Friday, January 22, 2010
Flashback Friday - No Coffee!
Last night I was having a twitter conversation about coffee that reminded me of an incident I had in Korea with the LTC (Lieutenant Colonel) I worked for.
I should start by mentioning that growing up I was always forced to make coffee for my mom. I used to complain about it. I swore that when I left home, I was never going to make coffee ever again! So what did I do? I joined the Army. And what does everyone drink in the Army? Coffee. I have never in my life drank coffee. I didn't start in the Army and I swore I'd keep my conviction about never making it again.
I was Admin in the Army. A lot of people think that the first line in the duty description for that is "make coffee". I admit I fought hard the entire time I was in the military about the coffee issue. (It's about the principle of it, ya know!)
Anyway, it's pretty funny to look back but I stood my ground. When I was at Campbell and we were in the field, I had TOC duty. The other girl on duty spent all night chugging down the java. Come morning, there was no coffee left and we had a major brief happening first thing with a 2 star general. Immediately everyone was in panic mode. She told me to make coffee to which I replied that no, I wouldn't since she had drank it all. (Rebellious..perhaps a bit.) Anyway, it got pretty crazy there, people running around. It made me laugh to see everyone stressing about coffee for the general, I kept telling them he probably didn't even drink coffee. When my shift was over and I was headed out of the tent, one of the NCOs told me that I needed to run to the mess tent to get some sugar and creamer because they were out. I just looked at him and said, no I had to report somewhere else (which I did). Later on I found out that the general never even asked for coffee and so all that energy was wasted.
But anyway, I digress, that wasn't even the story I intended to tell but it does fit in. I spent all of my time fighting the coffee making battle. When I got stationed in Korea, I had to interview for my position. The LTC I was going to work for wanted me to understand what his expectations were for me. I listened and as he finished he asked me if I had any questions or comments. I simply told him that I wanted him to know that I didn't make coffee...ever. He chuckled and said okay, he could deal with that. Because of my position, I was put in charge of the refrigerator and the coffee funds. No big deal. I told all the coffee drinkers that since I didn't drink coffee they needed to make sure and tell me when they were running low. I never ventured near the pot and I also never intended to clean it (dirty coffee pots gross me out). Most everyone understood this. I had moments when we'd get a new guy in the office who would try to get me to make coffee. I even had an E8 go running to my Sergeant Major (E9) to tell on me for not making him and his buddies coffee. My SGM responded with, she doesn't make me or the LTC coffee what makes you think I'm going to force her to make it for you. Yeah, good times.
Now the last story and the one I intended to tell in the first place. As we all know, changes happen in the Army and my favorite LTC PCS'd back to the states and in came a new guy. He was a good guy, we got along great and had no issues. After a few months, we had an exercise coming up which had him, me and one of our KATUSAs (Korean Augumtees to the US Army) coming in to work early. The first day, he walked over to the coffee station and said loudly, "oh, there's no coffee made.". I just carried on with what I was doing. Eventually someone came in during normal duty hours and made coffee. The second day, same thing. On the third day, he called me and Sergeant Hwang over to the coffee station. He told us that he couldn't believe that coffee wasn't made when we came in. Both SGT Hwang and I shrugged because neither of us were coffee drinkers. LTC P then proceeded to show us how to make coffee. explaining measurements and everything. We both nodded and smiled and went about our day. On the fourth day, again there was no coffee. LTC P stopped by my desk and asked me about what I learned the previous day. My reply was, "Sir, I learned that you could make your own coffee."
No one ever asked me to make coffee again.