It is one of my trashiest days, and what happened so far confirmed my suspicions.
I stood outside the Manpower branch of my unit, clutching the police report on my lost military identity card, awaiting my turn in front of the music. On my feet was a pair of slippers, the ball of my both feet having gone black from the broken blisters. The officer paused to size me up.
"What happened to your feet?"
"Sir, I have blisters on them."
"BLISTERS? You reported sick for blisters? Never mind. How many extra duties have you signed for losing your card?"
"None? Where is your commander?" At this point, my sergeant stepped into the office, looking as much the timid mouse as I was. "Yes sir?"
"Listen carefully. I don't care about your company, but I want him to sign 4 extras for me."
The walk back to the company line was the toughest, with the two sergeants flanking me sympathetically.
"Well, treat it as a lesson learnt, ok? Make sure you don't lose it again." Their words seemed like cold comfort to me, as I went into the sergeant major's office to complete the deed. Fifty dollars out of my pocket (actually, I had to borrow thirty), and a mini-talk session with the sergeant major, I signed the punishment book, and went outside.
My platoon was doing power PT (physical training). It is a tough session comprising of diamond push-ups, scissors kicks, spider push-ups, flutter kicks, dive bombers, alternate leg thrusts, burpees and jumping jacks, with an instructor choosing to go forward or backwards through the sequence as and when he likes. My PC (platoon commander) was going through one trial session with us before the commencement of the course. I watched intently on the thoroughly shacked faces on my fellow friends, determined as they were to finish the session. Finally, they were through, and PC gave a prep talk...
"Guys, I am not very happy about the report sick rate. I am not pointing fingers at people, but some of you report sick for blisters, isn't that too much? Did you know that the other commanders all grit through their blisters? I think this is too much, how am I supposed to tell the Commanding Officer if he asks?"
His words hurt me like a dagger through my heart. I strongly believed in doing my best in my whatever I did, and yet I was being singled out to be lamblasted. The pain in me was even stronger than the rawness in my feet.
Right before book out time, the 2 IC was reading the routine order to the whole company before we were to leave camp for our weekend.
"Private ***** has been awarded 4 extras for losing his identity card. Where are you, private?" I raised my hands, and replied weakly.
That about wraps up my trashiest Friday ever.