Yet another email I dispatched from Camp Dwyer, 2012:
Around 1730hrs a truck pulls up outside my office at LSA 2. I didn’t see who was in the truck, but I figured I was about to have a visitor. (
I’m really smart that way)
After the truck had been literally blocking my door for about five minutes, Mike Smith (My Manager. The BBB: Billeting BIG BOSS) walks in holding up a pack of L&M cigarettes. Now remember, I have not seen this guy for the day-and-a-half he has been “back” on Dwyer.
“Anyone in here smoke these?” were the first words out of his mouth. I look up from my personal emails and say, “Dunno. Lashonda smokes, but afraid I don’t know her brand.” (She was out of the office, actually smoking at this time)
“Well, I wish whoever is smoking these would stop doing it on the bench.” (There’s a bench just outside my office door and it sits in a ‘No-Smoking’ area.)
“Sorry Mike; not on ‘bench patrol duty’ today. Could’ve been anybody; probably a Marine with a rifle or a Jordanian with a goat.
Did you trek all the way across this burning desert to tell me this? Or do you have some business here? Oh and welcome back by the way.” (Saturated sarcasm, I’m afraid.)
“Uh, no… You do realize we have a serious situation on our hands in Billeting?” (Well, duh. You’re the schmuck who has been gone, not me). I just gave him my best *You’re fucking kidding me, right?Lance, peering-over-his-glasses look.*
He continues, struggling now to maintain his Authority Voice, “Uh, of course you know everyone is gonna have to ‘get on board’ with all this new responsibility.”
I continue *Lance-looking* him.
“I’m going to want you to run LSA 1 from this office; (LSA 2) are you ready to take ownership of this mission?”
“Sure, no problem,” I said. “But you do realize, Michael, that LSA 1 is over a half-mile from here and I have no vehicle?”
“Uh, I didn’t mean right now. But just as soon as Shannon gets everything settled down. Then we can come up with a plan forward.”
“Sorry Mike, but I’m not in the ‘Plan-Forward coming up with’ business anymore; above my pay grade, you see. But as soon as YOU come up with a Plan, forward or otherwise, I will be happy to follow it.”
*Looks hurt & confused* Mikey does.
“Well, uh” he stammers, “Everyone is gonna have to get on-board with all this.”
You mentioned that. Anything else? How was your R&R?” I said, hoping to change the subject and also out of mean-spiritedness, because I knew he was going to tell me something stupid. He didn’t disappoint:
“I had the flu for the first week and spent the next week getting over it.”
“Damn rotten luck. Perhaps DynCorp will allow you a ‘do-over.’ Whaddya think?”
*gears grinding as he searches—in vain—for something to say: painful to witness the mechanics of this*
“Nice chair,” he said finally, plopping his fat ass down in a chair Shannon had liberated from a Marine Corps office in one of the LSAs we’re taking over.
“Yeah, Shannon delivered that to us yesterday; nice to finally have a proper office chair in here after twelve months.”
“I have chairs on order for Billeting,” he reminded me.
“Yes, and ever since forever, even before I got here; still no sign of them,” I reminded him.
“Uh, yeah… they’re stuck at the Pakistani border; they’re gonna fly ‘em out.”
“Whatever. By the way, you do know these other two chairs are my personal property, purchased with my personal money, so don’t get any ideas.”
“Yes, yes, I know. I know those belong to you and your office.”
I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation; I think you get the drift and the general tenor of it.
After leaving work for the day I stopped by the Housing Office in the DynCorp LSA Compound (where there’s a tent I call ‘home’), and caught Shannon there, still working. (See? He does deserve to be Billeting Manager.)
Shannon and Lance
“Mister Duckworth!” I saluted.
“Mister Marcom!” he returned.
“What up Duck?”
*gives me his best ‘exasperated’ look*
“Yeah, I know; they cancelled Christmas. What the fuck’s going on with MJS?”
I asked as discreetly as I could; (there were others present) which was none too discreet
I fear, but don’t matter; All Departments despise Monsieur le Mike, aka Michael J. Smith. (Not sure, but I think the ‘J’ stands for ‘Jagoff’)
“Don’t worry; it’s still gonna happen.”
“Yeah, an’ New Year’s too.” “Ok, I’ll cool my jets an’ cancel my de-mobe.” (de-mobilization)
“Lance Bro,” (he sometimes calls me ‘Bro’) “Mike went to HR on me today.”
“Get the fuck out!” I said, honestly shocked. “Some brass balls on this guy.”
“Yeah, he told HR he couldn’t work with me anymore.”
“Pardon me a moment Shannon, while I fall down on this plywood floor and laugh my ass off. It’ll just take a sec.”
“Dude, (he sometimes calls me ‘Dude’) I’m serious! He went to HR on me and HR told me later about it and also told me to sit tight an’ chill; he will be leaving us soon.”
“Before Christmas, let’s hope,” I said.
“Yeah, yeah. Listen, Mike came to see me after he left LSA 2.
He asked me, ‘What’s wrong with Lance?’ I tole him, I said, ‘Mike, every time you go to LSA 2 and talk to Lance, you come back and ask me this same stupid shit.’ An’ he says, ‘I don’t think Lance likes me. Why doesn’t he like me?’ This mothafucka is stupid.”
“Yeah Shannon, ya think? We all know this.
Hell, tell the sonuvabitch to ask me next time, and you know what? It’s not as if I haven’t told him more than once to his face my issues with him. This guy wears me out.” (And I wonder why I have not been promoted)
“Yeah. You’re right.”
“Listen to me Shannon, take your ass on outta here and go to bed; it’s late.”
“Okay Brother (sometimes he calls me ‘Brother’), I’m heading out now.”
Reblogged this on Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics and commented:
If this isn’t funny, you may have yer money back.
Here at Texan Tales, we have a money-back guarantee.
File a claim.
Good luck with that.
Cut my teeth on Bob Marley.
I could fold my times in Sinai, Iraq, and Afghanistan into a pitty piece.
Laughing out loud!
Hey! Thanks for your visit and for your comments.
Ah… Morons with power. All the woes of my professional life summed up in 3 little words. Kinda makes me wanna write a reggae song… Thanks for the link! 😉
Thank you Elizabeth. I appreciate your visit and glad you liked the story.
I often have strange little irrelevant memories float to the surface of my mind.
Thanks very much for the read and comments. I have many stories of my time spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over five years worth in fact. Interesting times…
Cheers my Friend
Love it when a picture explains volumes, as your eyes over the glasses pic does. nice.
Was unexpectedly jarred by the mention of L&M cigarettes. I’m not sure why. I’m old, I suppose. This is the L&M moment… What strange things we harbor in the nooks and crannies of our mind.
You never read these slices-o’-life pieces in the newspapers about the war. Just the ‘big picture.’ You forget that lives are being lived.
Yep, it was that Mike feller.
I’ve never worked for or got too close to Blackwaaaahhhh… DynCorp but I’d sooner starve to death. I’ve heard nothing good and far too much that’s evil about them.
You’re title says T-Back Thursday?
However, I hate to be reminded that I am recycling…
But, I do love your visit and your flattering comment.
I truly do.
Loving the “Lance-Lookin”
I’m in complete agreement with Annie and Laura M.
You’re the best.
This story is even better the second time ’round.
Haha! Thanks! 🙂
I have walked out on some jobs (most recently, working for that soulless Corp, DynCorp.)
Lost my train…
I am proud of you for walking out.
I certainly would have done same same.
I like to make you smile. 🙂
Yes, it’s the evil loser bosses we remember like my first boss who threw a fit on me because I “patted” the hamburger with a spatula on the grill. “That’s what the burger weight’s for!”
I was a teen and told her what she could do with that burger weight. It’s the only job I ever walked out on. Lol
Thank you Anna.
You never fail to make me smile.
I generally had good bosses, but we always remember the bad ones, don’t we?
Great story! Your over the glasses look kinda looks like my mean teacher look. Minus the glasses.
Whatever works, right? I’m so glad I had a great boss the majority of the time. 🙂
Well, throwing in a few photos helps the effort.
Thank you very much Annie.
I do sincerely appreciate your compliment.
Readers like you certainly make the whole writing process fun, instead of work.
Your style of telling a story makes it alive, like a movie in my mind. Love it.
Big Ol’ Texan Smile
If you’re referring to Mike, that answer would be affirmative. I am not sure where they found him. Perhaps in a spittoon. Bottom of a spittoon.
DynCorp never did impress me with their management style. Or lack thereof. DynCorp to me was just so much slime, corporate slime. They treated the TCN’s and the Expats like shit. Always threatening ‘Termination’ for just about anything. My experiences working in Iraq (obviously for different companies–even the Iraqi one with which I did a short stint) were much better.
Appreciate the visit as always and the comment.
you’re welcome Lance…your writing is so good and so YOU!
So you’re saying they’ll take just anybody willing to live in an ashtray, huh?
Why Thank You, Friend Laura.
I appreciate your kind words.
And thank you for reading this ‘Oldy’.
You made me smile.
Peace an’ Stuffs,
Your little insertions crack me up!!! Those little comments inside your story. lol
Through a Team Effort and with the help of HR, we managed to get him ‘relieved’ of his obligation to Our Mission.
Last I heard, he was in ‘Thigh-Land’ most likely with a young girl who was probably not a ‘girl’ at all… (Yep. I am afear’d I can be cruel when speaking of Mike. He ruined some lives, albeit, temporarily.)
Thank you Friend for your visit and comments.
And yes, Shannon and I were Comrades. Good Comrades.
You had a good friend, brother, friend, brother. And you had an idiot, dummy, idiot, dummy. Of course, Lance, the idiot was the boss. Oh, dude, over there must have been evil under Mike.