ID Card Lady
I am not a person who likes conflict. I try to be diplomatic and avoid confrontations. Today, I stood face to face with ID Card Lady, a woman who’s renowned for crushing military egos. She picked the wrong person this morning to take out her sexual frustrations. She’s one of those ladies who is married to a high-ranking enlisted man and thinks her marriage equals uniform rank. Before I go into detail about our battle of wit, let me explain the process at which took me to ID Card Lady…
I think I’d rather get shot at than go through what I did today. We endured redeployment briefings that were as exciting as watching a NASCAR race (which is not a sport!). The army realizes we had several traumatic experiences so they augment this with briefings about our mental health, physical condition, how to be reunited with your family and our veteran benefits. We also had to fill out scores of paperwork and for some reason the army has figured out 20 different ways to write a date. There’s ddmmyear, mmddyear, yearfullmonthdd, etc. Screw it up and you have to redo the paperwork. Anyway, while everything was extremely interesting and important, I am not much of a classroom guy (which is why I graduated college with a 2.6). It took everything I had not to fall asleep. Upon the completion of several long, boring, briefings, we were given a rather long list of stations we had to clear. Finance. TRICARE. Medical. Dental. Chaplain. Legal. G6. Retention. ACAP. DD214. And ID Card…
Her hair was natty and she had a smoker’s voice. “Can I help you?” said ID Card Lady. Yes, ma’am, I need to get my new ID Card so I can receive all my new veteran’s benefits, such as VA Home Loan and VA grants for this business I plan to start. “Well, did you go to finance,” she asked after a series of coughs and a few sips of coffee. Why yes I did. “It’s not signed on your sheet.” Cough, cough, sip, sip. Well, I went there, ma’am. “I will say this again, it’s not signed on your sheet.” No problem, ma’am, I’ll go back to finance and get a sig. I wanted to say, hey, pull that corn cob out of your ass, splash some cold water on your face and give me my new ID Card so I can enjoy all my veteran’s benefits and you can go back to polluting your lungs with Camels.
So, I went to finance and got a signature and returned to ID Card Lady’s cluttered desk that was covered with pictures of her ugly dog. “Did you get your end of leave form?” Why yes I did. Here it is. She took it from my hand and gave me a dirty look with her dark brown, cold eyes. Then, she started typing the information in her computer, so I could get all my veteran’s benefits.
My final day of active duty will be February 15, but my commander is trying to push it to the right a couple days. I won’t be doing anything; I’ll just be on leave status during this period. I didn’t think it really mattered, but I told her anyway.
Ma’am, I don’t think it matters, but there’s a chance that the end of leave date could change. “What? That totally changes everything. That means your active duty benefits will shift two days.” You know, I really don’t care. Just put in the info, take my picture, sign the form and we’ll call it a day. “Well, I do care and I’m not putting this in the computer if it’s not right.” I don’t know if the date is going to change, but what’s two days. I mean, I just want to go home. And right now, I can’t do that if you don’t sign this form. “Well, let me tell you something, I am not going to sign your form if you don’t know if the date is right.” Then, her colleague walks in. The colleague wore tight spandex pants and a sweater that revealed more than needed to be seen. The ID Card Lady explained the situation to the Colleague, who agreed with ID Card Lady who emphasized I didn’t care. “We can’t do anything until we know the date is right. And you should care,” said the Colleague whose breath smelled like a whisky cabinet. She totally took that comment out of context. All I want to do is go home. “No, I didn’t take your comment out of context. You’ve been giving me attitude since you walked in this office.”
In the past year, I don’t think I’ve been more ticked off than at that particular moment. I wanted to tell her that her dog was ugly and she looked like a shriveled up piece of beef jerky. But I remained cool and sternly said… Listen here, you haven’t seen attitude and I don’t appreciate the way you’re treating soldiers who’ve been shot at, mortared, received life-scarring wounds and seen more crap in person than you have on T.V. “Don’t tell me how to treat soldiers. I’m married to a Marine. And I don’t appreciate your attitude.” At this point, I realized that I’m going up hill in a pair of broken slippers with this lady. Trust me, lady, you have not seen an attitude yet. Then, I stormed out of her stinky office.
At the end of all these briefings, I get to fill out a survey about how efficient the process was and how we were treated by the workers. Now, I couldn't live with myself for getting somebody fired, so I’ll not mention this incident. However, Friday, I will be re-united with ID Card Lady. And while today’s battle may have ended in a standstill, she will feel my wrath if she messes with me again and doesn’t give me a new ID Card so I can enjoy my veteran’s benefits. By God, I’ve been in Iraq for a year; I think I can handle ID Card Lady.