“So did you find out how I can register?” I asked as I came out from the mirrored room.
He looked at me as though I’d been an idiot for ever thinking I could get registered. With a sigh he recounted a less than involved story about the “really mean ladies” in the Command Center and how I had to come back at some undetermined time later in the day and ask for some man or other to help me. Without slowing my stride I walked over the the ABA Command Center, knocked on the door and poked my head in.
“I’m sorry. I’m trying to register and it would seem that I’m supposed to ‘come back later’ and find some gentleman. Perhaps you could tell me just who I will be looking for,” I said as I stood in the doorway, looking at the head coordinator of Spousal Activities. A young girl who was, I have come to learn, the daughter of the coordinator of Spousal Activities, stared at me before she turned to look at the woman behind her. The woman behind her mentioned that she was here and would be glad to help me. After an unmentionable amount of sighs from the girl, a sheet of paper was laid in front of me by the young girl, who then turned and walked away as she said, “it’s twenty-five dollars.”
As I stood there waiting for someone to help me, the same young girl turned around in a huff and asked if I intended to pay.
“I’m sorry! Were you talking to me?” I exclaimed, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. “I couldn’t hear you very well with your back turned to me. How much was it again?” I placed my bright red AF water bottle on the table, so as to resist the tempation to hit this girl in the head with it.
“What does the AF stand for?” she asked without looking at me.
“Air Force,” I said without looking up from my paperwork. With those two words the entire atmosphere in the room changed. Everything went from a hostile struggle between two egos, to a much calmer climate. Suddenly, I was no longer a hindrance to their lives. Now, of course, I have zero affiliation with the Air Force… but they never need know that.