Are you taking care of your support staff?

January 29, 2009 | Professionalism | RSS 2.0

There’s a tendency for some in the military (espcially those in the combat arms like infantry or armor) to refer to support personnel (like finance or supply) as REMFs (Rear-Echelon Mother F*****rs). 

In case you couldn’t tell, it’s usually a term of derision.  The infantry volunteered to go kill the bad guys, and for some reason many feel the need to look down on those who volunteered to deliver the bullets.

If there’s one thing I learned on deployment, it’s take care of your supply guy (or girl)!  Similar to the old TV show M*A*S*H, where Radar O’Reilly worked magic to get items that the unit needed, my supply sergeant was a magician at working in (and when necessary around) the proper channels to get the equipment we needed to perform the mission.

Fast-forward to my high school – I’d have to say that most of our staff is pretty professional about things like this, but I still run into a few who treat our secretaries, custodians, aides, etc. like dirt.

That’s the wrong answer!  Those folks exist to make our jobs easier.  Imagine having to clean your classroom every day, or stuff envelopes every time a mailing is going out.   What would happend to your job satisfaction if you had to refinish the floors in the summer and shovel the walks in the winter?

A few years ago one of our students organized “Custodian Appreciation Day.”  It’s kinda sad that a student had to do it – I don’t think it ever honestly occured to any of the adults. 

Now I make it a point to have little Christmas gifts for the support folks, to give them a heartfelt “thank you” when they do their job.  Living alone, I often have leftovers when I try a new recipe.  If it’s feasible, I bring some in to share with these women and men who make my job that much easier.

What are you doing to take care of your REM…er, your support staff?

2 Responses to “Are you taking care of your support staff?”

  1. Luiz Humberto Mendes Says:

    Sir, i must say your website is fantastic ! undergoing a Basic Teacher Training Course myself at my country ( Brazil ) to begin teaching english as a second language, i found many many important and helpful insights and valuable opinions on teaching and the roles of a good teacher. Besides, i’m a great fan of the US military and if someday, with the help of the Almighty God, i get to live in the US with a green card, i’m definitely joining the USMC, it’s always been a dream of mine ! Keep up the good work, you’ve got yourself a new loyal reader to your blog !

  2. The Sarge Says:

    Luiz – thank you so much for your kind words! I wish you all success and God’s blessings on your journey!

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