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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.

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.

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.

Books For The Win!

, , , , , | Right | June 1, 2021

I’m a female Army veteran. I have a job as a day aide for elderly clients. One of my clients is a ninety-eight-year-old lady who is very exacting about how she wants things done. She is also mostly blind, so she wants me to read to her.

Client: “I want you to read some short stories to me. Have you ever heard of The Decameron?”

Me: “No, I haven’t.”

Client: “Oh. I guess there isn’t much literature reading in the Army.”

Me: “Well, that’s rude.”

Client: *Staring at me in shock* “What do you mean?”

Me: “You saying there isn’t much literature reading in the Army. I do read.”

Client: “Oh, I just meant you hadn’t had a literature class.”

Me: “I have, in high school and in college. I’ve read plenty of classics, like The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. Just because I haven’t heard of this particular book doesn’t mean I’m uneducated.”

Client: “Well, I… I didn’t mean to imply that you don’t read. Just that you… I’m sorry.”

Since she apologized, I decided to let it go at that and read the stories to her. Once we got past that, we actually had a good conversation about the book, which is a series of stories based on the Black Plague. Yes, I know, a bit weird to read that right now, but it was nice to sit and talk. When it was time to leave, she said she was excited to have me back to read, so that’s a win.

In Memorial Of Military Decorum

, , , , , | Right | May 31, 2021

I work for a well-known retail clothing store and am working the customer service desk on Monday Memorial Day. Our military members receive an additional percentage off on Monday. An army soldier and his wife walk up to my desk. They have Levi jeans on hold so I grab them.

Customer’s Wife: “I have a 20%-off coupon and I want to use my military coupon for my pants.”

Me: “I’m sorry, love, but the military coupons aren’t stackable and they don’t qualify for the coupon as it’s an excluded item. Most of our major brands are excluded; it says so right on the coupon in bold letters.”

Customer’s Wife: *Bright red and clearly upset* “What does ‘exclusion’ mean?! You’re just using words to confuse me!”

Me: “It just means that these pants do not take coupons.”

Customer:It’s Memorial Day and this is how you treat your military members?!”

Me: “Sir? You can buy any other jeans in this store, but these specific jeans just don’t work.”

Customer: “WOW!” *Throws a pen at me* “You know, I work day in and day out, and on all days, you won’t let me on Memorial Day. I do this all the time!”

Me: “What? Complain? I believe that. There is no way to even give a discount, even if I wanted to, because our system doesn’t allow us to bypass that since it’s an item that doesn’t take coupons.”

Customer: “This is what I serve this country for! Unbelievable!”

Me: “My husband is a soldier, and you should know just like I know that Memorial Day is just that: to remember our fellow soldiers that didn’t make it back home. Not for d**ks like you to use their military status to try and make me feel bad. You should be ashamed.”

Customer: “You just lost a valuable customer! I am calling corporate! Who is your manager?!”

Me: “I am, sir. So pleased to meet you; here is the number. Here is my employee number. Let them know I said hello!”

The customer and his wife stormed out.

The next day, my general manager talked to me letting me know that corporate had reached out to let her know that I handled the customer correctly and that the customer was informed that he isn’t allowed back to our specific location.