Excerpts from a couple of emails I sent from Camp Dwyer in 2012:
The boys are still moving cots and I think we just had a heat casualty. At least that’s what I heard on the hand-held radio. At first I thought it was here in LSA 2. (LSA—‘Life Support Area’—euphemism for ‘Small Tent City’)
I went to the tent where Kushal was supervising but the casualty wasn’t there; apparently he was in LSA 6. The radios aren’t good enough to transmit from here to LSA 6 so details are sketchy. We don’t need any safety issues. Management gets all stupid over the slightest incident. Personally, I would just put the dude in the shade, give him a cold beer (NA of course) and continue on with the mission. But in Corporate America these days, a “Safety Stand Down” is required. All work stops while they “train” us once again to “drink plenty of water.” One would think that since humans have been drinking water for some years now, it would not be necessary to conduct this training, but hey! Guess that’s why I’m not in Upper Management. “Keep on spendin’ Boys! It’s only money!”
Speaking of management and such, I suppose I should get my butt back to work…
–Lance, just another worker-bee schmuck.
The “heat casualty” turned out to be a bug bite on the neck. Yes, you read that right: a fucking bug bite! Kushal told me this just now and my reaction?
“Are you shitting me?!”
Pandemonium on the radio. People freakin’ out.
Stop the work! Stop the War! A bug bite?
I need to find another job.
And they call me crazy for walking around wearing ankle weights.
We have a crisis of sorts here in my LSA at this very moment: All work has stopped. It seems someone spotted a spider in the passenger van used by the Labor Guys. Eye witnesses reported the spider to be about the size of a cantaloupe. I heard this on the hand-held radio and burst out laughing. I grabbed a fly-swatter and headed over to the van. I forced my way through the crowd of Indians and Filipinos who were all staring into the windows of the vehicle and trembling visibly. I immediately started moving shit around inside the van, looking for this monster, and laughing at all of them for their antics and panic. Not finding the spider, I stood up and announced to the assembled crowd:
“STOP THE WAR! WE HAVE A SPIDER IN THIS VAN! SHUT DOWN THE OPERATION! PACK YOUR SHIT BOYS! WE’RE GOIN’ HOME!”
(No one really appreciates my sense of humor over here.)