Category: Military

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!”