I’ve developed a low tolerance for a lot of things since I’ve been back from Iraq, but something completely trivial is working my nerves.
People all across the country respect and admire soldiers and thank us for our service. While we’re just doing our jobs like everyone else, it’s still nice for people to recognize that we do something just a little out of the ordinary by just saying thank you. It’s a small thing, but it really means a lot.
Except, if you live in a military town, the rule is not thank you for your service, but familiarity breeds contempt. I’ve got a news flash for all you civilians that work on post and are put out by having to provide a service to us soldiers. Your job is here because of us. You don’t know where we’ve been or what we’ve encountered over in Iraq and Afghanistan. So when you walk by at 0758, refusing to make eye contact with me as I stand outside your office and refusing to open the door to even allow me and the three other soldiers inside where it was warm, remember that without us, you wouldn’t have a job.
I know that’s sounds bitchy and it is. My patience, like I’ve pointed out, is really low these days. But these women were completely engrossed in their conversation and were literally trying to pretend that there weren’t four of us outside, freezing our asses off and they couldn’t’ have been bothered to even open the door and let us in. They didn’t even have to serve us before they opened but a little common courtesy would have been nice. Especially considering it was 32 degrees.
Same thing happened at a local restaurant. This place was a chain and my hubby and I thought having a sit down breakfast would be nice. We waited, patiently. The restaurant was half empty but still, no one was coming to seat us. Then, when the hostess finally did start seating folks, she seated another couple first.
We left, neither of us having the patience to deal with basic lack of manners and basic customer service.
I know this sounds like I’m being petty and small and maybe I am. Maybe in a couple weeks, I’ll look back on this post and think, what the hell was I thinking. And please recognize, this is not an indictment of the whole town, but people in it who refuse to recognize that soldiers are people, not just numbers.
But right now, the rudeness and the refusal to recognize that soldiers are not just a uniform but a person by some of the people in the town and on the base I call home is disconcerting.