I like this headline because it can go either way. And, here's the way it went.
For the fourth time in six weeks, I had been given a date on which my separation paperwork would be signed. The date was 14 August. I was in Texas that day, and at orientation for Stetson Law yesterday. So today was the day: I would find out that my paperwork was signed and I would be getting out of the AF within ten days.
Last week I decided that if in fact the paperwork was not signed on the 14th, I would withdraw from law school. I was not prepared to start classes, mentally or emotionally. I did not want the extra stress of juggling law school with wondering when or whether I'd be out of the service by a certain date or time. And frankly, with classes starting next Monday, matters had been stretched just about as far as they could be to the last minute. I didn't want to start classes not knowing when I might hear about my separation. Plus, the law school offered to defer my admission and my scholarship (for the second time).
I was satisfied with either option. If the paperwork was signed, I could start school next week, no problem. I felt I'd be a bit behind at the start, but I'm sure I could catch up quickly enough. If the paperwork wasn't signed, I was satisfied that I'd be able to defer for a semester or a year as needed and not have any trouble.
Of course the paperwork had not been signed. Again--for the fourth time in six weeks--a date I'd been given with all certainty proved to be erroneous. I don't want to call this lying, because I believe lying is a conscious activity. I wasn't lied to. I was presented with a fact that could be neither proven nor disproven and told it was a foregone conclusion.
Nonetheless, when, after telling me the paperwork had not been signed, my boss insisted that it would be signed next week... well, I had no reason at all to believe him. Not that he would be consciously lying. Rather, he's passing along information from people who are criminally incompetent at estimating. I've been misled four times in six weeks (nine times in 22 months) and I have no reason to believe anything anyone tells me anymore. I'll get out when I get out. Until then, I won't be out. That's that.
I second-guessed my decision to withdraw from school, of course. But knowing the deferment was on the table and knowing that in a semester or two not only would I not have to worry about when I'd be separating from my job but I'd also be more prepared to start school eventually convinced me I'd made the right choice after all.
So, no, I won't be starting school on Monday. And no, I still don't know when I'll be getting out. But I assume eventually I will get out (I mean, this can only go on so long), and when that happens... well, when that happens I'll be throwing a nice little party I suppose. You're all invited. Watch this space...