Our Final Post On Here: Santa Caught Outsourcing Labor??

27 12 2012

santaYear after year we feed our children stories about how Santa’s Elves work hard in the North Pole to bring the good children toys. Now here’s a question for you. If the toys are built in the North Pole, then why are the toys stamped with “Made in China?” We get mad at our own Government for outsourcing labor, but when good old St. Nick does it, nobody bats an eyelash. Has Christmas Spirit become replaced by the Spirit of Capitalism? Maybe the Elves have taken a stance and have formed a Union for better benefits and salaries. Little did they know that they’re demands are a little too pricey for Pere Noel and he has to get cheaper labor to reduce the cost of production. Apparently outsourcing has been a part of bigger business since 343 A.D. when the first stories of Kris Kringle were shared with little boys and girls around the world. Well played Santa, well played. A better question would be how does Santa pay taxes when his income is consumable? (Meaning comprised of milk and cookies)

* *This is a playful post; hopefully you don’t decide that we’re meant to be on the naughty list next Christmas for unveiling Santa’s big secret. Thanks for being good sports.


We’re Moving!!

27 12 2012


Hey there Sailor Spousers!

We’re moving our blog to it’s very own website. Please bear with us this week as we’re trying to finalize many of the changes. Feel free to check it out, here’s the link:


We appreciate all of your support, hope to see you there.

Thanks,Sailor Spouse (both of us)

Minutes After Midnight

21 12 2012

Still here… and we’re feeling fine.


19 12 2012

micromanagingIf you were to ask for my opinion about management five years ago, my answer would’ve been very simple. My answer would’ve been, “It’s for those that want to do nothing and tell people what to do all the time.” Now I would tell you, “That it’s a complex balance between favoritism, dictatorship, diplomacy and motivational speeches.” The basic fundamental of getting the job done applies to all forms of management, but the driving force used to get the job done is what makes varying forms of management drastically different.

Each person possesses a unique form of leadership. Some lead through inspiration and example, while others lead through threats and carelessness. All leaders do share the same goal and that is to accomplish all tasks through the use of their subordinates. So if the same principal of “getting the job done” is applied to all forms of management and leadership, who is affected the most? The people that work to get the job accomplished.

I’ve been in the Navy five short years now. I’ve seen various forms of leadership and management during this time, and how they have left lasting impressions on the crew. If I could choose which form of management I would like to be a part of, it would be the one that interferes the least and provides incentives. The incentive would typically affect liberty hours. The benefit of offering liberty time incentives is that sailors will generally work harder and more efficiently to ensure that they’re able to go home at a decent time.

The counter to this method is to have working hours set for the same time everyday. The theory behind this method is to maximize the amount of work that gets done. This sounds great in theory, but in reality, it isn’t efficient and promotes negativity in the work environment. What can be found around the ship is a general attitude of doing the bare minimum to occupy the time it takes until you go home. Disorganized management leads to chaos. Lack of communication usually is the main reason for disharmony in the working environment. If everyone isn’t on the same page, that’s where the confusion sets in. You’ll have disagreements on what tasks rank higher in priority than others. In the end, nothing gets accomplished and an entire day has been wasted due to lack of planning. This type of leadership/management is best known as micromanagement. Micromanagement, for lack of a better phrase, is the root of all evil in my opinion. Sadly, there’s been a growing trend of micromanagement tendencies.

An outstanding management team would have a list of priorities that need to be accomplished set up the day before. That list of priorities would then be passed onto the sailors as “liberty items.” Knowing which items are considered liberty items motivates sailors to come into work with the “Get in, kick ass and get out” mentality. If we could focus more on how to become efficient as a team, as opposed to scrutinizing each individual as to what was accomplished for the day, I believe we could achieve greater results with much happier sailors.

Why So Many Doubts?

19 12 2012

Dreams-DoubtsHave you ever wondered what it would be like to be out of the Navy? No more duty days, no more under-ways and no more deployments. That degree that you thought was impossible to achieve due to costs, can now become a reality through the use of your Montgomery G.I. Bill. These thoughts and opportunities are usually what drive Navy sailors to leave at some point when they’ve made up their mind that the full 20+ years of service isn’t for them. So if a sailor has enough reasons to leave and a burning desire to no longer be part of the Navy, what causes the sailor to suddenly reenlist?

My answer would be fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that plays tricks on its victims. It can make the most determined sailor think twice about their actions and the slightest let up in will causes that person to choose the safest road. Can you blame them? Times are tough. Everywhere we look there are people getting laid off, people struggling to pay off their mortgages and a pessimistic view towards the future. If you toy with the idea of leaving, you’re bound to hear about how the sky is falling down from your own Chain of Command. There will be talks about how the SRB’s (Sailor Reenlistment Bonus) are at all time highs and if you reenlist now, you can get that bonus once you sign the dotted line. But what if you were not deterred by all the negative news and the SRB carrot that they dangle in front of your face? Does the sky fall down and life as you know it cease to exist? Quite simply, no it does not. In fact, life goes on. It doesn’t stop and wait for you to catch up; you have to be flexible and keep up with it.

If you’ve been in the military service, at some point in your career you’ve used the do or die mentality to get the job done. All throughout boot camp, and every adversity that you’ve faced in the Navy has required the use of this mentality. The mentality works wonders if you believe, so why not use this same mentality when you get out? If you’ve already made up your mind about something, go ahead and go for it. So what if the naysayers say that it can’t be done. Let them be stuck in their own little world, while you deal with what’s going in yours. Plan for the future, set your goals high and get there with a determination like no other. I can guarantee you’ll surprise yourself.

This post is not to be read as a post to push sailors to leave. This post was written only to inspire sailors to think for themselves and not let the influences of money, or peer pressures affect their decisions to sign the dotted line again. I believe that if you reenlist, it should be for the right reasons, meaning you love what you do. So I say again, reenlist because you want to, not because your Chain of Command scared you into it, or hooked you with the bonus carrot dangling on the end of the stick.

If you’re still having doubts about what you want to do, don’t sweat it. It’s just your mind trying to decide whether you are, or are not content about what you’re doing with your life. A book that has opened my eyes and has made me see things in a different light is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Pick yourself up a copy and start opening your mind towards becoming a success.

Larry D. Bernstein | Freelance Writer, Blogger, Educator

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