October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Military

Needs A Military Rescue

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Military

(I work at a movie theater. It’s a Monday morning and I’m serving a young man in line.)

Customer: “Do you offer military discounts?”

Me: “The current policy is that we do not offer military discounts on weekdays, but we do on weekends. Since weekday prices are already so much cheaper, especially for matinees, we really can’t add additional discounts on top of it.”

Customer: *firmly* “Well, lemme ask you this: Do you believe the minimum wage should be raised?”

Me: *confused* “Um… well, yes. Yes, I do. A little over $8 an hour is hard to live off of, especially in this economy.”

Customer: “Well, that’s bull-s***. You don’t deserve more money. I just got back from being stationed in Iraq. How about you? I fought for your freedom, kid. The same freedom that you’re exercising now to tell me that my sacrifices won’t even get me a discount! You minimum wage drones don’t deserve more money.”

Me: *absolutely shocked* “I’m… I’m sorry, sir. I truly thank you for your service…”

Customer: “I want you to know I have no respect for you whatsoever. You obviously weren’t in the military, and you don’t understand the meaning of sacrifice. It’s unbelievable that after I chose to fight for your freedom, you deny me the basic dignity of recognition with a discount. Do you understand that I don’t respect you?”

Me: “I… I guess?”

Customer: “No, you tell me that you absolutely understand that I don’t respect you.”

Me: *going pale* “I understand.”

Customer: “Good.”

(He buys his tickets and goes into the theater. I’m left shocked by the exchange. An older man who was behind him in line approaches me. He gives me a warm smile.)

Old Man: “Wow. I’m sorry you had to put up with that. You know… I was in the military. Fought in Vietnam. Put up with a lot in my life. But I want to tell you… I thank YOU for YOUR service. And I have nothing but respect for you and every other person out there trying to make ends meet while being a good employee, despite dealing with a low minimum wage. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier. But that doesn’t mean jerks like him are better than you. People like you… doing your hardest and trying to make ends meet, all while having to put up with the self-righteous people like that… you deserve as much admiration as anyone else. This world needs people of all types. We’re all in this together. We’re all heroes in our own way. So thank you. Because of you, I get to have a nice day seeing movies. You’re helping to give me happiness for a few hours. And that means a lot.”

(I was almost crying for the rest of the day. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity after the last person nearly destroyed it!)

Not In His Salad Days Anymore

, | WA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Military

(I am a civilian contractor at a military installation’s dining hall. Unlike some of the comfort facilities at the installation, we don’t have restrictions on who can dine here; as long as they can access the installation, they can eat. It is my turn to tear down the salad bar at the end of dinner. I have taken out all of the utensils and begun to pull the dishes, when an older man in civilian clothing comes up behind me.)

Customer: “What are you doing with the salad bar?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Did you order a salad?”

Customer: “No, I just wanted to get a few of these.” *gestures at the fruit mix at the end of the bar*

Me: “So, you did order a salad bar?”

Customer: “No, I just wanted to get a few of these.”

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “Oh, you mean I have to order a salad bar to get things from the salad bar?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “Oh.”

The Uniform Response

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Military, Top

(I’m in a chain restaurant with my family when a group of four soldiers from the base come in. The group is very loud and rowdy, but no one wants to say anything because they’re soldiers. However, as they all order alcoholic drinks for ‘pre-gaming,’ they just get louder and rowdier. Finally, another customer at the table next to theirs has had enough.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Can you four please quiet down? We’re all trying to enjoy our dinners.”

Soldier #1: “With all due respect, shove it.”

Soldier #2: “We’re willing to go out and die for your freedom and you can’t even let us have dinner?”

Soldier #3: “We’re just trying to celebrate [Soldier #1]’s promotion, lady. Chill.”

Soldier #1: “Show some f****** respect.”

(The customer takes a deep breath, stands up and turns around, revealing a missing arm.)

Customer: “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Major [Customer] and I’ve recently been transferred to the base here after spending a few months in Walter Reed. I lost my arm to an IED in Iraq. I want all of your names. I’ll be talking to your C.O. as soon as I leave here, and I have a feeling you won’t be celebrating that promotion long. Now please keep your voices down so all of these people can enjoy their dinners, and stop being a disgrace to the uniform.”

(The whole restaurant applauded her.)

A War Veteran Ally

| PA, USA | At The Checkout, Military, Spouses & Partners

(We have a regular customer who is a WW II veteran, at least 90-years-old, and lives alone. He prides himself on being cantankerous. I always make an effort to be nice to him so that he’ll have no excuse for throwing his food on the belt, insulting us, etc. I’m a young woman, and I wear a LGBT-rainbow bracelet to work.)

Me: *while ringing up items* “Good morning, sir. How are you today?”

Customer: “You’re nice to me. Most people aren’t, you know.”

Me: “Well, you served our country. That seems a pretty good reason to be nice to you. Alrighty, sir, your total today is $13.95.”

Customer: “Good. I’ve got enough left over to take you out to lunch.”

Me: “You’ll have to check with my girlfriend on that.”

Customer: *as he pulls out money* “Are you lookin’? Don’t look!”

(This is a regular thing with him. I just smile and look away, holding out my hand for the money. My bracelet is in plain sight.)

Customer: “I don’t like a suspicious woman!”

Me: *deliberately, but lightly* “Neither does my girlfriend. Good thing I’ve been faithful to her the whole two years we’ve been together.”

(Customer finishes handing me the money.  I ring him up, then give him the change and the receipt. My bagger is stifling laughter.)

Customer: “You know I’m only gonna get worse if you let me.”

Me: “I’ll let my girlfriend know, but I think you’re pretty harmless.”

Customer: “And I think you’re pretty, especially when you smile.”

Me: “Thank you. I’ll have to tell my girlfriend that! You have a good day, sir.”

Customer: “Don’t tell me what to do!” *grins and scooters off*

Bagger: “I don’t think he gets it.”

Me: “He treated me exactly the same as he would if I’d mentioned a boyfriend. Who knows, maybe he’s an LGBT ally!”

Making A Bad Impression

, | Japan | Crazy Requests, Military, Politics

(I am the operations manager of an overseas military TV and radio station. In place of regular commercials, we run locally-made information spots. We get feedback through an email system, mostly complaints about stuff out of our control, such as TV shows and music selections. A few months ago, we got an email from an irate listener complaining about a radio spot advertising the base library, where one of the producers did an imitation of former President George W. Bush. He was livid about the disrespect to our former Commander-In-Chief. I responded professionally, explaining we often use humor in our spots to make the information memorable, and the impression was fairly innocuous. He kept emailing back more irate, insulting military broadcasters, questioning our patriotism, accusing us of communism, etc. Finally, he came to our station to personally confront me. The following exchange occurred in our lobby.)

Irate Marine: “Your excuses are just that! The ‘humor’ of that imitation is offensive and disrespectful! How dare you demean the former president!”

Me: “Well, he didn’t seem to think so.”

Irate Marine: “… What?”

Me: *points to framed picture on the wall* “See that?”

(It’s George W. Bush in our production room laughing with a young Marine.)

Irate Marine: “He came here?”

Me: “Years ago, I’m told. See that Marine in the photo? He’s the one who voiced and produced that spot. That photo was taken while he was playing the commercial for The President. He apparently has a better sense of humor about himself than you do.”

Irate Marine: *walks out the door, mumbling* “Well, it’s STILL disrespectful!”

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