Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pet peeve of the day...

My dear spouse and I are planning a cruise for our next anniversary.  We will be sailing on the SeaDream I, a small, luxurious, mega-yacht.  Because SeaDream Yacht Club is an all inclusive line, cruise fares are expensive.  Nevertheless, shrewd, savvy travelers can score discounts if they play their cards right.  One of the discounts SeaDream Yacht Club offers is for members of the U.S. military.  The military discount is only offered on certain sailings and usually at the last minute, but the savings are substantial.

Anyway, I was perusing one of my regular messageboards, when some dude asked if he would qualify for a military discount on SeaDream.  He said he was a civilian who had worked for the Department of Defense and eventually retired.  Now... I understand that everyone's looking for a deal.  And believe me, SeaDream cruises are heavenly, even if you pay full price.  To get a discount, especially if it's as much as 80% off, is definitely icing on the cake.

But--- HELLO--- Mr. DoD civilian...  if you've never served in the military, why in the world would you think you'd qualify for a military discount?  Yes, I know that the DoD and the U.S. military are pretty much married and work together all the time.  But there is a big difference between working behind a desk stateside and donning a uniform and deploying to a war zone for months on end.  There's a big difference between going through orientation as a civilian reporting to a new job and going through basic training or joining ROTC.

The vast majority of civilians who work for the government will never be shot at.  They will never have to say goodbye to their friends and family for yet another months-long deployment, hoping that it won't be the last time they ever see their loved ones' faces.  They won't be moved from town to town ad nauseam  at the whim of whoever happens to be in charge.  No... I'm guessing that a DoD civilian can spend years in one city, raising their families and reporting to work, probably while wearing their own clothes.  And they can do their job without having to submit to mandatory physicals or PT tests every six months.

So yeah, I understand that you worked closely with the military throughout your career and I'm sure you made valuable contributions, but that doesn't make you a servicemember.  And being a retired DoD civilian doesn't qualify you for a military discount because you were never in the military!  Try asking for a government employee discount.  Some companies do offer them.  And stop being so tacky, please.

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