Military Intelligence Isn’t On 24/7

, , , , | Right | October 11, 2019

(I am at officer training for my branch. The morning of this story, we were supposed to do a three-hour compass course, starting in the early hours. However, upon arrival at the site, it begins to rain, and then turns into a localized flash flood. Everyone is fine, but rather than give us the morning off, the instructors have moved the afternoon lecture to the morning. There’s time to grab coffee from a small stand located on the second floor.)

Barista: “I’m sorry, but the card machine is down. Cash only.”

Me: “S’alright, I’ve cash.”

(I place my order and she makes it. When she puts in the price, it comes to $5.75. Now, keep in mind, I’m out of it, and I hand her a five-dollar bill.)

Barista: “Umm, do you have seventy-five cents?”

Me: *half-asleep and not comprehending I’ve short-changed her* “No.”

Barista: “Okaaay… I can work with that.”

(She puts the bill into the drawer and I hold out my hand.)

Barista: “Is there something you need?”

Me: “My change.”

Barista: “Out of five dollars?”

Me: “Yes, my change?”

Barista: “Out of five dollars?”

Me: “Yes…”

(All of a sudden I wake up and join the living and realize I ordered a coffee that costs $5.75, but only gave her $5, and now I’m demanding change back, and the barista has actually offered to eat the cost!)

Me: “Oh, oh, crap! Oh, lord, I’m so sorry, I’m so f****** out of it! We had compasses this morning, but got rained out and they switched the lecture and I’m barely awake. I had no idea! Please, cancel the order; I don’t have exact change. I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I was demanding my change back!”

Barista: “Yeah, no, honey, you’re getting this coffee. You really need it. You looked like a zombie when you came in.”

(She insisted on giving me the coffee, even though she was the one who paid the $0.75. And I admit, I did need that coffee. We’re not allowed to tip civilian workers in these situations, but after that I was extra certain to have exact change and to greet her with a smile whenever I passed the area.)

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