Flu Season

Filed under: — lana @ 6:42 pm

Every year all of us military folks, regardless of branch of service or rank, all hear the same thing:

Go get your flu shot.

The flu shot is free for us military folks, and everyone has to get it in order to prevent the spread of nasty disease. We already have to quell stupidity on a fairly regular basis, so the last thing we all need is additional swelling of the brain because someone caught the flu. Not that it actually stops anyone from getting sick and passing it around anyway, given our love for standing in the snow for long periods of time like I am about to do at the firing ranges next week, but it’s the thought that counts.

So I got the annual phone call early in the week and explained that I would get the Soldiers there, but that an entire Brigade was busy competing for the clinic’s attention due to impending rotations towards and away from all places that contain an awful lot of beach for no water. I was told to get it done or face getting jabbed with the flu mist up the nose during the range. I went to the clinic to see what I could do.

I ended up grabbing my Soldiers right after physical training on Thursday morning and handing them to a friend of mine who specializes in jamming flu mist up peoples’ noses. He crammed the little tube up their noses and a needle into my arm (Xenu doesn’t react well to the mist), collected our little papers saying that we had been de-bugged for the year, and sent us on our way. My Soldiers, aside from frowns and sighs, did not complain and succumbed to my glares and instructions. Fear can be a useful tool.

But my challenge was my warrant officer. He is usually lumped into the “Challenge” category, so this was no real surprise. When he showed up for work, I handed him his form to fill out and instructed him that he was to go down to the clinic that afternoon and get his flu shot.

Let the whining commence.

Warrant officers must get a class in dodging obligations. I used to notice a strong tendency towards mid-day napping when in Iraq, but this one is more discreet. He can find any way to get out of anything, usually involving a trip to the bank or some other non-work related commitment he forgot to mention any time other than when he needed to do something actually pertaining to his job or the Army. He is increasingly annoyed that I have long since caught on and have my ways around letting him dodge things that I know will eventually come back to annoy me, such as repeat calls from the command about why my warrant officer is the only one in the company showing up as not having received a flu shot this year.

He asked me who would know if he got it or didn’t get it. I told him the shot now goes into the main system and will come up as not having received it to both the clinic and to the company. He told me he would just fill out the paper and turn it in without getting the shot. I pointed to the little “lot number” section on the paper that the medic fills out. He told me he would tell them he lived in a bubble and couldn’t get the shot. I asked him if he would please go ahead and do that then so I didn’t have to listen to his whining any longer, or at least it would be muffled by the bubble. He called me a nasty name. I agreed with him and told him to get his shot and stop complaining.

Finally he agreed to go. I left to take my Soldiers to practice firing, since neither one could qualify at the last range, and reminded him to get his shot. I came back several hours later. His paper was still blank on his desk and he had several not-very-good excuses as to why he had not gotten his shot.

Technically, he outranks me. He even has more years in service than I do, as well as a larger paycheck and that “Officer” title. He also writes my annual evaluations, or at least edits the ones I write for myself before submitting them.

That did not prevent me from ambushing him when he came into work on Friday morning, escorting him over to the clinic, walking him to my friends at the Soldier Readiness area, and watching them administer flu mist straight up his nose. We stopped at the Commissary on the way back so he could buy a croissant to shove into his mouth, thereby at least momentarily pausing his tirade of how much he hates me.

Soon enough I got him distracted by discussing the difference between how a bat hears versus how a dolphin hears, and later explaining the concept of black holes as they pertain to theories of relativity after he sneezed and blamed me for everything that was wrong in his life. I find that he is similar to a child whining about bath time, who forgets all about it when you read them a story before bed.

Another day at the day care I call the United States Army. These big kids are really starting to try on my nerves.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress