Corporal X kills Santa Claus; dramatic scenes follow
Everyone hates working on holidays, right? Actually, young fufluns12 didn’t mind at all. I would volunteer as the duty staff member for my section because my boss would let me convert my working holidays to normal days off at a three-to-one rate, all off the books. The other advantage was that work was empty except for me and the poor guys and gals of the shift who were regularly scheduled to be there. Military discipline would all but disappear, and big bosses would bring in food (and a little booze) to show solidarity and then also, crucially, disappear. It wasn’t a bad deal for someone with no family at home and nothing better to do.
Corporal X did not enjoy spending Christmas Eve at work. In fact, Corporal X probably didn’t want to be in the military at all, but that’s neither here nor there. Maybe it was because he didn’t have a sweet days off deal with his boss because this holiday was part of his regular schedule. Maybe he wanted to be home to hide presents under the tree. Who knows? But there he was, because he was a professional, damn it. He was sitting up front, manning the phone and being bored.
One thing that occasionally happened at my work was that children would call us to see if we were tracking Santa Claus as he travelled around the world. Of course we were! In fact, we’re watching him on the radar right now flying over the ocean. He’ll be here just in time for Christmas!
Corporal X must have been having a really bad day, because he instead told a shocked little boy that we had suddenly lost track of Santa on the radar, and that it was probably ok, but he just couldn’t be sure at the moment. And did the boy mind if he hung up? This was obviously something they had to deal with!
This was all reconstructed after the fact. About an hour later, a furious woman came bursting through the doors of the Ops Room. One of our Sergeant Majors wanted to know why her grandson was inconsolable, and just how it came to be that he had got the idea into his head that Santa was dead.
All heads pivoted towards Corporal X. Sputtered apologies and explanations that he had never actually told the kid that Santa was dead didn’t help defuse the situation. Corporal X’s bosses weren’t impressed either, because they hadn’t wanted to see the Ma’am at work unless she was there to drop off coffee for everyone.
After much yelling, she made Corporal X hand write a letter to her grandson explaining that soon after the phone call, Santa popped back up on the radar and everything was just fine. Just a technical glitch in our equipment, probably. He got to spend the rest of the night outside, patrolling the perimeter of our station with a rotating cast of bemused (but mostly just very amused) coworkers. No charges were ever laid, which was a bit of a Christmas miracle.
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