Saturday, December 20, 2008

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"

If there's one thing that a deployment, or the military in general, teaches you, it is this lesson from Robert Burns.

Many plans that seemed concrete are shattered. Some interesting ones that I've had to use flexibility for as of late include:
  • My four majors and minor in Spring 2009 had t0 be changed to 2 majors in Fall 2008, deferring the other ones indefinitely
  • Never moving my stuff back to my parents' house is now not feasible
  • Going to grad school and/or starting a company is delayed
  • Leaving the military at the end of my current contract (Dec09) will not happen due to stoploss
  • Leading a normal American life here in the US obviously is not in the picture for a long time
Another plan at the moment was to terminate my lease that I entered with my girlfriend for a 1BR apartment in Dinkytown, in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. My landlord stated that his interpretation of the law was that although I could get out of the lease, my girlfriend could not and would be responsible for the entire payment of the lease (as we are not married, so the SCRA does not directly apply to her), and since she cannot afford the lease by herself that we should find another subletter to live with her (in a 1BR).  

This was a drastically different response than I expected of course, and so I changed plans and am now attempting to contact someone from JAG to find out their interpretation to see if we can terminate the lease. Contingency planning currently includes attempting to find a subletter for whole apartment (as someone else sharing a 1BR with my girlfriend seems implausible) or simply paying my half of the lease for the remaining 7 months of the 12 month contract. 

So in lies the flexibility, contingency planning, and willingness to take a hit that the military has taught me.