Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Friday, 14th September 1945.
Dear Aunty Clara,
Once again it is extremely late, but my determination has been aroused sufficiently that work or no work, late or not, I'm going to get the old daily letters off to you once more. I might as well repeat my general attitude that although I've achieved my goal of Personnel Sergeant Major I don't want the job anymore. There is simply too much work connected with it now that the War is over. These due dates are driving me mentally off the beam. It has always been that way in the three years of office work but now it is worse than ever. Of course too, a lot of this headache comes from the fact that we have just moved and are under a new headquarters so that everything is new to us. That plus the fact that our movement delayed the payrolls and that everyone had to spend a lot of time on that IG check. The trouble is that if and when things settle down again we will probably be taking off for Japan and then we will have the headache of passenger lists to consider and all the last minute hustle and bustle that goes along with moving. Today, just as we are getting the payrolls out of the way, with no deadline for two days, in comes a change on the reporting of surplus personnel with two reports due immediately if not sooner on our status as of 1 September 1945. Then the monthly Machine Records Unit rosters arrived and they want all the points refigured as of V-J Day, 2 September 1945, plus the year of birth added for all personnel. That is an all day job in itself and will occupy all of tomorrow getting out since those reports must be returned within 48 hours after receipt.
I know that even though Joe Suiter talked big about seeing the Colonel for an immediate promotion for me, nothing will materialize from that. I didn't expect it when I found out the job was mine and I don't expect it now. However, my blood did rise a little as the semi-monthly promotions came up from H&S Company and I saw several promotions into the Staff Sergeancys that were not called for in the Table of Organization and which were just being given to the fellows. I don't see why they make an exception in those cases. Yet, I cooled down quickly enough because would it be fair to rate me when Reedy is in the same boat as I am by taking Mersing' s place in the Supply Room and he will have to remain a Tec 4 taking over a S/Sgt's job. And the same goes in B Company where an acting mess sergeant is in charge. If you give one of those acting men a break, you have to give it to them all to be fair about it. So we will just have to wait until the orders releasing our TDR&R men come through sometime next year.
I can't see any point to the job though working all day long and them coming back into the night and working all night long and then going to bed with work still left over to begin the new day with. I'm not doing myself a bit of good by it but I can't see any way out of it unless I leave the office. If I leave the office, I'd earn less money but have no responsibilities.. I'll wait till we get to Japan and I know how cold it gets there. I don't want to be on the outside when I can work in a nice warm office during the winter.
But on top of all those complaints I still like the job and I feel more capable by the day. The newness has worn off and the clerks have gotten over their feeling that I am just feeling my way around and now seem to have the attitude that I am their Sergeant Major and know what the score is. Maybe I'm no good at reading other people but it seems to me that they have sort of approved of me. I hope that is right for it makes me feel good. Yet, there is a drawback to that thinking. In past times of my life when I thought I was a success at something, it turned out that I was doing my poorest work and when I thought, conversely, that I was making a mess of things, it was tops as far as others were concerned. So there you have it: on one hand I feel good and on the other hand I feel bad.
The rest of the battalion is taking a training program since we have no work assigned to us while awaiting the next move and for once there has been absolutely no talk about clerks going out for that stuff. Of course, it isn't because they are thinking of the clerks; it is just absolute necessity that no one take anytime off anymore. In fact, we are even going to start a double shift around here with some of the boys coming in at night so they can get a crack at the typewriters which we are short of and what we have are in constant use during the daytIme hours. I've arranged it so that on days when Garriss has a lot of typing to do, he will take the afternoon off from work and. then come back to work again for about three hours or so during the evening. I told him to do that this afternoon but he didn't like doing it on my word alone thinking I might get into trouble; so now we have the approval of Lts Kuras and Suiter.
There are several mistakes I have been making and that is (1) not checking the clerks work closely enough, giving them credit for knowing how to do their work only to have Lt Kuras call my attention to something I've overlooked. From now on everything from anybody is going to be scrutinized but good. (2) Being too liberal about typographical errors. It looks like a sloppy bit of work when there are more than three typographical errors on one page, yet that is the way they hand it in and Sackett must have let them get away with it or else they wouldn't be in the habit. I know Kuras doesn't like that either and I ought to bring it to their attention. The only trouble is that to type things over takes time and that is what we are short of.
I received three letters today. One from Blumenfeld, - very good one and long too. Two from you dated I don't know when and contents of which I have already forgotten. That is shocking but I read them right after or before suppertime and so much has happened since then that it is difficult to think back. I'll answer them tomorrow.
So-long for now.
P.S.: Did I tell you about our area? It is the muddiest and the worst ground we have ever had. The place must have been a field of rice paddies originally for you can't get any drainage... The water just stagnates in one spot like in any paddy and after a rain the ground everywhere turns into a spongy mud. At night you are walking along on solid ground and then bingo, your foot is sticking ankle deep in mud.
It isn't safe to wear moccasins anymore; anyway I had stopped wearing them on assuming my new command. I feel too lazy and shiftless in moccasins and since I've got to concentrate I wear my GI shoes to help give me "atmosphere".