Recruiters Are A Special Breed

, , , , , | Working | May 27, 2021

I work at a library on my college campus, and one morning I’m sweeping the front stairs — from top to bottom, obviously. A middle-aged gentleman approaches and stands watching me for a few seconds.

Gentleman: “You know, if you were in the Army, they’d make you start from the bottom and work your way up.”

Me: *Pausing, confused* “But… that makes no sense. You’d just have to do it all over again.”

He laughs as if this is the funniest thing ever.

Gentleman: “Exactly!”

I try to make a light comment to end the conversation.

Me: “I guess it’s good I’m not in the Army, then.” 

Gentleman: *Suddenly serious* “You could be, though. You should sign up.”

I am an overweight nineteen-year-old girl with thick glasses — my bad eyesight alone would disqualify me from most military roles — a nerdy graphic tee, and Pokémon earrings, and I’m working at a library. None of this picture clearly proclaims “military material,” but I guess this guy is looking to fill a quota because he decides to get up in my face and start trying to convince me to enlist, physically backing me up toward the wall.

Gentleman: “Come over to the recruitment center! I can get you signed up today!”

Me: “Thanks, but I’m not really interested.”

Gentleman: “Don’t you love your country? Don’t you have any patriotism?”

Me: “I mean, sure, but—”

Gentleman: “We’d whip you into shape in no time! Come on, what d’ya say?”

I’m more and more uncomfortable with his physical closeness and looking for any way out of the conversation.

Me: “My… ah… my dad. My parents wouldn’t be cool with their daughter enlisting. Sorry.”

Gentleman: “Well, don’t tell them, then! If they ask, tell them you’re taking a vacation!”

At that, I just gaped at him for a second, managed to bite out a “you have a nice day,” and escaped into the library where my boss let me hide in the break room for a few minutes.

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