Laughing Over This Stuff Is A Minefield

, , , | | Working | July 3, 2019

(My uncle served in the British military and was stationed in Cyprus in the ’80s. One day he and another soldier are tasked with observing the Turkish side, reporting anything that happens. They reported earlier that a Turk was reinforcing the minefield.)

Partner: “Hey, [Uncle], what does that look like to you?” *points at the minefield*

(He looks through binoculars to where [Partner] is pointing and sees the guy that was laying mines looking around frantically and constantly turning the map he has.)

Uncle: “Looks to me like he mined himself into a corner.”

Partner: “That’s what I thought.”

Uncle & Partner: *laughing hysterically*

(They called it in and the Turks were notified. It took some time, but he managed to get out safely and got a severe tongue lashing from his CO.)

Up To Your Elbows In Newbie Ignorance

, , , , | | Working | June 14, 2019

(My brother is in the Navy. He isn’t high enough ranked to tell the captain, “She cannae take the strain, sair!” but he works with the ship’s engines and is high enough ranked to boss around the newbies. A number of his underlings are older and more experienced than he is because they had a civilian career before switching to the military, whereas he enlisted fresh out of high school. Those guys he’ll listen to, but some newbies are exactly as useless as you would expect.)

Brother: *finds a newbie struggling to loosen something*

Newbie: “It’s not working! It won’t budge.”

Brother: *waves it off* “Ah, just use some elbow grease!”

(Now, some people do not speak English as a first language. You would expect slang to go over their heads. Not this guy — Anglophone from the cradle. He gawks at my brother and asks:)

Newbie: “Where’s that, sir?”

(My brother blinks and thinks for a moment. He is not debating whether to prank this guy. I don’t know if this is universal to militaries or if it’s just Canada, but it’s believed that if you’re dumb enough to fall for something, you deserve the fall. So, it’s just a question of which prank to pull.)

Brother: “It’s in the bilge.”

(The ship’s bilge is… unpleasant. It’s not helped by the fact that military funding in Canada is a tad sporadic, leading to a culture of neurotic hoarding in case you can’t ever get a certain widget again – hoarding done largely by young men who are either bachelors or else effectively bachelors while deployed with the family at home, with all of the organization and cleanliness one would expect from such a group.)

Newbie: “Okay!” *toddles off to the bilge*

(My brother restrains laughter until the guy’s out of earshot, laughs, and gets on with the workday. Fast forward a couple hours: a superior officer comes up to him, trying desperately to suppress enough laughter to talk.)

Superior: “Hey, [Brother’s Nickname]! Did you send [Newbie] down to the bilge to look for elbow grease?”

Brother: “Oh, s***! I forgot about that! Is he still down there?”

Superior: “Yeah! He told me what you said, so I told him, ‘Keep looking! It’s always way in the back!’”

(As soon as my brother finished dying of laughter, he sprinted off to go rescue the newbie… who never did realize he’d been had.)

Oh, Shoot, I Forgot My ID!

, , | | Right | June 12, 2019

(I am working guard duty at a military installation when a soldier turns up without his ID. I cannot allow him on base without seeing his ID, and I explain this to him. During the time that this is happening, we have a major base exercise happening so a lot of people are running around carrying weapons.)

No-ID Soldier: “I literally just need to get to my office to print out a document.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you on base without ID.”

No-ID Soldier: *suddenly angry* “Do you know who I am?”

Me: “No, that’s the point. You have no ID with you.”

(He gets out of his car, slams the door, and marches towards me. All of a sudden, around 50 soldiers appear, all drawing weapons.)

Soldier: “You heard the lady.”

(He went very pale, and actually drove away from the gate so fast he got arrested by the civilian police for speeding and sent back to us.)

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Laptop Flop, Part 27

, , , , | | Right | June 4, 2019

(I am working as the only computer and networking tech in my army unit. This means supporting over two hundred end users all alone. A brand new lieutenant walks into my office on a particularly busy day.)

Lieutenant: “I need a brand new laptop now!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Lieutenant: “I said I need a brand new laptop. Time: now!”

Me: “Okay, sir, what exactly is going on with the one you were issued?”

(I just issued them a laptop that morning.)

Lieutenant: “The one you gave me is too old. It doesn’t even connect to the Internet, and I need a new one to work.”

(Cue a feeling that they’re doing something stupid.)

Me: “Well, sir, give me a few minutes, as I am working on the commander’s laptop and that is my current priority.”


(Deep breath.)

Me: “All right, sir. Before I can, I need to properly diagnose your system at your workstation. If you’ll show me your desk…”

(We take a short walk down the hall to another office where several officers and NCOs are working. The lieutenant shows me his laptop and I immediately find the problem. At this unit, all WiFi is disabled, so the only way to connect to the Internet is via a hard line which, in this case, is not connected to his laptop. Holding up the disconnected cable, I turn to the lieutenant.)

Me: “Sir, you need to plug this in for the Internet to work… as I explained this morning when I issued this laptop to you.”

(I dropped the cable on his desk and walk out back to my office. I could hear the other officers and NCOs laughing all the down the hall.)

Laptop Flop, Part 26
Laptop Flop, Part 25
Laptop Flop, Part 24

How To Trans-cend Hate

, , , , , , , | | Right | May 27, 2019

(I am at an Army National Guard Field Band concert, and after the show, we get to talk to some of the band members. As I am there with my band friends who all play flute with me, we go to find the man who plays the flute in the band, since he was very energetic on stage. We get to take pictures with him, and eventually, we start talking about our futures.)

Flute Player: “When I get out of the army, I’m going to dye my hair that color.” *points to my blue hair*

Me: “I wish I could join the army, but I can’t.”

Flute Player: “Sure, you can; anyone can.”

Me: “No… I can’t. I’m trans.”

Flute Player: “Oh… See, that’s why I’m fighting. I’m fighting so that every American has the freedom to live their lives as they want. When I joined, it was under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell agreement, and when I learned the union was going to lift it, I got scared. Every day I see people who are in the army and have to re-hide themselves since they aren’t allowed to be who they are. But that is why I joined. I joined so that people like us can be just as free as the people that aren’t us.”

(His little speech made one of my friends cry, and all of my friends that were there surrounded her in a group hug. After that, I no longer felt sad about the fact that I can’t join the military; knowing that there are people like him makes me feel safe. Maybe one day I will be able to join. I made sure to thank him, and I gave him the best handshake I could with my small hands.)

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