When I got out of the military I was lucky I didn’t need a job — as I’d made a lot of money in the stock market — because all of this is true:
Typical interviews would be like:
Interviewer: We are looking for someone with office experience.
Me: I worked in an office for nearly five years, creating press releases, reporting stories, escorting reporters and dignitaries, conducting public relations worldwide, and researching relevant topics for command.
Interviewer: So you didn’t work in an office because you were in the army.
Me: I just told you I worked in an office nearly every day. I just did a lot of other stuff too. I generally worked 12-16 hour days.
Interviewer: But how could you work in an office and be in the army?
Interviewer: Describe your experience with budgeting.
Me: For the last two years of my career, I was responsible for a $180,000 budget that covered all training, deployment, equipment and miscellaneous expenses.
Interviewer: So buying guns and stuff?
Me: What, no? I’m talking about computers, office equipment, that sort of thing.
Interviewer: So who bought the guns?
Me, shaking my head: The gun buyer??
Interviewer: Have you ever managed people?
Me: For the last three years of my military career, I was team lead (not what it’s really called in the military) for all the journalists and public affairs staff in my office.
Interviewer: No, I mean managed people when they didn’t have to do what you say.
Me: That’s not really how the military works. Anyway, I worked with paratroopers only — no paratrooper just does what anyone says, or they wouldn’t be paratroopers. I actively managed five to seven staff for those three years.
Interviewer: So they just had to listen to you.
By the way, those conversations above were all real as best as I recall them. Civilians are utterly clueless about the military and how it works. So much so that it’s comical — except when you’re looking for a job and those bizarre and hilarious misconceptions bite you right in the ass.