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Attitude Adjustment

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Jason E. Smith
  • 451st EAES First Sergeant
In the last four months here at KAF, I've noticed many things. The one that is easily recognizable is the "front" or "angry face" people display. Not just US forces, but all NATO troops here. Let's start from the time you, the reader, arrived. Do you remember how tired, frustrated and the drained feeling you had sitting in the "Last Stand"/inbound PAX terminal? What about the "Hurry up and wait" statement we all learned in our initial military training? This, my friends, was the beginning of our attitude adjustment.

The attitude we came with is certainly not the same. Positive and driven at first, but did it change? Did you feel tested, overworked and underappreciated? Well, you're not alone. Everyone from Generals to Airmen has been in the same boat. The only difference is how you handle it, and how you show it. Some people take it out on others that had nothing to do with your situation or problem. Was that you at one point or another? If you don't think so, or say no to this question, then you are WRONG! Sorry to be so blunt, but you would be that person I'm speaking of that has a problem. Why are you so different? Everyone is human and makes mistakes. Question is.....Can you admit and correct it?

Did you ever walk by someone here or at home and get a smug look? Or maybe at the counter while you were making a purchase? So, how do we fix it? Easy....and answered with one word. Smile. I know, I know, it's tough to do here in Afghanistan. We are supposed to act tough and angry because we are here, but a smile can change the tone of any scenario. You'd be surprised at how it can work in your favor. Initiate with one and you have the upper hand in every instance. The other person, whether the attitude changes or not, will deal with you or the next person differently. It doesn't matter if they are American, Canadian, British or local. It will work most of the me.

Let's talk about the people in your immediate workplace. How do you get past the uncomfortable feeling of the last argument or misinterpretation you had with them? Answer: Treat every time you speak with that individual as if nothing happened before that. Yes, difficult. However, if they came to and you automatically put on the angry face, you might have missed the good intent they were bringing on a completely different subject!

Moral of the story; Treat others the way you want to be treated, give people the benefit of the doubt, and don't be quick to have an attitude just because you are having a bad day. Do all you can to turn things around. You never know if you or others are going to be around tomorrow to fix what happened. How can I say such a thing you ask? I am a survivor of a tragic event. My brother had committed suicide 10 years ago this May. Although we didn't have any unsettled anger, I still wanted to go back and change many things I said in the past. You might not get the chance to change things, especially when in the AOR where it can change in a split second. You may only get one chance to make things right, so act sooner rather than later. Adjust your attitude, and good luck on the rest of your deployment.