local veteran who served four years in the Marine Corps infantry has found himself flummoxed by the differences between his new civilian employment, and the work environment he was accustomed to in the military. Upon separation, he expressed a strong desire to “not be homeless, but still have enough money for smokes and booze.” After landing a job with a local eyewear company, he was pleased at again receiving a pay check, and relieved that “some of the people are cool.” However, civilian life is not without its pitfalls. “The day-to-day is weird. It's so different than the Marine Corps, and it’s become apparent that all of these people hate Veterans, and are trying to destroy my attempt at integrating back into society, but they don’t care. They refuse to cater to my every need, and that’s wrong, because they weren’t there, they didn’t see what I saw.”
Return To Base caught up with the Marine, who has asked to remain anonymous for “OPSEC reasons”, recently. Here is what he had to say:
I either came off as the either biggest idiot ever, or the biggest tool ever on my first day. Transferring phone calls? The fuck is that? Oh yea sorry, I can't communicate without the word fuck, it kind of fucking sucks. Vulgarity isn't appreciated out here, and I don't know why. Swearing is the most effective way of getting one's point across, and I wanted to make sure people knew what I mean, but not these people. It's all buzzwords and connotation. I didn't even know what a buzzword is, but that's business around the building. Meanwhile, I'm over here trying not to talk to leadership dropping fucks and shits every other word. Hell, I don't even know when I'm in trouble half the time.
[RTB: How does your civilian boss compare to your leadership in the Marine Corps?]
My boss is super sincere, polite, and all that other jazz. It scares me sometimes. He's so nice to me. The first time I ever got in trouble, he talked to me like a human being. "You're doing a good job, but we're going to need you to do something this way from now on, but keep up the motivation." Is he mad at me? He didn't threaten/swear at me, didn't tell me I should've been swallowed. I'm so confused. It made literally no sense. You get so used to someone threatening to rip your head off. Where I come from, if your boss isn’t actively threatening to kill you and your family, then you're not really doing anything wrong.
Another thing, when I get berated, it's always in private, never in front of other people. This one time, I was supposedly being "too violent" with this check-out process we have people go through when they exit the building, and he came down to talk to me. "Hey Blake, I really enjoy your enthusiasm when it comes to the security of the building, but I've been getting some complaints. Can you please stop trying to perform cavity checks on people as they leave? Keep up the good work bud!" "Ugh yea, no more hands in assholes, got it." Weird, right? I guess the definition of security is different for some people. Oh well, don’t come crying to me when some terrorist attacks us.
[RTB: What about your co-workers? Do you find it any easier to relate to them?]
It’s different, you know? Mannerisms here are so weird. Like, why is bad to sit down with people I work with and talk about banging hookers or getting so tanked I don't know my own name? That's good wholesome fun right there, but apparently people out here in the real world don't do that kind of stuff, or not that often? It’s a shame, I think I should stage an intervention for them, maybe. Hell, I can't even walk up and grab food off their plates at lunch. Seriously? I thought we were fucking brothers, where's the Esprit de Corps? What's good for the goose, is good for the gander, and bro that fried chicken looks bangin', and I want to take a piece, but you'll go crying to HR like last time. Thanks bro.
I got to be careful with what I say too. Heaven forbid you make a dick joke. I think I saw the ground open up, fire gushing everywhere, a woman even cried, the first time I made one. People do NOT like dick jokes. Pity, because there's nothing like a good dick joke in the morning to get the blood pumping. Oh, and stereotypes too. One of my closest buddies from the Marines told me on a daily basis that white people love cottage cheese, whatever that means, while I berated him on his obsession with Bojangles fried chicken and generic grape soda. He even told me that he married a white lady to “get back at the white man.” But here, I get in trouble for asking Jose’ if he brought empanadas today, or asking Jamal if he has an extra pair of J’s I can borrow for the club this weekend. I just don’t know what to do. I have to play by their nasty ass civilian rules, and it’s killing me.
[RTB: What do you think you’ll do moving forward? Do you see yourself staying with the company?]
I don’t know. It’ll be hard if things don’t change. Fuck it. I’ll just call the news stations and tell them they aren’t allowing me to take time and recite the National Anthem after I pray for 30 minutes straight. That’ll put a fire under their asses.
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