I have to say, that sometimes I wonder about this world and the people in it. Working for the company that I work for now, I live on the economy. Which means that I see the country as it really is. With KBR, they kept us hidden away, secluded form the general public. That doesn’t happen now. I am living like I was in the states. I have a flat and a car that I make the rental payments on and I have no restrictions on my off hours. In that, I see a lot more than I did before and being a woman, I experience some of it first hand. Let me give you a few examples.
A little over a week ago, I complained about the truck they were going to put me in for that days mission. We all have been complaining about the trucks not being clean, but this day, I not only had a truck that was filthy, but it smelled bad and only ran 75kmp, (about 45mph). Now if it were just any one of these things, I could have dealt with it, for that day, as long as the problem was taken care of. But when I refused to driver the truck, they guys in the office, called the big boss man. I was not the only one that was refusing to driver their truck that day, we all were. Anyway. The project manager told us that he would get the problem fixed, but that we would have to deal with it for the day. That sort of satisfied me, but I still didn’t want to spend the day running around Kuwait in a slow truck that smelled bad. It being slow meant I had to spend MORE time in it. I was not happy. But I relented and took the truck. To the project managers credit, the next day, we had trucks that were assigned to just us. They were not clean to what we would call clean, but we could fix that ourselves. These guys think that sweeping out a truck and clearing out the trash make for a clean truck. Go figure!!
We all took our cleaning supplies to work and while waiting to get our guys loaded, we clean and sanitized our trucks. We were doing good. Things went well for a few days, then yesterday, I came in after being off for a few days because I was sick and got a filthy truck. I again was not happy. I explained to the guys in the office, that the uncleanliness of these trucks could be the reason I had gotten sick in the first place. It is possible, but I did what I had to, to make my point. Besides, where were the trucks that we were assigned? This sure was not one of them! I will give them credit, this morning when I came in, 3 of our assigned trucks were there. The one I usually driver was not clean, but at least it was not filthy. So again, I dug my cleaning supplies out of the truck of my car and cleaned my truck. I am on stand-by tomorrow and off the next couple of days. So I have no idea what it is going to look like when I get back, but I am counting on have to start all over again. But my question is, what is so hard about giving us clean sanitary trucks to drive?
Today, I only had to load one truck out of 5 I had to take to Arifjan. That is a good thing. Since the camp I was going to was up near the border and was a long drive, the fewer trucks, the less time I would have to be in this camp. It is a dust bowl. The slightest wind and they have a major sand storm to deal with. With the wind blowing and sand flying everywhere, I thought I would be smart and go up the back way. There is a Kuwaiti check point on this route. Most of the time I have no problems going through this check point. They see that it is an American leading the convoy and they let us on through. Well, today, there was an older Kuwaiti manning the check point and I have had problems with him before. I knew as soon as I saw him there we were going to have trouble. He motioned for me to stop, so I did. (We usually don’t have to), and he asked me for my ID. I showed him my DOD badge and he was OK. Then he asked if the driver I was escorting, had ID. Of course, I said he did. They have to have a Kuwaiti ID or a red striped DOD badge to get into the camps. I pulled up and let this guys check my driver. Then I saw that he was motioning for us to pull to the side. The driver I was escorting is Filipino, a TCN, (third country national). I got out of the truck and asked what the problem was. He all of the sudden acted like he didn’t speak English. That pissed me off. I know they do and he did, because he had talked to me already. He keeps saying something about ID. MY driver opens his wallet and I see the red striped DOD badge. I tell him that that badge should be all he needs. This Kuwaiti guard guys snatches the badge out of the drivers hand and then takes his Kuwaiti ID out of his wallet. He kind of says that we have to come back this way on our way out because he is going to hold this drivers ID. Well, that pissed me off even more. The Kuwaiti’s treat these people like they are sub-human. I wont go into all that I know about that, but needles to say, I got even madder at this. I told him I as not leaving without this drivers ID. He still would not speak English to me. I told him that we would just turn around and go in the other way then. He gives me this blank look. I told my driver to get I his truck, we were going to do a u-turn. After we did that, and were sitting in the other side of the check point, this guard brings ME the drivers ID. I set my break, got out of my truck and walked the ID back to the driver while blocking the check point. How dare he treat this driver like this! Thing is, I see this all the time. The guys that go through this check point never have a problem. I usually don’t either, only when this one guys it there. I don’t think he likes the idea that a WOMAN is leading the pack and driving a truck. I know he doesn’t like the TCN’s and treats them like dirt. This angers me to no end. And the TCN’s are so afraid fo being kicked out of the country, that they just take it. And they say this is better than where they come from. I just can’t even imagine.
Well, I have let off enough steam for today. I will stop now. Be grateful that you live in the United States. We have a great country that this kind of thing should not happen.