage for everything. Instead of trying to store them elsewhere they dumped everything by the school dumpsters to rot and we spent the next year with flimsy frames with literal construction paper over top of them before most of the drama club budget went to replacing the entire set.


Back when I was working in theater (now honorary withdrawl from IATSE) I had some friends working on a commuity theater show. It was a real "c'mon kids,let's put on a show" type deal. What comes along with that is the lighting/sound person who has been doing it for 20000000 years and knows everything. Well, I was an assistant Master Electrician at a major regional theater (8+ shows a season) as well as a lighting designer on my own right, and was used to working with any instruments you could throw at me. I "helped" by teaching 3 point lighting, adjusting the electric placements to be able to do 3 point, dimmer balancing and teaching thier board ops (the guys kids) how to program the light board to use sub-masters for the cues instead of manaully setting and crossfading (the board had a rudimentary cueing sequence, but think lepercon 2x24...). I also made thier wireless mics work for a change, due to frequency sharing and interference, they could never get them to be clear...and let's not start on element placement..... It went as well as you could expect, I was not asked back the next show (or even give any info), even though the director and all my friends said the show looked and sounded the best it had in years.


I remember my dad programming the light and sound boards to function better. Making it possible to actually dim the lights and fixing wiring so that the mics were better. I also have a memory of him perched at the top of a 20 foot ladder messing with the lights. Mind you this school didn't have much love for the theater and band departments as evidenced by how they treated our stuff. If it wasn't a club that participated in competitions that brought awards and recognition to the school, the school had zero fucks to give about funding it. Since the school didn't have sports of any kind (got boy's basketball and girl's volleyball my junior year but they had little support) all the attention went on the UIL clubs. The nice thing about that year that I accidentally kind of unofficially joined the high school drama club as a middle schooler who didn't even go to the junior high connected to the high school (yet, I ended up moving schools midway through seventh grade) was that it meant I developed a good relationship with the drama teacher and when I finally got to join her classes in eighth grade she was lenient on me because she knew I had terrible stage fright (I adored theater but can't stand being on stage, I am much happier being backstage where nobody can see me) and trusted me to be the gofer and run around with her twenty plus keys to various places and not have to worry about me doing something stupid with them. She was a great teacher and person and I miss talking to her.


From what I have read about the American school system, your sports budget would have been 10x-20x the drama budget, and coaches would have had anything they wanted.


I used to do theater tech in high school! Our theater teacher used to introduce all us techs to the actors and say "these are your techs, they make the show go. Be nice to them or you will be standing on stage in the dark without a working mic or prop." But they were very lovely people and we never had to deal with egomaniacs. One girl even brought all the techs chocolate on the last night of the show.


“Are you sure? I’m the one with a degree in management and communications, so just do what I tell you. I read at least 3 books written by career middle managers, and they all said this is the way.”


>That's not how numbers work. Wait, it's not? So how do numbers work? Never mind, just do what I say.


Unless u have a charge guard, converter, or relay in place no that's not how it works. The audio would be best running on its own system separate from the lighting in a situation such as this that way if lighting fails u can dump that side n not loose audio


I don’t get it. I’d say I’m fairly decent around both hard and software in general, the way that lonely schoolkids who became software developers are. But anything related to sounds confuses me profoundly. I’d kiss the feet of the person who comes to me and says „mind if I fix all of your sound problems?“


>mind if I fix all of your sound problems?“ Just one is enough - tinnitus


Yep. When I was a teen, I went around with my father to various conferences where we recorded audio of the sessions to later sell to attendees that couldn't make it. (Also sold to those who didn't attend the conference at a much higher price.) I had been helping for several years at this point and knew my way around the mixers, mics, cabling, etc. One of the conferences was held at a union hotel. In union hotels, they required one of their engineers to man the audio mixing board. Since we weren't union, we weren't allowed to touch them despite being more qualified than most of the union members present. I was looking at one of the boards and saw the button that enabled the feed to our recording equipment wasn't punched down. All the "tech" needed to do was to push down the button. But of course he knew better and wouldn't push the button down nor let me do so. We didn't get a single recording in that room that day. We got to tell our client, the one running the conference, that they lost all their recordings in that room due to the union engineers ineptitude. The client was not happy. I believe the following year they went to a non-union hotel.


Was about to say, I think every pro audio engineer has a million of these stories.


Brings back so many memories. As an E-4, I was once dismissed when I explained that setting up about a million dollars of sensitive electronic equipment on the bare ground wasn't a good idea. In perfect weather, this should have not been on the ground, but even worse that the location was in a depression, with several days of storms in the forecast. In my case, sanity finally prevailed though it took a lot of work to find the right person to press this issue up the chain, cause what does an E-4 possibly know?


The E-4 mafia exists for a reason. We are the ones that know what the hell is going on most of the time and don’t have the NCO BS to deal with. I’ll trust a warrant then an E-4 before an E-7


If you can find a warrant. I've always been told that if one shows up, listen to them. If they start to run away, follow.


If you see a Warrant running, you shouldn't be asking why the Warrant is running, you should be trying to keep up...


I'm imagining someone going for a jog around base then turning around to see they've picked up a horde.


TIL that Forrest Gump was a Warrant Officer


Every once in a while I'll be running on the bike trail in our town, which backs onto a lot of people's yards; and I'll hear a random person yell, "RUN, FORREST, RUN!" I always yell back, "I WILL, JENNY!"




"my lower rank (E4 for those who care) is often a barrier with communicating with higher ups" I didn't fully understand how bad that was for me personally after I went Warrant. As a Staff Sergeant, I could brief higher that the sky was blue and hardly anyone would believe me. But when I put the Dot on then I was finally seen as the SME in my craft. Well, except by MI "professionals". But that's a different story all together. Your candid description of the Sergeant Major is spot on. He should have been relieved that you showed up to help and allowed you take charge of the detail. But he was a victim of his own hubris and ego. Some guys "fail upwards". Don't be that guy. Moral of the story: Drop your Warrant packet. It's the best thing that I ever did for my career.


Exactly. Get in while the getting is good before another SMA Chandler comes along.


He's here. His name is SMA Grinston. The shittiness is just marginally less obvious.


What's a warrant and warrant pack?


Warrant = warrant officer. A series of officer ranks that hold specialized duties. At least in the Navy & Marines they are. Warrant pack = the paperwork you submit to become a WO Regular line officers are very generalized; you can be a weapons officer one week, then assigned to be the DivO of deck department the next. Warrants are specifically ever going to be officers in their field because they're goddamn geniuses. No lie every WO I've ever met has blown me away with their knowledge and critical thinking skills. They're also down to earth people. Never met a shitty WO


You know shit's fucked when you have to call Chief over, but he makes it look easy by flipping one switch and saying "fixed" and then getting back in his golf cart and disappearing


He doesn’t even have to put the coffee mug down to get it done.


I thought it was surgically attached to their hands?


My favorite warrant was an ordnance guy (wizard mechanic). If our company mech couldn’t sort our problem he’d just magically appear in coveralls, ask the mech what they’d done, and then proceed to explain the mistakes they were making after like 5 minutes of looking at the vic. Dude was just a straight-up miracle worker, salty with us but patient with his mechanics.


I’m Army, so relate to “Chief”. I’ve always known it as a sign of respect, kind of like calling your medic “Doc”. Boy howdy, never make the mistake of calling a Marine W2 “Chief”. “Chief” to him is “Chief Petty Officer” (NCO). He was not happy. I apologized, and told him in the Army it is a sign of respect. He replied, “I’m not in the F-ing Army”. Okay then. Have a great day.


Army aviation also has an aversion to calling WOs "chiefs". Chiefs do the work; WOs show up after everything is done and wiggle sticks for a few hours. Though if you find one who is friendly and rant a bit about politics preventing the mission, they will untangle that knot in one phone call.


😂😂😂 >implying chiefs have done anything useful In my experience it was me working on gear minding my own business, my LPO calling the chief over to "help" me for some unknown reason, the chief standing there uselessly talking about bullshit like old test sets for 40 minutes, then walking away with a smug grin acting like he helped me with his dumb "advice".


The only time I've really worked with/around chiefs is watching one hold the S6 shop together through sheer force of will every time we go to the field


When the Navy started to come out with their "deckplate leadership" plan the chiefs mess encouraged all of the chiefs to go out in the work centers and "help" us That lasted for all of, idk, 2 weeks? Before they were back to sitting on the computer looking at guns and ammo again


A chief in the navy and a chief warrant officer in other branches are not the same thing just to let ya know.


Yes. I was an E6 in the Navy. I know that there's a difference between Chiefs and Chief Warrant Officers. I guess I see what you're saying, the other poster was saying "Chief" and I thought they meant CPO not CWO because I have never heard anyone call a CWO "chief"


So I’m confused as to why you posted the comment you did. What you replied to was talking about CW2+ in other branches, but you were talking a about SNCOs in the navy?


In the Army, we call our W02 and above "Chief."


For the most part, I agree with you. But in the early 2010's, I deployed with a CW3 who was part of a trial program to include warrants in PSYOP. He was a comms guy who'd taken the PSYOP Officer's Training course, and for the whole deployment he absolutely refused to do anything related to PSYOP. All he ever wanted to do was play with the radios and talked shit about the teams who came to him to get their fills. Said they needed to be getting that from their supported battalions (doctrinally true, but since he wanted to be comms instead of what he was sent there for, he could have at least done something to be worth that tax-free deployment pay). Given that a PSYOP team is led by an E6 (by doctrine, though usually only an E5) and is attached to a random battalion, that extra rank would have been really useful for convincing those LTC's we could help them. I think shitty warrants are absolutely the exception, but they're definitely out there.


Well, yeah...PSYOPS is a very different animal. That was my first MOS, in the mid-1980's. 96F. Then I became a Voice Intercept Operator. 98G. Also pretty damned different, but in a different way. I will say that the warrants when I was a 98G gave me responsibilities and tasks well beyond my rank (E4 then E5) because I had mad language skills, more understanding of things electronic and technical than most linguists, and could cope with computers even in the pre-PC (1987-1991) days. The only thing the warrants didn't like was my coffee. They gave me a direct order to never make it again. I was puzzled. My coffee was delicious, not that Folger's crap. They explained that yes, the coffee tasted amazing. It was Vienna roast, finely ground, a liberal quantity in every filter. It had notes of chocolate and heaven. Honest, rich and smooth as silk. I was still puzzled. They parted and trotted out Chief H. Mr. H. was shaking like a leaf. This was a man who usually drank a full pot of regular (Folger's) coffee by himself every day. They explained that Mr. H. had only had half a cup of my coffee, and look what it had done to him! Okay....I promised to never make coffee for them again. It also explained why I never needed more than a cup of my own coffee to keep me going all day. I thought that was how things were supposed to be!


Murica coffe is infamous here (Brazil), for being between 'almost water' and 'squalid'. My favorite coffee is an Italian espresso, without sugar, and maybe a drop of milk (only if i had some organic one, tetrapak crap verboten). I usually take about two a day.


"No lie every WO I've ever met has blown me away with their knowledge and critical thinking skills. They're also down to earth people. Never met a shitty WO" That's because they don't have any pressure from any one. They are kinda like the E4s of the army. Not in charge but enough rank that shit goes around them to continue down hill.


They are also called Warrant because they don't have a commission of authority, but a warrant of authority. And they are the definition of "Fuck around and find out" in the military, even brass tend to treat them with respect.


Close. Warrant Officers (Army) are appointed as W1 by the Secretary of the Army and get Commissioned by the President at CW2.


Same in the Army. Warrants are specialized and fall between enlisted and officer. They are also on a whole other level. All cool as hell too. Give them the respect their rank deserves and they will treat you like a damn human and take care of you. Fun story. Was stationed in Germany and had an E7 that was our section Sargent and he was a massive dick. I was the only lower enlisted in the shop with a car. So guess who got volunteered to drive the other lower enlisted to appointments on other bases? Yep. Me. Then wife gets pregnant and I also now have appointments. This dick tried to run me out of the military by having me sign a letter saying if my pregnant bed rest directed wife didn’t get a license then I would be kicked for failure to adapt. His reasoning? I was gone too much for appointments. Not my own mind you. For everyone’s. He later becomes 1sg of our unit and is still a major dick. A bunch of people were sitting in the chow hall when a Chief WO walks by him on the sidewalk out front. Air base for black hawks so lots of warrants around. He hated having to salute them. Well he didn’t salute this one and he had made a point to walk past 1sg because he was hip to the game. Fucking reamed 1sg’s ass in front of the whole building. Some of the guys came straight over to the office to fill me in because they thought it was great. Fuck that prick. Dude cheated on his wife with one of the sgt’s in our group while there. He was just a piece of shit. Glad I got out of the military a long time ago.


Warrants are also unicorns. I've only ever seen two in my 5 years in.


SME = Subject Matter Expert, while we’re defining lingo and acronyms. Fuckin’ military loves that shit.


I remember when a Special Forces NCO once exclaimed: "You people all speak Alphabet Soup!". We kind of nodded blandly and said "Yep. That's what we MI folk do..."




SF can't fucking talk, they're almost as bad as we are, except the Bravos. Signed, A 35F2S


And more than one has turned down promotion to officer because it would result in a drop in pay and increase in hours. My dad (non-US forces) did this due to having a young family and wanting an actual life with them. (He also lodged/bought a house half an hour away from base instead of in the base town to a) avoid base interfamily politics (aka infidelities left right and centre) and b) be last on call because it would take so long to get him in to base).


Warrant Officers slot in between enlisted and officers, rank wise. In my experience they are usually chill AF and no one fucks with them for various reasons.


Because no one can find them


He should have been relieved ~~that you showed up to help~~ ​ FTFY


Put a full stop at the end of ‘relieved’ lol.


It’s weird how different branches can handle this. On the AF side, I’ve seen E4s conduct important briefings in front of colonels and higher and they were trusted as subject matter experts. Working with the Army, I’ve seen senior NCOs treat their mid-level NCOs and junior enlisted like fucking toddlers, regardless of their experience or knowledge.


The army takes the leftovers that can't get into any other branch. Sometimes that gets you audi murphy. But usually it gets you people like the sergeant major in the OP. I knew several former army people from my time in the navy, and they all said the difference in treatment is night and day.


I was a Marine, and apparently got really REALLY drunk one day and joined the Army after. Night and day doesn't even begin to describe it. I dealt with my fair share of shitbirds in the Corps, but there were legitimately a grand total of five people in my entire brigade in the Army who I trusted...one was the Colonel, my shop Chief, a butter bar who was just fucking awesome and made a point to seek out people more knowledgeable in anything he was tasked with when he had questions, and two Sergeants who were tertiary to my direct CoC. The rest of the soldiers I interacted with were so bad I even commented directly to the Colonel one day "I would rather have four Marines fresh out of boot backing me up than any entire company in this brigade."


I’ve met some shit-hot soldiers during my time, and some that are just genuinely awful at everything they do. There is rarely anything in between.


I used to teach Combat Lifesavers for the Military Transition Teams before they deployed to Iraq / Afghanistan (before the surge). At the time, I was a lowly SPC, with 15 months of combat experience and my Combat Medical Badge. My course was Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Of any of the lessons, it was probably the most important part of the whole course. All the people attending were SFC or above on the enlisted side, Major or above on the Officer side. The first half of the course, I taught without wearing my combat patch or the CMB. Nobody tried listening. Yeah, it was a bit of the boring stuff... but it covered a lot of the theory and laid the groundwork on the more advanced stuff. After our lunch break, I was wearing both my combat patch and CMB. I called all of them out on how they talked the entire time of my first three presentations, but now that I was wearing my combat flair, they were listening. It was good they were listening - because the stuff I was teaching after lunch was made of the hard triage decisions they might need to make. Practical applications of tourniquets, etc. Bottom line up front: People in the Army don't care about you unless you have nicer flair than they do - be that rank, skill badges, combat patches, or whatever.


If by MI professionals, you mean White House Communications Agency, sometimes they get smart and hire people like my brother. My brother is notorious for being able to get anything up and running correctly--as long as you pay his fees and he has some people with overinflated people to mess with. On his last gig for the White House Communications Agency, he happily messed with the Secret Service guys. I almost went to the White House Communications Agency myself--interviewed and everything. I didn't get the position because I decided I wanted to marry a guy who had a German mother and a German sister-in-law, neither of whom gave up their German citizenship. I don't know whether I should have opted for the slot instead of the husband-now-wasband, but it would have been fun to work with my brother. Maybe not so fun for everyone else, because brother and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to mayhem. All we have to do is look at one another, not even speaking a word, and Things Happen. Mischief kind of Things. As in my mom yells: "Don't you two even LOOK at each other!" when we are together around her. He lives about 500 miles away from me, so we don't get a chance to Do Things often.


I agree with you for the most part. I got out as an E4. I was military intelligence and was told I was like Rain Man at my job. Which was a fair description, because I will admit I was average at best on regular Army skills. Same deal though, outside of other people that were good, it was next to impossible to get most NCO’s and officers to listen or believe you in a briefing. Part of the issue you may have had from MI professionals is that I know when I was still in the Army, they sent a team to my unit and called all the E6’s and above into a conference room. Offered to let anyone that wanted walk out as a WO2. I was told that MI would come around and do that on a semi regular basis. The problem is I knew a lot of E5 and above who were not very technically proficient at their jobs. So later running into a Warrant that you already knew wasn’t an SME made you leery of thinking most of them were. Didn’t take long to figure out who the good ones were.


Imagine being an E3 in norfolk during Afghanistan and beginning of Iraq operations. I rolled out of nuke school abd couldnt go out to sea so became the QA guy getting packages signed off for repair jobs in port *for the entirety of the piers at the main atlantic fleet hub.* One OOD(officer of the deck, stand in for the captain(colonel rank) when hes not there) about lost his damn mind when I walked on his bridge looking for the CO of the ship. "Well Im the OOD." "Yeah thats probably good enough, sign here." Another time I had to go to a room of 13 master chiefs all busy as hell on the phone. When the first one gets done and sees me leaning on the door frame I get a pretty annoyed, "what do you want?" "Im from 38a" with some packages in my hand. "Oh yeah they told us about you. Ill sign."


Very good point. Thanks for the perspective.


what's a warrant officer and where are they in the hierarchy? thanks




Two of my friends went Warrant after we got home from Desert Storm. I was on my out with a medical though, so no luck for me.


Shit gets weird in the service sometimes. Yeah a lieutenant can technically boss around any enlisted. But they’re usually still just kids. Rich kids usually. You never really knew how shit would go down. Sometimes those kids realized they were kids and were at least slightly humble to the enlisted folks who knew what they were doing. Sometimes they got off on the power that was handed to them for basically nothing.


What's a Warrenton packet


It's a rather comprehensive application request for when a US Army Enlisted Soldier is seeking a career advancement as a Warrant Officer.


There are basically two categories of people in the (American) military, officers and enlisted. Pretty much anyone can enlist but officers need to go to school to be officers. Warrant officers are the exception in that they are former high ranking enlisted who "go back to school" to become officers. They're pretty rare and generally are considered the experts in their respective fields because of how much experience they usually have.


Why go wofficer when you can go officer though? Better pay and better job security.


because officers are supposed to be managers more than technical experts. some people would rather continue working in their field rather than have to deal with the hassles of ranking up into higher level of responsibility also why would Os have better job security than WOs? when units start downsizing due to budgets its the cadres of captains that can't pick up major and majors that will never see an oak leaf that are the easiest to get rid of


I'm actually struggling with this in the corporate world. To be clear, I was never military, but I'm at a point where I'm sort of a half step between doing actual work and management, and I don't really want to go higher into people management. It's a tough situation when the only way to get more money is continous promotion, rather than rewarding expertise with increased pay. Being promoted to my level of incompetence is something I want to avoid, but it's crazy I'm already struggling with it in my early thirties.


Consulting. The word you're looking for is consulting. You focus on adding high technical value to a firm for short bursts so that they can see how and why something needs to be done, and transform the company. You're not there to manage people but to make an impact... and then leave.


That's a thing I guess. My expertise is focused in project management which tends to be a longer scale type of task than a lot of consultants do...and also I'm a job security sorta fella. The idea of having to hustle for contracts terrifies me. My current plan is an industry swap from construction into tech, since tech salaries are bonkers.


There are plenty of companies that do third-party consultancy. You are permanently employed by a company, who then hire you out to other companies who need short-term positions. They're a glorified middleman who take a big cut of the money, but its the best balance you'll get between job security and purely technical expertise.


In tech, we keep parallel ladders. That means as an IC, you can be leveled (and paid) the exact same as a manager without having to take on any managerial duties whatsoever. There's no upper bound to this; there's famously an IC at Google who is Level 11, which is kind of like saying there's an IC who is producing value at the same level as—and compensated at the same level as—the CEO. What's great about this arrangement is that you never have to become a manager just because you've exhausted the runway on the IC track. Anyway, you said in another comment you were already looking at tech, so I'm here to reinforce that instinct. DM me if you want coaching or a referral.


Yeah. I'm getting some advice from a friend who was a software engineer at MSFT who recently took a position at Amazon after receiving offers from AMZN and Google. My sister works for a smaller tech company who's also helping me (PhD in English and she's helped her fiance with his cyber security jobs in tech) so she's assisting me with advice and extra eyes on my resume. Iev also got a friend at Google who offered a third set of eyes on my documents to help, which is nice. My bigger problem is a lack of expertise in the tech side of things coming from a physical manufacturing type of project management. Since I'll be able to at least get a cursory phone interview through my sister's referral, even if I'm a bad fit that'll give me a key visualization into what I need to build up. The nice thing is my total compensation in my current role is close to $200k with all benefits and bonuses, the only reason to pivot is a lot of tech PM roles at similar levels of management are around $300k total compensation, and less travel required. I appreciate the offer. I'm probably going to have to take some technical courses on things in order to shore up my skill, but I'm used to managing simultaneous multimillion dollar projects, so I'm hoping I can sort of just...use that expertise and a strong history of learning new industries as a selling point.


I'm in a similar boat. I managed to convince management to put me in a weird position as an internal consultant. Basically, instead of chasing external clients I bounce around providing expertise to various parts of the organization. It pays less than I would make as a freelance consultant, but it's stable work with full benefits and a chill boss. YMMV if you work in a small organization though. We're nearly 30,000 staff and 2,000+ sites nationally, so even at slow times there's a ton of projects at any given moment that I can get shuffled around to.


This is an extremely common problem in tech companies. The geeks who are really good technically are often really bad managers. Many companies have created a second advancement track for technical people who want to remain technical. However, you often have to move to a larger employer for it. Small companies frequently don't have the money for a 2nd track. Though small companies also don't typically implement something like "pay bands", so you can get unofficial technical promotions and raises if they're run well....but many are not run well.


Way back in the day when I actually thought retail management was a worthwhile career choice (lol) I had one store manager tell me his philosophy on career growth boiled down to "advancement versus mastery". Some people want to climb the ladder as fast as possible, but we should also embrace people that want to stay in a position that they know inside and out, and reward them for that mastery. Unfortunately, many companies see that mindset as completely untenable, and will fight it tooth and nail. Why would you ever allow someone to stay in a position long enough to earn more than a few points above the bare minimum said position typically pays? So they institute ridiculous "up or out" policies, where they basically force people to take promotions they don't want so they can slot someone else into their former position that they can pay less. They can't quantify the drastic loss in productivity as easily as they can look at the payroll column on a spreadsheet, so they think it's just so fucking great. When you say it out loud it seems so stupid and obvious, like they're just begging for every position to be filled by the least experienced people possible by having that sort of mindset...but hey, they saved (on paper) 17 bucks this week and who cares if the department crashes and burns in 2 months when everything finally explodes in their faces? That's a future them problem, not a today them problem. Edit: Of course, I've also been on the flipside of that coin, where I was *too* necessary in a given position so even though I was the most qualified to get the bump, they wouldn't give me one ajd instead chose someone else, solely because they knew they'd need to hire two or three people to replace the shit I got done in a day whereas the other person was more easily replaced. I've literally been told this by my superiors more than once, and it's always resulted in me saying 'see ya' because that's bullshit, too.


If I could stay a bench scientist (medical laboratory scientist), I wouldn't mind being an officer. There doesn't seem to be a Warrant Officer option for medical laboratory scientists--officer or enlisted, and that's all. Ugh. But officers do all the crap I would hate doing as a civilian, which is why I have reached the peak of my professional advancement in the laboratory. I don't want to manage people or paperwork. I want to splash around on the bench.


4year delay in promotion? Besides, WO are gods amongst men.


as the saying goes \[at least in the Commonwealth\] "the Warrant Officers are the backbone of the army"


The other saying goes something like "If a job is commissioned, it doesn't always get done right. If it's warranted, it will be done right."


If I knew I was getting stupid orders from an officer, I’d go find a WO and find a way to reveal said stupidity. Fixed the problem 90% of the time.


You need a bachelor's to promote as a warrant as well?


It depends on the specific MOS. I was an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Technician. I made it all the way to Chief Warrant Officer 3 without a degree.


Damn, I always thought you needed a BS to get WO2.


A mechanic becomes a warrant officer because he wants to stay a mechanic. As an officer they would probably have him counting beans or something else similarly useless. Also.. why become the bottom of a huge pile instead of the small top of a small pile.


Oh man, that's so good. I'm also an audio engineer in the Army. My introduction to Officer-Know-It-All was at my Basic Training graduation rehearsal. Drill Sergeants were trying to get some wireless mics working and they kept getting interference (lots of static). Some buddies of mine who knew what I do asked if I knew what the problem was (which I did) and called our Platoon Sergeant over. I explained that I thought I could help, so he took me up to the gear. Sure enough, both mics were set to the same frequency, and the receivers were secured in a way that no one could access them to change settings. I turned off one mic and lo, everything was peachy. I explained to the Drill Sergeants that one mic could be used without issue and they were cool about it. 10 minutes later, the XO (Executive Officer, basically second in command) shows up and is like "Nope. Gotta have that second mic. Turn it on." Immediate static blast through the PA. Had to sit and watch them limp along through the entire rehearsal because the XO couldn't be bothered to listen to anyone. Fortunately, since then, my interactions with that type of officer have been slim, but I still have to explain physics more often than I'd like.


I work in live events. You would be surprised at how many times people pay me a lot of money to listen to me explain why something won’t work only to ignore me.


I work in PA/ voice alarm. I've to explain 10 time a week why you shouldn't place the speakers behind ceiling tiles. I always try to explain that sound is like light and if you place the lamp behind the ceiling, you won't get any light. The understand but still, the ''architect'' won't see those ugly speakers and let them placed out of sight. Then come the certification day... Everyone is surprised that it's a fail but me. STI around 0.25 at 85db with enough luck


If they are that worried about aesthetics. Mount the speakers in the tile and cover the whole tile in acoustic cloth to match all the other tiles. You would think these people are dumb or something.


I was in a band on tour. We pulled up, about the time he crew and gear arrived, and I overheard the band's crew chief arguing with the venue about why we need a dedicated 150amp line. It's in the contract but the venue manager said "we will tap off a power panel and that will work." And he refused to change. We had the option of not doing the show, but we decided to go ahead and hope their panel held. Huge FOH set up, amps set up, lights flown all plugged in. Dark stage we walk out, count in starts and we hit the first chord with all the lights coming on at the same time. Boom - all the lights, amps, FOH etc., went out, including the auditorium overhead lights. So we walk off stage. The audience is getting pissed, our road manager and crew chief is telling the venue manager "We told you so" while the venue stage crew runs to reset the breaker box. You'd think they would have learned, but no. We're back on stage, with the change of bringing up the stage lights slowly to reduce surge. We get halfway through the first verse and everything goes down again. We walk off stage, the audience is really pissed, the venue crew is freaking out and pleading with our crew chief and head sound tech to "Do Something!" We can't go to our dressing rooms because they are also dark, so we are just hanging out by the back door, watching all the drama and making fun of the venue manager. Fortunately, the sound crew had a solution, which involved running a power cable back to the source, by passing the power panels. Oh no, the venue won't let the sound guys do that. Solution - do the show with most of the lights off, and half the FOH sound system off. Audience was pissed.. Really pissed..


Yeah and the shitty part about all that is at the end of the day, people are gonna get pissed at you on stage instead of the venue.


Next time, just explain that you can talk to plants, and they told you they want water instead of Brawndo.


R/militarycompliance might also appreciate this?




Omg this is genius! So glad I decided to look into the comments, I’m a veteran and always love reading military compliance! As soon as OP mentioned the sgt major I could imagine clear as day lmao


Oh great, another rabbit hole to dive down. Thank you, and fuck you.


Thank you


I’m sure r/livesound would appreciate this as well.


Maybe also r/sounding


You motherfucker


Ha Ha Ha :)


I've seen it too many times to fall for it, now or ever again


Probably not. LOL


Whyyyyyyyy did you do this !


I think you are replying to the wrong comment. I was the one that gave the warning that people should probably not go to that subreddit.


Aw man, I'm loving all these suggestions of new su-OHMYGOD....




You son of a …. Lucky for me my buddy pranked me with this sub last month. Lol slick


Reply of the day!


Take my highly entertained upvote.


And /r/MilitaryStories


This is one of the most authentic sounding military story I've read in ages. Thanks for sharing.


From what I've seen, it seems especially bad in the military, and with bigger repercussions if you don't zip it, but it's such a real thing in the wider corporate world. Makes for great reading tho


"Your fault, my mistake"


Yeah I’ve never even attempted a military career but I love reading the military stories told here because it reads just as petty as my boring office jobs were.


99% of military lfie is petty mundane busy work.


Appreciate the feedback.


I was in the US Army in the 80's. Didn't take long to figure out the the deal. We were given annual? SQT tests to test our knowledge on our particular MOS, but they were open book, WTF?! My experience was that a SGM was only good at spotting a cigarette butt 100 yards away, nothing else. The ranking system was so fucked up that I noped out when my 3 years were up.


Knowing that the name of the E-4 rank is SPECIALIST makes this even worse! I guess there is a slim chance you're one of the few corporals around, in which case this is still pretty stupid. The Sergeants Major are still upset they can't bitch about polished boots and starched BDU. They are just so fascinated with uniforms I guess... At my pre-commamd course for battalion command, the **Sergeant Major of the Army** was incredulous that we weren't clapping and high-fiving him for getting black socks approved for the PT uniform. I didn't hear a word he or Milley said after that entrance.


Heh. Our E-4 guys happily called themselves "Full Bird Privates", which for some reason just infuriated commissioned officers and NCOs. The warrants in our section just sighed, sipped their coffee and got on with things. I was an E-5 at the time, and I thought their term was funny. Even better was that they used the term just to wind up officers and NCOs.


That's even better than. PFCIC/SPCIC.


My favourite response to “not my first rodeo.” is to pause, look at them, and reply “Looks like you ain’t won one yet, though!”


Or "I'll have the ambulance on stand-by".


"Really? Every rodeo i ever been to, the clowns wear make-up."


“ i dont see a belt buckle”


I like that


Oh em gee that's hilarious and I can't wait for an opportunity to use it!!


This is legit. Many such experiences like this while I served.


I love this story. I was 29 when I joined the Army, so no spring chicken either. My unit transferred me after putting me on post tax prep detail. My new unit was about to put me on AWOL, when a Sgt. with the old unit, whom I'd deployed with to Iraq months prior, found me and my detail SSgt. We had to go to the new commanding officer and request I finish out the detail. For such a simple communication structure, the military has so many disconnects.


Let’s be honest. The Sergeant Major is still clueless and will never figure out that you were there to help.


Probably tried to blame OP for sabotaging everything.


Either that or they’re saying “The band was supposed to send an audio engineer but nobody showed up!”


Is probably mad at OP there’s new mandatory training


> Some superiors see the value in my experience and advice, but many others see the rank and disregard my opinions. Such an unintelligent view to not take advice from those of lower rank or position.


It’s a matter of hubris. They can’t be bothered to take advice of the rank and file because that would involve removing their heads from their ass.


Some people... Haha


> This isn’t just a safety risk, it’s also a good way to rip out all the connections from gear. This is a classic sentence. Tell me you’re an audio engineer without telling me you’re an audio engineer.


Replace part of this story with being a female, civilian audio engineer and you have a description for about 10% of my gigs over the last 20 years.


> “This isn’t our first rodeo, so we know what we’re doing.” The proper answer to that would have been. "Indeed. That is why they sent me."


I was asked to help prepare for a senior management presentation one time. Bitchy manager says to be quiet. We were alwqys told to practice before a presentation. She was too important.


Story time?


Tbh i bet cognitive dissonance meant that the 1sgt just blamed everyone but himself and didn't even consider that you could have helped


Shit rolls downhill.


I'm former military. Went in at E4 from a college degree. Got stuck there due to injuries and not being able to go to a promotion board since I didn't have a valid weapons qual from not being allowed on the range using crutches. Anyways, E4 doing an E6-7's job, and doing it better than the rest of the "Schools and Training NCOs" in the battalion. We get a new 1SG, that literally only got promoted to 1SG because he took the overdue opening. He'd never been in a "real Army" unit his entire career. Only recruiting and a couple of years at West Point. Right away he's blaming me for putting things in his file. For example we were a deployable unit, but he had a profile that says he can't deploy. Blamed me for entering it in the system, when while yes I could, I'm not allowed to unless I see the paper in front of me. And other stupid things like this. So here I am, doing my job, determining coverage for a basewide training coming up. To explain context, I was the sole person determining coverage for a training exercise that involved 14k people over a period of 10 weeks. I figured out how it needed to work, everyone in the brigade followed my instructions. In the middle of this comes the monthly promotion boards. 1SG realizes that I'm the only E4 in the company that would stand a chance at getting promoted (medical had really high points values), then realizes he can't send me to the board because of my outdated weapons qual. PT test could be waived, but not that. He's pissed, as a result, he tries to demote me to E1. My commander hears the start of this and calls me into his office to ask what's going to. I start trying to explain, but he cuts me off to remind me of a doctor visit I had that day. Takes me a min to catch on to the "doctor visit". See I went regularly, but not that day. My surgeon was about a 3 hr drive away through 2 major cities. So when I had a doctor visit, I pretty much missed the whole day because inevitably I'd hit rush hour one way. So I leave, head back to my barracks room and just chill. 1SG never spoke to me again in the 3 months I remained in that unit. CSM personally thanked me for the thoroughness of my planning before I left. Apparently, the process was never smoother than the year I did it all.


This is the real reason why America has #1 military budget. A new sound system won't fix the stupid


This is what I was thinking about too. I love spending 100s of millions of dollars annually for this kind of story…


So you actually think he realized that?


Yep, that's what I came to comment. No way they realized that.


Sounds like they blamed it all on the equipment, asked for a complete set of new gear, and moved on.


This reminds me of this one time I was production management for a college and we were doing some orientation thing. Hours of meetings and then practical prep time. It looked great, the sound had been tested then I left my most trusted assistant backstage to hand the president a microphone and tell him where to stand. After he grabbed his mic he had hand waved her and he walked onstage to stand in complete darkness while addressing his audience. The emails I got after that about how stupid he looked and why did we do that to him. That stage was like 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep and maybe if he had listened to the 22 year old I left in charge back there, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Was it casual ageism or misogyny or egotism on his part. Maybe just trust the people doing their job that they have been put in their position to do their job.


Bold of you to assume he had that moment of realization.


Awesome story... Sergeant-Major? For some reason I now can't help imagine the staff sergeant of that Brittish comedy series "It aint half hot mum".


> the staff sergeant of that Brittish comedy series "It aint half hot mum". He was also a Sergeant-Major, being a Warrant Officer (class 2 I believe). The UK doesn't have as many Sergeant ranks as the US - we only really have Sergeants and Colour Sergeants (sometimes called Staff Sergeants). There are some traditional names for Sergeants in some Regiments (for example in the Household Cavalry they are called Corporal of Horse). As for Battery Sergeant Major Williams (played by Windsor Davies) he was supposed to play the BSM of a Royal Artillery unit, who have their own rank names - Corporals are called Bombardiers, and Privates are called Gunners. [Here's some example footage](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y2WIOa7CEI) from the show, compared to an actual [Guards Sergeant doing drill](https://youtu.be/IC8lvOHCr24?t=281). Bear in mind the show "It ain't half hot mum" is a 70s show so the language may not be choice.


I'm not familiar with that show. However OP stated they were an E4. So enlisted, pay grade level 4 and anywhere from 0-14(?) years time in service. Sergeant Major is an E9. That's enlisted, pay grade level 9 and about 20 years in, if memory serves me correctly.


It could have changed, I got out in 1993. E4 was put out of service after 7 years. The earliest you could make E9 would probably be at about 15-17 years in. My opinion was up or out was a big mistake for the Army. I saw a lot of good people get out around the same time I did because promotions were frozen.


I got it in 2011. I think if you hadn't made E6 by 14 years, you were out? Yes, up and out was so stupid especially if there wasn't a slot to promote into, they served better were they were, etc.


I was really considering reenlisting, but I had 5 years in already. Promotion score to E5 was 798 out of 800. I was in a military Intelligence specialist in an armored cavalry regiment. Our sergeant major would openly tell people that he didn’t like anyone that wasn’t combat arms. He would intentionally score non combat arms soldiers low on promotion boards so they would not make the list. I didn’t want to chance reenlisting than getting put out two years later for not promoting. I did ROTC at college after that but didn’t take a commission which is long story in itself.


That's fair. I was an engineer. They were shoving people up the ladder hand over first whether they were ready or not. It was sad to watch people burn out from the stress and leadership not stick around.


Please post this to /r/MilitaryStories. I moderate over there, and our readers love military malicious compliance.


Idiot SGM. Really, there is a reason the E4 rank is (mostly, we will ignore CPL) called a Specialist... When I ran a S6 and a G6, they were the keyboard warriors since their training technically was the most up to do date (everything higher often gets distracted by NCO business... as always there are exceptions (I was NG so you end up with some really techy NCO's and even O's (I don't mention WO's since they damn well better be experts in their craft)).


Oh hey, fellow military band-O here! Why on gods green earth would any chug-nut sergeant major ever fucking ignore any dedicated professionals opinion on their exact profession? I learned pretty quickly that all the support staff definitely know more than I do.


The job of the leader isn't to know everything, it's to know who knows what and get them connected and working properly. Sounds like you did a good job.


I am reminded of certain Maxims for Maximally Effective Mercenaries, namely the one saying that an ordnance tech at a dead run outranks everybody. Sometimes the guy without the rank really does know something.


Arrogance has way of getting you back.




Senior enlisted are always the worst scumbags in the entire military.


Love what we used to call EGO STRIPES. Just smile and nod. What happened to you is widespread in the military


Its interesting to hear the differences between an infantry and non-infantry unit. I commonly heard from our leadership that they fully understood that if you want to talk with an expert on the day-to-day tasks of the unit, then find an E-4 to show you.


Yes, sir! Fucking off, sir! Thank you, sir!


One of the biggest things I've learned in the Army: Rank/Age has nothing to do with knowledge. I've been outsmarted by privates, and dumbfounded by college graduates on a daily basis


>I notice some people setting up the speakers behind the lectern, in a way that would feedback as soon as the mic was unmuted. Number 1 audio feedback elimination rule: make sure speakers are IN FRONT of the microphone. Just think about it: sound goes into mic, which amplifies it and sends it to speakers. And that sound is then picked up by the mic and is amplified and sent to the speakers. Which is then picked up blah blah blah...


I know you went home and probably were required to based on being given orders, but man I would have just loved it if you would have stayed behind and made sure that SM saw your shit-eating grin from ear to ear as you made direct eye contact with him.


Bad Idea. SgtMaj have sufficient rank to make his life hell, right then, right there.




Were you ordered to do it or asked? Sounds like your unit's sergeant should have given them a heads up that you'll be calling the shots on the PA.


Gahhhh I went through this in 2015! Big change of command ceremony outside, lots of higher ups families in attendance, put the PA about 10 ft behind the lectern, tried to warn them, got told to just fall in with the rest of the company because, “the unit in so-and-so had a change of command ceremony last week and it went just fine.” Okaaaay… The SECOND the mic was unmuted, we were all violently ear raped by the feedback. I had the worst secondhand embarrassment of my life watching them scramble to yeet the speakers away.


You mean someone setting up the PA was an obtuse and rude douche bag who didn’t actually know what they were doing? That never happens….. ever…./s Sauce: I’m a professional musician.


Actually, the kind of brilliance that kept me fro enlisting LONG LONG ago. Objective facts are a bitch Sergeant Major.


I'm convinced that in order to advance in the military you need to be a fucking dunderhead






*makes a note to start using “and, lo”


Everyone else is finished reading this and I’m still stuck at “master dubstep party band sound general of the US military motherfuckers” (which is how I imagine you described your job)