A young Naval Officer was in a terrible car accident.
Due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn’t physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.
One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Gunnery Sergeant for his personal staff. The first Master Chief was a Surface Navy type and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the Admiral asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?”
The Master Chief answered, “Why yes. I couldn’t help but notice you are missing your starboard ear, so I don’t know whether this impacts your hearing on that side.”
The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.
The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, when asked this same question, answered, “Well yes, you seem to be short one ear.”
The Admiral threw him out also.
The third interview was with the Marine Gunnery Sergeant. He was articulate, extremely sharp, and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. “Do you notice anything different about me?”
To his surprise the Gunnery Sergeant said, “Yes. You wear contact lenses.”
The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself, what an incredibly tactful Marine.
“And how do you know that?” the Admiral asked.
The Gunny replied, “Well sir, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with only one ear.”