When you work for a large organization for many years, relocate often and frequently travel on business you interact with many people – all kinds of people. My experience was almost entirely positive. I found most people I dealt with in my and other Government agencies, private businesses and the public to be conscientious, competent, cooperative and hard working. However, over such a long period I did come across some that were a bit strange.
I thought it would be fun to write about some of the most memorable ones now and then.
The first one I will call the Colonel. I call him the Colonel because that’s what he was – a retired Air Force officer who was then working on special projects in our agency. In his military career he had been involved with the logistics of the Berlin Air Lift. I had frequent contact with him regarding accounting support for his projects while I was working at our headquarters in Washington.
Until he revealed himself as a wacko I was quite impressed with him. He was an extremely organized, no-nonsense guy. He had no sense of humor but was still a delight to work with because he stayed on the issue at hand – no small talk, no bullsh*t.
The fateful day he revealed himself began quite innocently. We had a meeting in my office about accounting support for an operation, hammering out how the funding was going to be provided and accounted for – the basic boring accounting stuff. At the end of our meeting I committed to provide a draft of instructions and accounting codes to be used. I said: “I’ll have the draft ready for your review next Tuesday. How about we meet in your office at 2:30?”
The Colonel responded: “Tuesday is fine but it will have to be at another time. I have my bowel movement at 1430 hours.”
I must say that I did a classic theatrical double take. 😯 I froze, wide-eyed, open mouthed – because I knew he was serious. I think he noticed the reaction he got from his revelation, because he immediately proceeded to explain – which made it worse.
He told me that he took the waste elimination process quite seriously, and then told me his daily schedule for urination – in military time!
Needless to say, I was still rather nonplussed. But I was able to gather my wits and ask him what time would be appropriate.
When he left I almost fell out of my chair. 🙄