When it comes to being adversely affected by mindless bureaucracy, I have learned to suffer in (mostly) silence, like the average lower-ranking drone that I am these days. While "silence implies consent", I believe that consent can be withdrawn at whatever point the stupidity becomes more trouble than it's worth.
I've become an observer of my particular "military microcosm", given my substantially different background and experience, and what I'm seeing on a daily basis saddens me. Not heart-ripping despair, to be sure...This is more like the dull ache of a wisdom tooth emerging after close to six decades of lurking beneath the surface of my jaw.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has reportedly taken to reciting the "Serenity Prayer" during his frequent moments of frustration, and he's taken a lot of heat from the media and political opponents for doing so. Fortunately I have a significantly lower profile than Rep. Boehner, so nobody has seemed to notice when I mumble my own version in the aftermath of another "Drive-By Stupiding" incident.
At least I've come to the realization that it is highly unlikely that I am going to effect even a modicum of change upon my military organization. I'm not even going to be successful in just "doing what has to be done" by flying below the radar and focusing on key tasks I know will lead to accomplishing my missions. Instead, I see now that I'm stuck in "Crazy-Tasty Town". (I got that phrase off of a single-serving packet of Spam, and have been trying to insert it somewhere in a relevant way for the past year!). By the way, for the record the ratio is 89% Crazy, and only 11% Tasty, which falls well below my minimum acceptable standard for a non-deployed environment.
So, this leaves me with a couple of rational choices: I can resign myself to another winter, spring, summer and fall of my discontent, and then repeat it once more, or I can explore healthy, positive ways of bailing out and returning to my previous situation. Bailing carries some risk of a financial downside, both short and long-term, but with an offset (also long-term) that would partially balance things out.
In the meantime, I'll just keep muttering the Serenity Prayer under my breath, and do my best not to let the Droids of Dumbass piss me off to the point where I try to change the things I cannot.
("It's Chinatown, Jake!")