Let’s say, while on guard duty, you want to get out of camp to buy dinner. What should you do? You could sneak out and hope not to get caught, or you could ask for permission and most likely find your request rejected (and maybe get marked for making an absurd request). So what did we do when we felt like going out for dinner?
The bunch of us, while sitting around pondering what to do for dinner, organized a plan of action. Of course as a courtesy, we should at least inform our superior. That would be the PC in our case. So we picked a representative to call our PC. The better kheng-king amongst us wasn’t well liked by our PC, so it was better not for him to call. But our rep wasn’t good at kheng-ing, but nevermind, that can be trained.
Clearly, “Sir, can we go out to buy dinner?” is not going to work. We needed to device something better.
“Sir, do you want dinner?” Still a bad question. If the PC answered, “Yes”, then that’s great, but what if he answers “No thanks”, then how? But we’re getting there.
Better version: “Sir, what do you want for dinner? Char Kway Tiao or Hokkien Mee?” You see, you have already led him to believe he needs dinner, he just needs to choose what kind of dinner he wants. So this is the opening question we decided on. Ok, phone call, fire question, and after a short deliberation, he choses his dinner. Sweet.
Then PC asked the feared question: “But who’s going to get dinner?” If someone was coming in and can buy dinner for us, that would be a nice and convenient arrangement. But of course, no one was coming in; We were going to go out to buy dinner. But ah ha, who gave us permission to go out to buy dinner? Well, we had an anwer for this question.
“Sir, I’m going to get dinner. Oh by the way, is OC there? Can you ask what dinner does he want?”
Yes, blunt answer then quickly change topic. Ask his boss what dinner he wants. It would do him good to organize dinner for his boss.
PC said: “No, OC is not here.”
“Oh, how about 2IC and other PCs, what do they want?”
Yes, so orders for the officers were consolidated. Permission to go out was implied, mission accomplished.
Of course, not just that one person went out. All of us went out together.
Oops, I hope my ocifer doesn’t read blogs.