I’m a plumber. Together with a coworker and an apprentice, I get sent to a military base for repairs that will take several days. On the first morning, we show our paperwork at the gate. The sergeant lets us in, handing us each a form that we’ll have to bring back, filled out and signed, when we leave.
In the afternoon, when we’re leaving, the watch has changed. The new sergeant checks our forms.
Sergeant: “There’s a signature missing at the bottom. Your officer-in-charge has to sign the forms before I can let you out.”
Me: “We’re from [Company]; our boss isn’t here on the base.”
Sergeant: “No, no, not your boss. Your officer-in-charge.”
Me: “I’m not sure who that is, sir.”
Sergeant: “Your superior! I can’t let anybody out of here without permission. You’d be AWOL.”
Me: “Sir, we’re plumbers from [Company].”
I try to show him the paperwork we already showed in the morning to get in.
Sergeant: “Someone must be in charge of you! Go and get his signature!”
We retreat around the corner of a building, where he can’t see us. Since we don’t know what else to do, I sign on my coworkers’ forms and one of them signs off on mine. We go back to the gate and hand in the forms.
Sergeant: “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?”
He let us out. We worked at the base for several more days and signed each others’ forms every time. The soldiers at the gate were happy.