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Literally Working Smarter, Not Harder

, , , , , , | Working | March 16, 2021

At my first duty station for the Navy after boot camp — a yearlong training program with very demanding classes eight to ten hours per weekday — in addition to classes and other duties, we had physical training three times a week. Periodically, there are also command runs. I hate running with a passion. I will do any other cardio to avoid it. Sadly, we have a commanding officer who wants us to do command runs monthly.

My collateral duty is being the division yeoman, keeping track of our training and paperwork. This included signing everyone in for command runs. Our division leadership wants us all to do as much college work as possible because a combo of college equivalency exams (CLEPs and DSSTs) and our weekday classes could become an AA degree. This seems pointless for me since I have a BA already, but I realize fast that this is a wonderful new way to avoid command runs; we are excused from the runs to do our tests. As a divisional yeoman, I am one of the first to find out about our new schedule each month, so as soon as I see the schedule, I schedule myself a CLEP test that “happens” to coincide with the command run.

My division leadership probably realizes what I am doing, but since I am passing the CLEPs, they don’t care. But I have a PT leader shipmate who takes personal offense to my avoiding command runs. One month, I notice that the command run is scheduled for a day that is a holy day in my religion. I check to see what my options for fulfilling the religious obligation are. The only way I can do it would be after class, at the same time as the command run. Of course, I have to inform my division leadership about why I am missing the run. As luck would have it, the PT leader shipmate is in their office, too. The conversation goes something like this.

Shipmate: “Let me guess. You’re scheduling another CLEP so you can’t make the command run?”

Me: “No, I can’t make it this month because it’s on a holy day in my religion and it conflicts with the only time I can make the observance.”

Division Chief: “Okay, not a problem. Do your thing.”

Shipmate: “What religion are you anyway?”

Me: “I’m [Religion].”

Shipmate: *Smirking* “So am I! What’s the holy day?”

Me: “It’s [Holy Day]… so I guess I’ll see you at the service?”

He looked very surprised. And I didn’t see him at the service. Also, I transferred to my next command with fifteen classes worth of CLEPs and DSSTs!

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