While I was out in California at Technical School I ended up being on casual status. While that may sound pretty cool it was basically you weren't in class so you were pulling weeds and painting rocks and various other functions that needed to be done around the squadron.
As it so happened I was able to get into the supply office for the squadron. Not a hard gig per se, but hard enough to keep you busy. The major downfall of the position was we were at the mercy of the Army get get most of our supplies. This included everything from paper clips to enough toilet paper for the 300 person squadron. We had to keep the community bathrooms on each floor stocked with hand soap and toilet paper, and when you have 200 males and 100 females per dorm building you're gonna need a lot of toilet paper.
We were down low in our stockpile of toilet paper for the squadron, so I called up the Army supply. Explained our problem to them, and got an answer that just wasn't satisfactory.
"We don't have enough toilet paper to give you the amount you need."
"How much can we get?"
"I can give you one case."
"One case? Are you kidding me? That wouldn't last us a day."
"Well that's what you can get. You coming over or not."
I hung up the phone and went and told our NCO (non-commissioned officer) what was going on. He told me to go pick up the case, and to figure out how to get more toilet paper.
I did just that. Picked up the case. Upon my return I wandered across to the street to one of the school houses to use the bathroom because I didn't want to use up what little resources we had when there was a legitimate source somewhere else.
That was when I noticed it. The mother load! In each stall in the bathroom I was there was at least 4 extra rolls. Just sitting there. Asking...no begging to be used. And a plan was born.
I went back and told my NCO the plan, and asked if he could provide top cover if the plan went sour. He assured me that nothing would happen if bad things came down.
Armed with that knowledge I requisitioned a GOV pick-up truck, and bunch of garbage bags, just like what was used in the bathrooms of the 6 school house buildings. I also went and picked up six more casual airmen. Explained the plan to them and told them we had cover. I had some people try to wimp out but most were all for it.
We pull up the first school building and I lay out the plan. Each airman goes in, takes every roll of toilet paper that isn't in a TP holder puts in the bag. The throw some paper towels on it in case any stops them and asks what they are doing they have a viable excuse for walking around with loaded trash bags.
The plan went off without a hitch. We did this for about 10 days. Going in every morning and clearing out the bathrooms in the school houses. It was like picking apples from a self-replenishing tree. After ten days we about about 5 pallets of toilet paper, and the crisis was averted.
I think the Army supply guys did finally catch on, because they called me before the 11th day run and told me that if the toilet paper in the schools stopped disappearing they would make sure I would never run out of toilet paper again.
Then I got called to my Commander's office. I was scared as crap because when I walked in the Commander, my NCO, and the First Sergeant were all there. My Commander didn't look none to happy either.
"I just got a call from the base commander about a suspicious activity going on here on base. Do you know anything about it?"
Just as I was getting ready to admit my guilt and take whatever punishment was going to come my way, my NCO jumps in and explains to the Commander that the Army had been denying us much needed supplies and through my ingenuity and resourcefulness a possible situation had been avoided.
The Commander asked what had been done. I told him that we had been using the available resources to ensure that the squadron was going to be able to function as it should. He laughed his butt off. Shook my hand and told me to get back to work.
Later that day I got called to the First Sergeants office again.
Scared about punishment still, I entered his office. He read me the riot act for a few minutes about regulations and proper use of the supply chain. The he gave me a letter of appreciation from the commander and also a three day pass. It all worked out good in the end.