A young Navy officer was in a bad car accident, but 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. During his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.
One day the Admiral was interviewing three Master Chiefs for the Command Master Chief position.
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 need to 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 a Submarine Service Master Chief. He was articulate, extremely sharp, and seemed to know more than the other 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 Submarine Service Master Chief said, “Yes. You wear contact lenses.”
The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself, what an incredibly tactful Master Chief! “And how do you know that?” the Admiral asked.
The Submarine Service Master Chief replied, “Well it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with only one fucking ear.”