By Whisper, on August 19th, 2011
We are nearing the half-way point of our scheduled seven-month deployment, and have been on-station on the North Arabian Sea flying combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for over a month now. A routine has developed. For aficionados of Bill Murray films, this routine is commonly referred to as “Groundhog’s Day”. It is a seemingly endless cycle of days that, try as you may to change it, goes-on with or without you. Days of the week are no longer marked with a name, but are instead referenced in realtion to when your favorite meal will be served again. For some it is Steak Night, for others it is the weekly brunch (which is done particularly well on this here warship).
For the most part, the routine sustains you. A rhythm develops that helps pass the time. However, in the case of an annoying or unprofessional shipmate, a routine of lackadaisical performance can drive a man insane. Yesterday, one man reached his breaking point:
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:03
Subject: Barber Shop Issues
I believe that your barber shop requires additional supervision. I have ignored issues in the past (i.e. loud obnoxious rap music, general horseplay, ect), but this latest occurrence is ridiculous.
Yesterday, I made an appointment for a 1400 hair cut. Due to my busy day, I showed up 20 minutes early to see if there was an open seat. When I arrived, your barber was sound asleep on the bench with head phones on. I attempted to wake “[redacted]” up (not sure of rank/rate). He did not wake up so I left and came back 15 minutes later. He was still asleep.
Instead of attempting to wake him up, I decided to sit in the barber chair until he awoke. After about 20 minutes, he finally awoke and said “whut kinda cut you want?” I told him what I wanted and he proceeded to put his head phones back on and cut my hair. The only other thing he asked me was “you want be edged”? I was not sure what that meant, so I said no.
I run a department of 130 sailors and chiefs who work long hours on the flight deck. I do not allow them to sleep during duty hours. I am not aware of your division’s policies on sleeping, so I apologize if I am imposing unrealistic expectations.
Upon telling this story to my fellow Air Wing officers, this exact issue has happened several times and seems to be the norm.
The only good part of this story is that surprisingly, I got a decent haircut.
All is well that ends well? Hat’s off to you, shipmate.