I have a low tolerance for bullshit.

I got it from my father.

When he was in the Army during World War Two, he was always bouncing back and forth between ranks because when he was asked for his opinion, he gave it. Sometimes when he wasn't asked, too. My father, you see, judged a man by his intelligence and abilities, not his title.

One time, an officer made the mistake of introducing himself to my father as he was working on the engine of a jeep.

"I'm your new C.O.," the officer told him. "What needs to be done around here?"

The officer was obviously talking about the bigger picture of things that needed to be done, but my father was more practical.

"Well," my father said, wiping his forehead with the back of one hand and leaving a greasy streak, "this workspace needs to be swept out. Why don't you grab that broom over there and put it to work?"

Offended, the officer stood to his full height and bellowed out in his Army-issued officer's voice.

"Sergeant," he said, "in case your eyesight is failing you, I am a colonel in the United Stares Army and a graduate of West Point."

"Oh," my father said, cleaning his hands with a dirty rag. "In that case, I'd better show you how."