When I was running operations for my unit in Ft. Bragg I did a lot of one-off things for people who needed administrative help: fixing their benefits or entitlements, squaring away paperwork, shuffling stuff around.

One day one of my more hostile customers came up and asked for me to do something. I wanted to remember the task so I grabbed the first Post-It note available to me.

“I see what you did there, Hall. Nice! Thanks!”

“What’s that, Sergeant Ramsey?”

“You gave me a red Post-It note. High priority. You’re hooking me up!”

I looked at the Post-It note and it was, indeed, red. So I decided to commit to the bit.

“It’s true. Not every task gets a red Post-It, Sergeant Ramsey.”

“You’re alright, Hall.”

“Thanks, sergeant.”

I heard him boast to someone he passed in the hallway out of the orderly room: “Hall hooked me up. RED Post-It!”

Word got out that red Post-It notes were a sign of my favor and an indicator of likely expedient resolution.

It was a good way to make friends, anyhow.