Time To Bite The Bullet, Part 4

, , , , , | Working | July 14, 2021

This is a story I heard from my senior about his boot camp sectionmate. One guy, having heard all sorts of horror stories about Potong Jalan, was desperate to avoid it. He somehow managed to get himself FIVE girlfriends, with the idea that, and I quote:

Sectionmate: “Even if one or two break up with me, I’ll still have three. No way after service I won’t have a girlfriend.”

I know, right? What a scumbag.

His plan flopped from the get-go, because all five girlfriends insisted on sending him off on his enlistment date, and when they all turned up, they realized he was five-timing them.

After the shouting match, [Sectionmate] went to his knees and begged.

Sectionmate: *Tearfully* “Please let me have all five of you.”

His harem wasn’t amused. Cue mass dumping.

Apparently, [Sectionmate] cried himself to sleep for his first week of boot camp. His platoon was all too busy laughing their guts out to console him. Even the officers were amused.

Time To Bite The Bullet, Part 3
Time To Bite The Bullet, Part 2
Time To Bite The Bullet

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Say What You Mean, Sarge

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: LiathGray | July 9, 2021

Like many people in the military, I too have had leadership entering stupid contests and winning stupid prizes. This time was one of my favorites.

Our First Sergeant — the highest-ranked noncommissioned officer in an Army Company, basically a very senior management type — tells all the young’uns to clean the area around headquarters, including washing the whitewashed rocks that are surrounding all the pretty landscaping, which is something we have to do about once or twice a month or so.

So, we’re out there with buckets of soapy water, washing the stupid rocks, when he comes out to inspect and declares that the washed rocks still look dingy and we need to “bleach them” to get them white again. Then, he proceeds to check out and go home for the weekend, leaving us to execute his orders without much in the way of supervision. Our sole junior sergeant who is left in charge isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, if you catch my meaning.

Now, anyone who knows anything knows that bleach ain’t gonna do a thing to make a rock change color. What he meant for us to, and indeed what we should do, is repaint the rocks white again. And as it turns out, we don’t have paint, but we do have a couple of bottles of Clorox. A couple of soldiers make a token protest, but our genius junior sergeant tells them, “Top told us to bleach the rocks, and we’re gonna bleach them!”

So, we spend the rest of our day bleaching the rocks.

Top comes back on Monday to a bunch of still-grey-and-dingy-looking rocks and lots of dead landscaping. Turns out, bleach is bad for plants. He is livid but he has a hard time finding someone to get in trouble for it, since we all did exactly what we were told to do.

The best thing, though, is that for the rest of my time in that unit, no one ever told us to wash the rocks again.

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Plumbing The Depths Of Human Stupidity

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: TheDaveGER | July 7, 2021

I’m a soldier in the German navy. Our uniform is straight dark blue. Most of the plumbers working in Germany also have blue work clothes. It is December so I am wearing my blue Navy jacket due to the cold. After two weeks spent at sea, I am glad to head home by train. I haven’t changed from my uniform to civilian clothes because soldiers can use the train for free if they wear their uniforms.

At the station, I have to wait about an hour for the next train to arrive, so I decide to use the bathroom. As I’m exiting the men’s room, a woman stops me.

Woman: “The bathroom is flooded; you have to fix it!”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Woman: “Fix it!”

Me: “Um, I think you’ve mistaken me. I don’t work here.”

Woman: “Yes, you do! You have working clothes on! So go and fix it; otherwise, I’ll report you!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m a soldier not a plumber. Look at my jacket.”

I point to my jacket where it says, “German Navy.”

She starts to rage.

Woman: “You f****** lazy piece of s***! Go and do your work! I pay taxes for your money!”

Me: “That’s right, but you have mistaken me.” *Pulls out my military ID* “This is my military ID, look! I AM A SOLDIER!”

She curses me out, and that catches the attention of a station employee.

Employee: “Is there a problem?”

Woman: “Yes! The bathroom is flooded and he—” *grabs me by my jacket* “—refuses to do his job!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid to say it again, but I’m not a plumber. I am a soldier of the German navy. And do never touch me again.”

I remove her hand.

Employee: “Yeah, it is a uniform from the navy.”

Suddenly, she starts to scream and throws herself to the ground


She keeps screaming and some nearby police officers notice.

Police Officer #1: “Ma’am, what happened?”

Woman: “He slapped me in the face!”

Employee: “It’s not true; he didn’t.”

Woman: “Yes, he did. You are covering for your coworker, you liar!”

Employee: “I’m not his coworker.”

Me: “I really didn’t. She grabbed my jacket and I just got loose from her grip, and then she started screaming.”

She talks with one police officer while I show my ID to the other officer.

Police Officer #1: “Ma’am, he is right. He is not a plumber, he is a soldier. Our offices have evidence that he didn’t slap you; it is all on camera. I think we should talk further in the office.”

Police Officer #2: “Sorry, sir, for all that trouble. Have a safe trip!”

Me: “Thank you.”

The police took her to the office and I never heard from her again (luckily). The employee and I just laughed our a**es of. He got me a coffee and we chatted a bit until I jumped on my train.

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Anchors Aweigh… And Aweigh, And Aweigh…

, , , , , , , , | Healthy | June 26, 2021

I was a new sailor, getting ready to report to my first ship. My wife and I had driven all the way across the country to the base where my ship was home-ported, so we were totally unfamiliar with the area. We got a hotel room while we looked for apartments, but the next day I got really sick. Two of my teeth on my upper jaw hurt so much I couldn’t sleep, so we grabbed my medical and dental records — this was a long time ago, when sailors hand-carried their records between assignments — and managed to find our way to the local Navy hospital. I checked into the dental office, and they got me in very quickly because I was obviously in a lot of pain.

The dentist, a Navy Lieutenant, poked and prodded a bit, had an x-ray taken, and then told me there was nothing wrong with my teeth. She said I probably had a raging sinus infection and had one of the nurses take me to the emergency room on the ground floor.

An hour or so later, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection, given a paper prescription, and sent to the on-site pharmacy. I grabbed a number and waited, still dazed by the constant pain in my face from the infection. My wife had to tell me when they called my number, and she escorted me to the pharmacy window. The pharmacy tech rattled off a bunch of stuff about the medicines I wasn’t coherent enough to follow, but I did make out that I needed to start taking them right away.

Fine. No problem. We sat back down and I read the labels. The largest bottle said I had to take four pills right away. I staggered to the water fountain in the lobby and swallowed one of everything, plus four of the pills from the big bottle. I walked back to where my wife was sitting, and she started putting the bottles of pills in her purse, giving each bottle a quick look to see if any needed to be refrigerated. Then, she paused and said, “Oh, f***!”

She dragged me up to the prescription drop-off window and hollered for help. An older man came to see what was wrong, and my wife showed him the large bottle and my ID card. The pharmacy tech turned white as a sheet and said, “Oh, f***!”, and then called for a gurney and a doctor.

The next couple of hours were a blur of activity I don’t remember much about, ending with me admitted overnight for observation. It seems the pharmacy tech who’d handed me my pills had also grabbed a bottle intended for another patient — the large bottle. I had taken a quadruple dose of a major blood-pressure medication and my blood pressure was dangerously low by the time the ER managed to get me hooked up to an EKG.

Even in military medicine, almost killing the patients is generally contraindicated. I recovered fine, but there was a major investigation at the hospital, and the pharmacy tech who handed me the wrong pills ended up demoted or transferred someplace unpleasant — perhaps both. The pharmacy at that hospital changed their standard operating procedures to require careful verification of the name on every label and to cross-check every prescription issued with the patient’s medical record.

That’s how the US Navy nearly got me killed before I set foot aboard my first ship.

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Any Port When They Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse

, , , | Legal | June 10, 2021

I was in the US Navy and my ship was moored in Sicily for several days. I purchased several good brands of Cuban cigars in [Sicilian Town], and I was also carrying two or three brands of cigars from Honduras and the Dominican Republic — two other countries which produced stellar cigars. I regularly shared my smokes with my shipmates, both to share the fun and to make sure I didn’t accidentally bring contraband Cuban cigars back to the ship.

My small group of c-workers and I preferred eating and drinking in quiet, so we were trying to avoid the bars and restaurants close to the ship; American sailors are notoriously boisterous on liberty in foreign ports. We made our way far down the waterfront in [Small Sicilian Town] and stopped at a small restaurant for dinner. We chose to eat in the outdoor café area because it was a lovely evening and so we could smoke after dinner. I handed cigars out to my friends and we enjoyed some coffee and cigars in Sicily. It was an amazing night, made possible by the US Navy.

A local customer who’d been eating in the outdoor area asked me a question as we smoked. I thought he was complaining about the cigars, so I apologized and we all started to get up and leave. He waved us back to our seats with a smile, then pointed at the cigars and asked more questions. I was still having trouble with the accent — the wine I’d had with dinner probably wasn’t helping — but I definitely understood one word: “Cubano”. I guessed he was asking if we were smoking Cuban cigars, so I sat and spent the best part of a half-hour trying to communicate. With a great deal of gesturing and my poor grasp of Italian, I finally managed to tell the gentleman I had Cuban, Dominican, and Honduran cigars, and offered him one of the Cubans. He really appreciated this gesture, introduced himself, and walked with us when we left the restaurant for a nearby bar.

We sat at a corner table away from the door and ordered the usual round of beer and liquor almost all sailors indulge in. We spent most of the evening talking and smoking and drinking at this bar, which had relatively few other customers. We were joined by a couple of very pretty local women after a bit, which understandably brightened our mood. One of the young ladies spoke decent English, which made it easier to communicate with our new friend.

With the woman acting as interpreter, I drunkenly held forth on the merits of various cigar brands and showed off a couple of varieties I had in my jacket pocket. I offered [Gentleman] one particular Honduran smoke which I was particularly fond of, and he was pleased and impressed, lighting up and smoking it with pleasure. As we went to settle up with the bartender, [Gentleman] waved us away and said, through the English-speaking young lady, that he would take care of it. The bartender wished us a good night in several languages as we departed. The gentleman and the young ladies waved goodbye as we walked back toward the ship.

The next morning, I was told to report to the Command Master Chief’s office. Confused and not a little curious, I went to CMC’s office and was surprised to find my shipmates from the night before also waiting. We were hustled into the office and found the CMC talking to a local police officer, who I later learned was a member of the Carabinieri, Italy’s national police force. This did not bode well.

The Carabinieri wanted to question us because we’d been reported as being in the company of a known criminal. It turns out that [Gentleman] was a prominent figure in the local mafia, and the restaurant where we’d eaten was a known hangout for the mob. We were all pretty blown away by this news, and we freely told CMC and the Carabinieri officer everything we could remember. He eventually decided we had just been stupid and drunk, and not part of some nefarious criminal enterprise.

Our chain-of-command was extremely unhappy with us, and that restaurant was declared “Off-Limits” to all sailors for the duration of our stay. My friends and I were restricted to the ship for the rest of that port visit, and we spent a lot of that time writing reports about that evening for the ship’s security officer.

All future visits to foreign ports saw my friends and me sticking close to the ship, no matter how loud and obnoxious our shipmates were.

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