Mon Jul 13 2020

No therapy today; My therapist is on vacation.

I want to talk about Squad today. I played Squad last night. I joined a game where we were losing. The squad leader had already given up, and disconnected.

The player who was auto-assigned as Squad lead didn’t want it. I said I would take it, but the knucklehead came up with an idea to have two of his Squad members have a duel to the death where the winner would become Squad lead.

I looked at the map and saw that there were four of us in the area. If one of us died, we would no longer have enough people to create a rally point. I voiced this concern sternly and the player assigned Squad Leader to me.

The game ended within about a minute after that.

I took Squad Lead when the next round started.

I am proud of myself for saying no to a squad member who wanted to go off on their own with a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. I said no and I asked them to please make another squad if they want to do armor. They tried to request a Bradley anyway. I kicked them from my Squad.

Another squad mate said that they liked how I was assertive. They used a different adjective other than assertive but I can’t remember what it was. Maybe it was “Stern hand” or something like that.

Anyway, I got everyone in our logi and we went to the area of operations. I had two people hop out and back cap, before we proceeded to the shipping docks (Skorpo) to build a couple fobs.

One thing I want to note is that I was sloppy in getting two people to get out. I was not decisive on who should get out, so there was hesitance from my Squadmembers to actually get out.

In the future, I would like to assign a fireteam of two. I will choose marksman, automatic riflemen, or rifleman for the task. Once I have that fire team created, I can simply say, “Bravo team, prepare to disembark.” at which point, those two know who they are and they can get out and capture the flag.

After I dropped off the two soldiers, I took the rest of the Squad to the shipyard where we built two HABs. later in the game, the second HAB was useful to us as we quickly lost the first.

I’ll get to that later. After we got those HABs up, we got back in the logi and moved toward the next flag as a unit. I actually waited half a minute for one of our guys to respawn so we could all be as one.

So we rolled to the next flag. I barely avoided an enemy 30mm by keeping off the road. Honestly I think that 30mm crew was just inexperienced because we passed so closely to them that they should have been able to hear us and shoot us.

Anyway, we got away, and I stopped the truck and set up a rally about 300 meters from the next cap point. It was a perfect move to stop and rally because we shortly came into contact with the enemy.

We started to take fire and I shut down. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t see the enemy, all I knew was their general direction. Squad mates were calling out contacts here and there, but I had froze up and I wasn’t sure what to do. Because I made no call, I think my Squadmates lost faith in me and they all started to do their own thing.

I later snapped back into the role of Squad Leader, but I think I had already lost the respect of my Squad. I called to pop smoke and push towards the flag, but I think everybody was already doing their own thing. I had failed to lead myself, and at the same time, lost my Squad of followers.

The rest of the game I felt that I couldn’t get where I needed to be. Two Squad mates decided on their own that they would respawn at our previous HABs, which was almost a kilometer away. Our Squad was no longer a unit, and the pressure we could apply on the enemy was diminished to the point where they brushed off our divided attacks like bugs.

I walked this morning, and recounted the events from that game. I can attribute my failure as a leader to that one stressful moment. It was the moment that I didn’t make a call.

Yes I was under pressure. Yes, I was under fire. Yes, I wasn’t sure what to do. But I didn’t make any call at all, and that is where I lost.

I thought about what I would do differently if I could do it again. In that moment when I could see tracers zinging past me, where my Squadmates were spreading out, uncoordinated and without a clear mission, what would I do differently?

I need to make a call in those situations. Even if it’s a bad call, even if it’s an impossible order, I need to make it. That is my job as Squad leader.

Thinking back to my Squad leader checklist, there are three things that I need to be doing as Squad leader. Number one is “give your squad a job.” which is arguably the most important thing a Squad Leader should be doing.

If I could do it all over again, the call I would make is… Actually, let me first talk about what I wish I would have observed and realized.

I suppose maybe that’s the first step in the process of making a call. The first step is to observe, and determine the situation. In this situation, I could not see the enemy, I could only hear their gunfire to the east and I could see their tracers flying past me from that same direction.

I was standing upright, but I wasn’t dead. There were squad mates all around me who were healthy as well. This means that the enemy was too far away to make accurate fire. They were simply spraying bullets towards us, likely in an effort to suppress us.

In observing that we were only in mild to moderate danger, I wish I would have remembered the objective, and focused my Squad’s efforts on achieving that objective.

What I wish I would have called out is, “Pop smoke, pop smoke! Push towards the flag!”

I think the flag was weak at that point. I think it was only an advanced scout element at that flag to our north. The bulk of the enemy forces were lagging behind to our east, and had not yet arrived at the flag.

I think if we moved straightaway, we could have taken that flag. Instead I hesitated. I said nothing, and my Squad mates instead acted individually.

My friend M. witnessed a truck accident yesterday where a semi had a blowout, crashed into a concrete barrier, and caught fire. M. immediately ran to the scene with a fire extinguisher to assist. The flames rose uncontrollably and the driver narrowly escaped.

Literally two days before that, he was involved in a car accident where he was rear ended by a driver who wasn’t paying attention. About a month before that, another driver rear ended him while he was driving the same car!

Just wow. I hope he gets a vacation soon, because even before both of these most recent two accidents he was already saying he needed a break because he was ready to scream.

It’s the 13th and I’m way behind on my goal of making money this month. I don’t know what to do other than to work extra hard, and spend extra hours listing items.

I’m at around 650 items on eBay. That’s so low compared to the 2500 that I probably had last month. I’m starting to wonder if I should have just paid the extra $300 in order to continue on eBay with 3000 items.

It’s going to be a tight month. I’m going to have to dig deep into my savings and pull out every last penny that I have sitting around.

I keep telling myself that I’m going to make this work, or I’m going to die trying. That’s the mentality I need right now, because I’m behind and I’m afraid.

I can’t let the fear consume me. I am stronger than this. I can make a business from nothing because I have the ability and the grit to make it happen.

“Let’s make it happen.”

Steve Gilcrest, Eugene, OR.

I’m not sure Steve’s last name is Gilcrest. It might be Gilbert. I remember Gilcrest. Was that just the company name? I don’t remember. Shoutout to Steve! He was a great businessman and I respected him a lot.

Today’s plan is to work hard and make money. I’m going to do my regular activity of sending out offers to people who have added my items to their wish lists. I’m also going to list as many cards as possible. I hope to get to 1000 items as soon as possible.

The month is nearly gone and I’m only at 650. I’m a bit disappointed in myself about that. I was doing pretty good in sales with 3000 items, but now that I’m down to 650, I’m feeling that my sales volume is equally scaled down. I dunno what I was thinking when I down scaled.

Actually I do know what I was thinking. I was thinking that the downscale was necessary because of the changes that eBay was making to how many active listings I could have for free.

It was never my intention to go from 3000 to 8. That was simply a mistake. That mistake caused a setback. I’m dealing with that setback now.

I made a mistake, but I am not a mistake. I can recover from this and I can move forward.

I can’t be the only one who is struggling right now. I’m never the only one, despite what my brain tells me. I’m sure there are other sellers out there just like me, in situations just like mine, who are barely holding on.

Grit. That’s what I’ve got. I’ve got persistence and grit. I have product and I have the means to ship it. I simply need the customers to make purchases and I’ll have their product out the door first thing in the morning.

I can handle a lot more sales volume than I have right now. I’m ready, customers!

My method for finding those customers is to release persistent and relentless new products on eBay. I’m flooding the market with my wares, so customers can’t possibly miss what I have to offer!

I wonder how much of an effect losing Top Rated Plus has had on my sales. Maybe it’s a lot. Maybe TRP is a requirement for success on eBay.

I thought I was getting ahead and being crafty by shipping product out at bottom-barrel prices. Instead of paying $2.87 for postage, I found a way to pay only $0.70. That’s a pretty substantial savings, but was the cost of losing hits worth that financial gain?

I’m not so sure if I made the right choice to ship product for super cheap. I’ve had several shipments go missing in the past few weeks. That can’t be good for customer satisfaction, especially since I could have done something to prevent the missing items.

Just had two sales this morning. A LEGO sticker book, and a Cisco router. Both I let go for the lowest price possible. I’ll likely make a dollar on each sale.

But it’s a sale! I’ll get feedback from it which will increase my seller status and prestige. I suppose it could backfire. That Cisco router could be broken and I’ll have to refund and grovel for positive feedback.

What a mad way to live. I like this a lot when I have balance. I like this a lot when I get paid enough to cover my needs. That time is not now!

Eh, it could have been now, had I budgeted my money. I’m in the mess I’m in right now because I carelessly made product acquisitions. I always have slow weeks, but this slow week I don’t have the funds to keep myself going. I’m running on empty!

I’m at 2000 words. Amazing how effortless that goal can be some days, and how difficult it can be on others.

  • I am the most valuable person in the world
  • I can exercise patience and show grace in times of stress
  • I’m on top of the world!

I’m grateful for my sister K. who made food for me even though I didn’t make it to family dinner last night.

I’m grateful for my brother D. who delivered the food to me.

I’m grateful for the land on which I walked this morning. I’m grateful that I could think and walk in solitude and have a moment of reflection.


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