And you know the second real reason (among many) why I didn't really want to be a nurse: I just LOVE drama (*muffled, frustrated scream). You KNOW I don't get along with girls and by girls, I mean the ones who are old enough to know better but instead of being real women, are stuck on petty (jealous, gossip) mode. AND since the nursing industry has been predominantly female, there's these subtle but obvious boundaries set by an alpha female (I know I've hinted at this before but it's become a problem). She happens to be the head nurse (*since she's a civilian working for the armed forces she retains that civilian title). The nurses' sole purpose is to help the soldiers, and there are soldiers taking the classes along with the nurses to at least be able to administer help in case there are no nurses nearby on the battlefield (for whatever reason). Anyway, I "accidentally" overheard her and her groupies who said (within earshot of everyone) that they don't know why a woman would want to be a soldier. [and] They would be less likely to aid a woman -would go to the male soldier first before they would help the woman. All other things they'd said up to that point was unimportant and uninteresting, but that's treasonous: to not help one of your own. Granted, some injuries are worse than others, but to say AND specifically help the male over the female is discrimination. We are soldiers and risking our lives to protect our country -but to defend creatures like that seems more and more undesirable. I looked around to see who else was there and who else may have heard it. There were a few guys there but why would they care? They would be the ones who get the help first anyway. And as outraged as I was, I wouldn't know that what she said was also accepted by which higher ranking officers, so it was important that I report to the right person (pretty difficult to tell at this early stage). But I was going to report it anyway because again it's TREASON...well that and just to prevent myself from being unprofessional by saying honest statements in a most regretable self-gratifying way. Hey, it also contradicts the oath she took of helping everyone...but who am I to remind her of such things? No one says things they mean anymore anyway...
If I reported her, I would be seen as being too "sensitive", and normally, I wouldn't care -to do this would likely earn me unnecessary enemies as well as shut off any potential information I could get from certain people in higher positions (you gotta play the game you're in BS). But if I can win my case, and uphold my principles (oh yeah, and the principles of the military etc.) it may also earn me the respect and actually work the playing field in my favor.
Anyway, I decided to do it "right" by starting at the bottom (going through the chain of command is efficient IF there are efficient persons employed but there's a powerplay at work so this is more frustrating than helpful...and come to think of it, I should report to her supervisor -she forgets that she isn't the creme of the crop.) I didn't specify a name but posed a situation and asked a question. He had said that that was just talk and I should just ignore something like that, he couldn't really do anything about it anyway. (BOY, what happened to principle?) I can see that this is going nowhere. Next, I'll ask his commander as well as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer.
I knew I was taking a chance of having the head nurse know what I was up to, because as the saying goes, once you tell one person, you've told everyone (or something to that effect). I steeled my will. I'm pretty sure that my mouth won't get me into trouble that it also can't get out of. Perhaps I'm not choosing my battles wisely, but her decision doesn't just affect me. ...Well, the true reason as you may have guessed is I just don't like her attitude. (*sigh) Fine, is that what you want me to admit? I admit it -I hate ignorant people (she believed in what she was saying, so it's no frivolous matter). I HATE HER ATTITUDE.
At any rate, she did come to know of what I'd done and her and her posse decided it would be great to spread rumors about me. Never mind the fact that what they were saying wasn’t remotely true. I have a specific purpose here -no time to waste on something not pertaining to the war. To their "ring leader" I said:
"This is why these men don't want women to be here –any division within the ranks (including yours) destroys us more completely than any enemy ever could. The next rumor you start, I will report."
"It's just your word against mine."
"It's a time of war. Your petty antics aren't going to be taken lightly."
"Rumors are just rumors."
"Your rumors are attacking a soldier. It's unpatriotic and again, a division within the house will cause its fall. Your title may mean something in the civilian world, but not here." (*And if I really wanted to be mean, I would've insinuated about not having to be a slut to get to where I'm at...but I stayed professional about it).
In fact, I continued to document (but publicly) ignore the vicious rumors and let people think what they will. The friends I'd made knew to just ignore it as well. At one point one of the commanding officers of the unit approached me with a concerned look on his face. He was one of the few (who wasn't my friend but) who knew that the rumors were false. But I suppose it had gotten so out of hand that even he had to speak to me about it.
"It's been too long since these rumors have started, are you okay?"
"(How long is too long? It hasn't been nearly a month yet, I can survive a little ole rumor) I'm not reacting to the rumors because they're a waste of my time to address. I've already spoken to the cause but what reason would she have to care about the negative impact on me? That's her point. She would've won if I let it affect me -but my productivity hasn't diminished and neither, to my knowledge, has the others. The reason why this whole mess began was because I'd asked about her statement she publicly made -that she would save the male soldiers before she would even tend to a female's wounds. Then she began the first rumor -the one I addressed her directly about saying how attacking a soldier is more evil than the opposition attacking. I don't deal with small minded people so whatever happens, happens."
"...Wow...I see...so you're not going to make a case against her?"
"I will if she's caused this much trouble to other soldiers as well. If it was just towards me, then I'd just let it die on its own."
"I've been documenting complaints from others, but they never follow through with it for whatever reason. And it's not like the situation had gotten better, they always wind up reassigned to different units or wrongfully dishonorably discharged. I've seen it happen -she's always involved somehow."
"Oh yes, sir I'll make the case. I like bullying bullies. It's my job."
It's an innocent enough statement, I don't know why he would give me such a startled look. I'll update you of course in my next letter about it. Right now, I've gotten cramps from venting. If you ask nicely, I may think about telling you what those rumors were about -ridiculous really because you know I wouldn't do stupid sh*t like that. (*sigh) She really did waste my time researching about her where I could've used that time to find more about this war. I guess I should thank her, for while it's good to be focused, it's unhealthy to become obsessed. With having said that ~thank you and good night!