I mean, after all, that isn’t the purpose of a military organization to get anything done.
Uh… but it’s very very remarkable how easily this works out. By the way, I found this out empirically: I uh — tell you very briefly — I reported in — Robert Montgomery was uh… on duty at the naval operating base down in uh… San Pedro, and I’d just gotten out of the hospital. They took me off the ship and hospitalized me, and then they let me out of the hospital. And I got out of the hospital and the ship had gone. And so they sent me over to the officer’s pool, and there was nobody over at the officer’s pool to amount to anything, and by this time they’d lost all their… all their navigators were at sea and things like that. And there were a lot of people around, but they came from the Department of Agriculture and uh… I simply checked in and went over to bachelor officer’s quarters and uh… unpacked my bag very carefully.
Chose some good quarters by moving a couple of guys out, and unpacked my bag and went down to the library and I got a great big stack of novels, and I went back up and I sat down and I started to read novels.
And the days went by, I was perfectly happy, I was reporting in to chow and so on. Everything was going along just beautifully. Until all of a sudden an orderly came over and he says “Sir,” he said, “um, the Commanding Officer wants to see you immediately”, and so forth, and I said “Oh, I’ll be over.”
I’d been at the war, by the way, about two years by this time and I really was bored with it. So anyhow, anyhow I’d go over about two or three hours later to report to the Commanding Officer, and he comes out. And boy, he’s fire and brimstone. “Your name has been on that bulletin board for three days. An officer is supposed to read that every morning at eight o’clock. Your name’s been up there because there’s a YMS out here and there’s nobody — to take it to San Pedro and somebody’s got to take it to San Pedro and there isn’t another officer around here to take this YMS down to San Pedro, and you’re supposed to take it down there. It’s lost its captain.”
And I said “Ummm-hmmm.” And uh… I said “I’ll go over and see about it tomorrow.”
“Oh,” he said. “What… what’s the matter with you?” And I said, “Well, Commander” I says, “it’s been a long war.” “Oh, see here now,” he says. “You… you can’t quit like this.”
That’s a verbatim conversation. I went down and saw the YMS, but I didn’t take it to San Diego, I decided that the executive officer could take it down to San Diego. Told him so and came back and reported. And I said “It’s on its way.”
They gave me a job operating the nucleus crew training program, and I went out in the morning, and I’d go out in the little boat. And we had a… a radarscope fixed so that we could tell whether or not the nucleus crew was navigating the ship properly, and I sat down in the cabin and played cribbage with the captain. We looked at the radarscope and saw we didn’t run aground anyplace and I’d slop around. Then I’d call this small boat that I had standing on and off to see that… I’d call it aboard and I’d go ashore and have dinner.
Very, very interesting. And they… they keep… every time they’d look for you, you weren’t there. But the main reason for this was, is you just didn’t care. I ran this into the ground — just ran it into the ground. There’s nobody could act like this in a military service. Nobody! Finally wound up with the Commanding Officer hysterically wiring Washington to get me put on duty at that base.
This is a… this is strictly a case history. I could give you thousands of them.1
- Hubbard, L. R. (1952, 9 December). Flows: Characteristics Of. Philadelphia Doctorate Course , (PDC-26). Lecture conducted from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ↩