Monday, December 8, 2008

I don't like Hickam, and it's starting to wear onto my feelings towards the Air Force.

I hate Hickam Air Force Base. I hate it. It is the most illogically designed place I have ever come across. My hostility towards it increases each time I have to venture on to it. It's getting to the point that I am already angry when they're checking my ID at the entry gate. At some point a guard is going to sense my increasing capacity for violence and prohibit my entry. I mean, the Air Force tries to hold itself out as the branch of the military comprised of rather bright service members. If that is the case, which officer was drunk when they laid out the streets and such for Hickam? Zac and I get lost there routinely. Even when we have a map.

Latest irritation: I needed to go to the $%@&#(@(*!!& Hickam fitness center the other day so I checked their website for directions, knowing that I might get lost there. No directions to the fitness center, no map, just "Building 1120". Gee. Thanks. So I went to the main website for Hickam. That map only labels about 5% of the buildings, by name. Not number. So "1120" is worthless as far as help. I found my registration form for the 5k that said that the address for the fitness center was 900 Hangar Ave. I found Hangar Ave on the map, but there aren't streets indicating where the 900s would fall. I figured if I drove down the length of Hangar Ave I'd find it. Not a big deal - the street is only a few blocks long.

I drove the entire length of Hangar Ave. The fitness center was nowhere. I was pissed. Utterly, totally, thoroughly pissed. And of course the numbering system of the buildings is incoherent at best so I couldn't find the mystical building 1120 by looking for closely-numbered buildings. I was so pissed that I left. My sole mission was to get myself off the damn base. I could have stopped and asked a friendly Air Force person, but really, I would have started accusing them of being at fault for all that I hated about Hickam.

So when I got home I called the fitness center for clarification as to their location.

Fitness center employee (FCE): "Hello?"

Me: [pleasantly] "Yes, I was wondering where you were located?"

FCE: "We're across from Lodging." (Hmm. Only helpful if I know where Lodging is.)

Me: "Okay, are you near the Commissary?" (I know where the Commissary is and how to get there, and according to the pieces of information I had gathered up to this point the fitness center was supposed to be somewhere near there.)

FCE: "Um, we're across from Lodging."

[pause] [sigh]

Me: "Is that near the Commissary?"

FCE: "It's a couple blocks away. But yeah, we're right across from Lodging."

Me: "And where exactly is Lodging?"

FCE: [pause] "Um."

Me: "Is there an address for Lodging?" [growing frustrated]

FCE: "Um, yeah, but I'm not sure what it is."

Me: "Does the fitness center have an address?" [straining through a fake smile]

FCE: "Uh, yeah. . . I'm not sure though."

Me: "What intersection are you near?"

FCE: [triumph in knowledge] "Oh! We're at the corner of Vickers and Scott Circle."

Me: "So you're not on Hangar?"

FCE: [thinking about it for a second] "No, we're not."

Me: [resigned to the situation that is Hickam AFB] "Okay. Thank you for your help."

FCE: "Yeah, we're just across from Lodging."

Me: "Thanks again."

FCE: [confused] "Bye"

I'm telling you - these people are in charge of flying planes and reading maps!!! They are responsible for defending us!!! The only explanation for the layout of Hickam is that 70 years ago they were afraid that terrorists were going to invade Oahu via the Air Force Base. If they f'd up the layout of the base they knew that the terrorists would never be able to make it any further onto the island. It's pretty ingenious in that respect. In the meantime it's just a major source of irritation to me.

Don't even get me started on the lack of signage there. . .

1 comment:

~ Jill said...

BUt you are going to run a 5k! I hope it isn't in Hickam or it could turn out to be a marathon...