Ubdoup: urgent but depends on unavailable people

I just got home. It’s 9 PM. No big deal. It happens. The ubdoup got me; pronounced with short vowels as “uh·bi·dup” or normal English spelling as “you-be-dupe.”

Okay so not entirely unavailable, but enough so given the urgency imposed at such a late hour.

I got out of this meeting at 1630. For an upcoming field exercise, higher required several forms to do with our vehicles; convoy clearance, special hauling for oversized vehicles, and a hazmat declaration.

The first one I sent yesterday, immediately after I first found out about it. Oh, and even though I’d never seen the form before, I figured it out and assembled the info needed from several other sources.

The other two, higher demanded today or we (my buddy Joe and I) were not going home. And they weren’t tasks in which I held expertise or the position to fill. They depended on subordinate units deciding to which vehicles the forms applied. How would I know? Were they even still at work? Luckily, the two units needed were still somewhat available and had done the task before.

“No one goes home until this gets done.” I’ve heard that plenty of times in the past. Plenty. Quite likely in the hundreds.

It tends to precede an ubdoup – an urgent task that requires someone who’s not available.

If it’s an almost-ubdoup, such as when it’s just difficult to find the right person, like mine was this evening, then that usually means a late night and aggravating the needed person.

If it’s a for-real-ubdoup, then that requires making shit up.

Think about it. Can’t go home until it gets done. Can’t get it done without the right person. Can’t reach the right person. What other option remains?

Make that shit up.

Thing is, sometimes one can only make up shit so much. This runs two risks.

First, if coming at the shit with near-zero familiarity, one risks writing some glaringly obvious bullshit. Bullshit so unbelievable, it raises red flags up and down the chain of command.

Second, and worse yet, sometimes it flies past the bullshit filters and everyone else builds their plans around it. This is okay when the making shit up actually qualifies as decisiveness. But if it strays too far from reasonable, it ripples into a tidal wave of fuckery.