I was suggested to repost this story from Malicious Compliance.
This happened back in 1989 when I was in the Navy. When I first checked into my squadron, I was issued a couple pair of coveralls and a pair of flight deck boots. They had special treads to prevent from catching debris like gravel or mud, and had steel toes. Being gubment issued boots, they were relatively low quality and uncomfortable.
You could buy your own boots, but I was new and couldn't afford to buy anything extra. Anyway, I worked on the flight line that was about a half mile long and which was made of rough concrete. I walked an average of about 5-10 miles a day going from aircraft to aircraft doing routine servicing.
About 4 months after I was issued the boots, the soles of the boots wore down to where the tread was bare and the leather on the toes wore out showing the steel inserts. I went to the supply office to see if I could get another pair of boots.
There was an E-5 supply clerk in the office who I later found out was a super karen and was sleeping around with some of the senior enlisted personnel. She asked when I got my current pair of boots and I told her about 4 months ago. She said that I was only allowed new issued boots every 6 months and if I wanted new boots, I had to buy them on my own. Being a newbie, I just took her word for it and just left. Looking back, I should have told my supervisor, but I thought he would have told me the same thing.
About a week later, the soles on the front of the boots started peeling off and flapping. So I got some wire and sewed the soles back temporarily. I figured they just needed to hold on for a few more weeks. I also duct taped the toes to cover the exposed steel inserts.
One day, I was helping unload a helicopter that just came in from a mission and one of the pilots happened to be the squadron commanding officer. He noticed the duct tape on my boots and asked why I didn't get new boots from the supply office. I told him the supply clerk would not issue me any because it has not been 6 months since I got my current pair.
He had a disgusted look on his face and told me to come with him. He went straight to the supply office and sternly told the clerk to get me some new boots NOW! The clerk looked like she was gonna cry. She didn't even try to argue with the commanding officer.
After she gave me the boots, the CO dismissed me and told me to close the door when I left. I guess she got a royal ass chewing after I left. There is another story indirectly involving me and her, but I'll post that later.
Update: I tried to contact my old supervisor to see if he knew what eventually happened to the supply clerk, but he hasn't responded so I will try to recount what I remember.
A few months after this incident, it was winter time, but San Diego doesn't get too cold. Maybe 60-70 Degrees (F) in the day time, but about high 30s to 40 at night. So after work in the afternoons, we usually didn't need our jackets.
I was hanging out at my buddy's room on Sunday and remembered that I left my jacket at work and saw that my buddy had an extra jacket so I asked if I could borrow it and give it back yo him on Monday after I got my jacket back. He said he didn't need it and said that I could have it. The jacket was a Korean war era olive drab field jacket that looked like it came from a GI surplus store. It was nicer than the standard issue jacket I had so I kept wearing it.
A few days later, one of the other squadron personnel came up to me and asked me where I got the jacket. I was a bit suspicious so I jokingly said I stole iff a dead guy. She said it was issued to her and that she lost it and the karen supply clerk wanted to charge her $100 for the jacket. I said I was sorry I didn't know it was hers and I gave it back to her. I had no idea that the squadron issued jackets. There was no name on the jacket or other identifying marks besides a spray painted small number on the back of the jacket which I thought was from the GI surplus store. I thought that was the end of it, but well...you know.
A week later, I was called into the supervisor's office and was told I was written up (by karen) for stealing gubment property. I was shocked! This meant that I may be going to "Captain's Mast" (military punishment) and could potentially lose rank and pay.
Luckily my supervisor and other senior personnel vouched for me and said that jackets and other clothing items are often misplaced and worn by other personnel out of convenience. They also said that the jacket was surplus gear and was not worth more than maybe $20.
I was assigned an advocate who was one of the squadron officers. I will call her Lieutenant Awesome (LTA). She was obligated to advise me that I could request a lawyer, but suggested that she had inside information that the charges were basically bogus and that I don't need a lawyer. Still being new and inexperienced, I was still hesitant on not getting a lawyer. Thats when she showed me the written support from my supervisor and other personnel. She assured me that the charge would be dropped but could not give me any more details.
She was right and I never heard anything more about the charge.
Fast forward to about 4 years later. I was now an E-5 at a different squadron stationed out in Virginia and deployed to sea in the Mediterranean. I was a specialist inspector and had to go replace another specialist on another ship because he got sick and was hospitalized. Coincidentally Lieutenant Awesome was one of the pilots on that ship and we had a conversation about the incident.
This happened over 30 years ago, so my recollection may be a little off. According to LTA, karen was playing favorites with her friends and would give them supplies off the books. The money she charged people for losing issued gear was probably pocketed by her. On top of that she was sleeping around with some of the senior personnel. She was under investigation when she wrote me up for the jacket and that is why LTA knew I was not in any trouble.
Karen got demoted and kicked out for whatever shady stuff she was doing. LTA didn't go into too much detail about it. I was glad karen got what she deserved
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