The woman Marine was a Warrent Officer
(WO.) Like all professional women in the Corps she was ignored
and push aside for incompetent male officiers. The Gunny Sergeant
was a real scumbag.
Here is a story that involves myself, the
woman WO, Tweedledumb, and the gunny.
Again the collective, narrow minded asses
of those behind the green door decide that I, the photographer
who never worked in the office, must have a desk in the office
and he must sit at that desk whenever he is not busy.
I was always busy so I never sat at the
desk. In fact the only time I sat at the desk was when I would
come to the office just before lunch to get the rest of the crew
for our weekly get-together lunch and if they weren't ready I
would wait at my assigned desk.
In the beginning the desk had a desk-lamp,
a chair, a phone, a trash can, and a nice desk-pad. But because
I never used the desk things started to disappear from my assigned
space in the office. First the chair. Then the desk-lamp. Followed
by the desk-pad. Finally the desk was gone. Where it went no one
knows. In my two years at Cherry Point ISO that is the only desk
to disappear from the office.
So one day I walked in to get the crew
for our lunch and the only thing left in my assigned work area
was the phone (remember they were hard-wired in those days) and
the trash can. I think the trash can was still there because is
was full of trash. Nobody wanted to steal a full trash can. Better
to swip an empty one. In frastration I droped the phone into the
trash can and waited for the rest of the crew.
Now I must must state a rule about U.S.
Marine officers. If they look up an office number in the official
Cherry Point Phone Directory and there is a phone number listed
then when they call that number someone will answer at the other
end. It doesn't matter that the Cherry Point Phone Directory was
out of date when I got there in October 1965. It was now spring
1967. If there was no new directory then the old one was accurate.
I mean why would they put a number in the book if on one was going
to pick-up the phone? This meant that whenever a phone would ring
it would continue to ring until someone answered it. Several years
later I learn that this rule applied to any U.S. military officer.
I learned this at the Pentagon. That's all you need to know about
that experience. Are you starting to get the idea why we lost
So, off to lunch we all go leaving the
phone in the trash can. An hour later we return and the woman
WO wants to speak to me.
The woman WO asks me if I know anything
about the phone and trash can at my assigned work area. I tell
her only that I am supposed to have a desk and chair for the phone
and trash can. The woman WO grufly dismissed me. I had no idea
what her problem was. She was usually a very nice person.
Remember the rule about officers and phones?
Well after we left for lunch the phone at my assigned work area
started ringing. And no one could find it. The worman WO looked
for it. It kept ringing. The gunny looked for it. It kept ringing.
Tweedledumb looked for it. It kept ringing. All three were now
looking for the phone that was ringing. They couldn't find it
and it just kept ringing.
Apparently someone did find the ringing
phone. They found the phone only because officers will never hang-up
a ringing phone.
Now here is the real kicker. The number
for the phone at my empty work space was once occupied by the
Windsock editor. That was long ago. He, never a she, was now at
a different desk and a different phone number. The whole time
that phone was ringing the Windsock editor, Cpl Lovelace, was
sitting just 20 feet away at the new desk and different phone