Thursday, November 16, 2006

How hard can it be?

A lot of things over here seem more difficult than in the real world. I don’t mean to imply that we’re all sitting around doing calculus, but even normal things take longer. We need a 100 amp bus bar and we’ve been waiting three weeks for it to come in. Admittedly, it is a model that hasn’t been used in the West for 50 years, but they aren’t that uncommon in Iraq. Or there’s the software we have sent from the States that keeps getting “lost” in customs.

But the hardest thing of all is the laundry. The idea is that everyone had two or three large laundry bags worth of clothing. You turn one in at the laundry, use one to collect your dirty clothes in, and pull from the clean batch of laundry in your wall locker. When the one you’re collecting your dirty clothes in is full, you go and exchange it for the one at the laundry, which by now should be waiting for you. And so long as you keep track, this system works pretty well (except for the time I found someone else’s shorts in my bag – well, at least they were clean).

So how come I am always running out of socks, or underwear, or tee shirts? And then I check and see that I have three laundry chits in my pocket? Everything being washed and nothing to wear, again. You’d think this would a simple issue to fix, what with the laundry being on a fixed, repeating schedule and all. Analyze the problem, develop courses of action, select the optimal solution, and execute – that’s what they teach you, right? But, sadly, the fact is that even after six months, I wake up in the morning staring at bare shelves in my locker where my tee-shirts should be.

On a positive note, the Dryer Geni doesn't seem to live in Iraq, as after 6 months, I still have all of my socks. Except for the three I threw away because they had holes in them.


Blogger lalavoie said...

Ahhhhh - remember the days when all you had to do was get up and the socks and underwear were already clean and folded and in your drawers? Come home...the "Laundry Genie" is waiting for you.

I'm still NOT ironing your uniform, though.


November 16, 2006 8:59 AM  
Blogger KAB said...

Well known fact that dryer genies need humidity to live and prosper. Too damn hot and dry in Iraq.

November 16, 2006 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys make me laugh... Thanks.

November 16, 2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger kbinkowski35 said...

I face the same problem daily and have solved it thusly: I wear the same thing every day. Oh there are slight modifications, I may wear the black shirt instead of the gray one or the lighter chinos instead of the darker ones but it amounts to the same thing and if it doesn't damn it, it will the next day... I guess things haven't changed much from when I was in camp 30 years ago and wore the same shirt for a week. Once you find something that works...

November 16, 2006 8:54 PM  

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