Friday, December 28, 2007

Contractor “Unappreciation” Night

28 December 2007

At 1640 yesterday night, I made the mistake of telling SSgt Tami that I really was very disinterested in going to this “Contractor Appreciation Ceremony” slash cookout slash awards presentation. Her response was that it was a good thing I reminded her because it was told to them early in the week that attendance was mandatory. The only way I could have possibly gotten out of going with her was if my hair had been cut so short she couldn’t have pulled me out of the building by it! Let the records reflect that said contractor, from here on to be known as “Dave,” did not want to attend this poor excuse for a gathering.

Okay, let me go back to when I first got into the office on the morning of the 27th. I’m reading through my email messages and came across an invite to a “Contractor Appreciation Ceremony” for *today* December 27th that was just sent out this morning! One might infer this to mean that the XXth may have had no actual intention of honoring us or our efforts with them over the past 15 months. We were only an after-thought. Could it be that they couldn’t come up with any other better reason to throw a getting-the-frick-out-of-Iraq party and decided that if they threw it under the guise of some appreciation statement, they could at least smile nicely and it may not even kill them to feign sincerity!

So it should be no wonder that by the time SSgt Tami and I arrive on the scene that the Colonel is calling out names to be recognized and Stewart is standing there as they stack the frames with the faux certificates in his arms because not one of us is there to accept it in person! Well, DUH!!!! If you wait till 9am to send out the message, how do you expect your honorees to attend at 1630 if they are off that day let alone get news out to the night shifters?! Another kick in the pants was that all the pop (soda, cokes, whatever they heck you want to call it, Sid!) and food were gone by 1650! And this was a unit function. Very sad and disappointing, indeed!

I have to say that even SSgt Carnely’s impromtu BBQ’s on the weekends got better press than this! He always went out of his way to make sure there was plenty of food and spread the word sometimes not till that day that he was going to be grilling, if anyone (civilian or military) wanted to join in. There is the difference right there! SINCERITY. Carnely has it, our management and the XXth management wouldn’t know what sincerity was if it came up and bit ‘em on the ass, now would they?

We stepped up just as my name happened to be called. I graciously accepted my color certificate of faux recognition in a frame, shook the Colonel’s hand and walked back by some people I knew. Then proceeded to take my certificate (they did spell my name correctly) out of the frame. On the way back to Bldg XX, I tossed the frame in the garbage and then ran the certificate through the shredder since I don’t leave anything with my name in the garbage. I have enough meaningless crap without collecting something that wasn’t even printed or given in earnest (although I am earnestly a pack rat!)

Apparently, the XXth is sure that they can do it without civilians and had few qualms treating us that way. Someone needs to send a clue up ladder to the powers in charge in Kuwait and wake them up that we’re not needed. It appears that we’ve become just placeholders for use-it-or-lose-it money being poured into Iraq and into ITT coffers compliments of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.

I always said I would stay as long as I felt our presence was making a difference…maybe now is the time when we’re not making a difference. I’m smelling the cheese folks and I think it’s smelling old! (Reference "Who Moved My Cheese," Spencer and Johnson)
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