Field Reports


May 18, 2021

Sergeant K

Texted PFC before she opened The Field on Friday. “Remove the mandated mask sign from the door. No reason for you to take extra shit from people today.”

Those who made this “honor system” decision must have been asleep for the past 14 months regarding Americans’ ability to make any sort of decision. Doesn’t stop people from asking THE question, though.

“Do we have to wear a mask?” they ask, sticking their heads through the door.

“Are you vaccinated?” I respond.

Without fail, each person’s eyes shot up, immediately defensive. “You can’t ask me that,” they say in some iteration.

“Well, it’s the answer to your question,” I respond considering that the new rule is based entirely on vaccination status. My belief on whether you “have to” wear a mask is determined by your answer. If you don’t want me to ask, then don’t make it an issue.

I’ll never cease to stop thinking about the meme that said “Hell hath no fury like a white person who is mildly inconvenienced.” I also think about one of my childhood lessons: People easily answer questions when they are confident about said answer and/or behavior involved.

“Did you and your brother throw a baseball through that window?”

“What is a baseball anyway,” I’d respond. That’s all the answer there needs to be, no?

Like when someone asks if you’re gay. People who aren’t gay say “No” pretty easily, without inflection, without defensiveness. They don’t launch into missives about whether or not someone should be allowed to ask that. Even if they DO want to have the conversation about appropriateness of the question, they will say, “No, I’m not. Do you think that question should be asked?”

(Those who are gay answer depending on their confidence/perceived safety level. But trust me – when I wasn’t out yet and someone asked me if I was gay, that “no” answer came out without hesitation.)

I never thought I’d compare response behavior of gay inquiries to vaccine inquiries, but here we are.

This is your chance to SHINE, anti-vaxxers! Step into the spotlight! You proudly declare yourself unvaccinated and unmasked! Gob dang gubment can’t tell you what to do! Be proud of your righteous pursuit to do nothing helpful in the face of a pandemic! Really wear that badge of honor! When I ask if you’re vaccinated, you confidently announce to everyone around that no you’re not and you don’t care!

I’ve listened to you for 14 freaking months whisper this shit quietly. Time to shout it loud and proud.

People don’t do that. And this small thing is proof we may finally be making some headway on this thing. Every time someone dodges the question, it is proof to me that they know they’re on the wrong side of history. In my life experience, getting people to acknowledge that is a good step toward behavior change.

So don’t worry, guys. Fifty years from now, we’ll beat this thing.

Was alone in The Field when a couple of 20-somethings came in. At my last job, the 2 o’clock hour was my “witching hour” where I was just done being quiet and needed to start telling stories. In The Field, this is 4 o’clock.

“I’m sorry,” I told this couple while measuring their box, “I hate when a song like “Born This Way” is playing and I’m the only one in here. Like I’m subtly throwing myself a gay pride parade for customers.”

They laughed. I probably wouldn’t have said it to just anyone. But at 4:15 p.m., I can’t promise that really.

People have begun tipping us more frequently, a weird phenomenon seeing as I’ve never worked a job where anyone needed to tip me for anything. Families didn’t throw me a couple extra bucks for writing a great obituary, though maybe they should have if I made the person sound better than they actually were.

The crazy thing (to me) is that we have thus far been tipped almost exclusively for one service:


PFC and I giggle at this because sending a fax is probably the easiest thing we do. You’re gonna give me a $5 tip because I dialed a phone number? People are basically tipping us for having the machine to make this happen seeing as how everyone could do this.

Well, not everyone. Still gotta dial “1” for long-distance numbers on a fax machine. Probably rules out most people under the age of 35.

Customer of the Day!

A woman came in to ask if we took dropoffs even if they “are big.” We said sure as long as it had a label. She went out to get her husband to haul it in.

It was indeed large and heavy as hell. He came in the front door and said, “Where do you want it?” We cleared a spot on the low counter and said to bring it on up here.

He literally said, “No,” and dropped it right here instead.

Assuming each of those floor tiles is a foot long, the man set the box down six feet in front of the counter. He had all the momentum to get to said counter. Or the drop-off table right there by the door is six feet the other way.

What an interesting choice.

And finally, we are having a bit of a debate about what weapons to add to our arsenal of self-protection in The Field.

PFC said, “The other day, I heard Private Ryan talking on the phone about ordering a machete.”

“A machete?” I asked.

“Yeah. I don’t know if he was kidding or not.”

“And isn’t the fact that we don’t know whether or not he was kidding basically the story there?” I responded.

Yes. Yes it is.

Colonel C

I immediately went on Amazon to look for machetes. They are readily available.

Sent some options to Sergeant K. “This one says it is good for coconuts AND the undead!”

Gave myself a ribbon for helpfulness.

When she told me she was being tipped for faxing, I thought she said “Vaccines” and I asked her if The Field had begun administering shots and let me tell you, that conversation went nowhere in a hurry. We also both independently ordered 46 pounds of dog food, thinking we were taking care of something we usually waited til the last second for.

Might need a communication seminar or something soon.

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