Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bad day at work.

So anyway, yesterday was pretty rough. I am actually a bit surprised at my reaction to that last round. I normally do not have a reaction even vaguely similar to that. I think it is partly due to the fact that I have been here so long and am so stressed. My contract expires in September with my current company and I have no plans to renew it nor do I intend to stay in Iraq. I wish I had started this blog in Feb 04 when I got here but oh well. Anyway, so once this job is over, I am going to probably move to Dubai. I have friends there and it shouldn’t be too difficult to break into the expat community there.

That was a huge run-on paragraph. Oh well, this aint grammar school.

Anyway, I overreacted yesterday. It turns out the rocket was at least 20 meters away therefore NOT making it the scariest rocket ever. So I freaked out for nothing. I live in a 20’ by 8’ trailer which is surrounded by a 3 foot thick wall of sandbags. Now, a rocket can go right thru a sandbag wall but the shrapnel cannot. This means that if the rocket explodes outside my trailer, no matter how close it is, I am good to go. I might be bleeding from the ears, but I will be fine. Also, it means that the rocket (or mortar) has to land IN my trailer to hurt me. 20 by 8 trailer in all of Iraq, you do the math. Now that being said there are things which make my chances higher. I am situated close to the Embassy and the Chow Hall. Those are prime targets. If the insurgents fire at either target it is feasible they may miss and hit me. But it is highly unlikely.

So I am simmered down from yesterday but what some of you, (Oz, Kanrei, Am1st) said got me to really start thinking about WTF I am doing in Iraq. I thought about it a lot today because my AC is broke again so I didn’t go in to work.

First and foremost I am here for the money. Let’s be real, anyone who works cares about money. I will not get on here and lie and say that my salary is not a huge factor in why I stay, but there is a lot more to it than that. For example, because of my contracting jobs I have been able to visit more than 20 countries in the last 3 years. That is something I wanted to do my whole life. I have paid off all my debt which I thought would take about 16,000 lifetimes in under a year and managed to save and invest money to secure my retirement. This experience has left me financially secure and believe me, that would not have happened otherwise.

Additionally, I get to interact with the Iraqis. The building I run houses the National Iraqi Assistance Center. Iraqis can go to the NIAC and get all sorts of direct help. For example, if a soldier runs into a civilian vehicle by accident, he can give the Iraqi a card and they take the card to the IAC to get reimbursed. I get to help with that. I store more than 50 wheelchairs that I am able to help deliver to people that can’t afford wheelchairs. These are only a few of the reasons I stay. I would be bored beyond belief to work a normal 9-5 in the States. In fact I doubt I will ever return permanently. There are so many other things I want to see and I can’t be tied down to some US job that pays nothing and offers little vacation time. You know that in Australia you start your job and they start you with minimum over 30 days paid leave annually? And that is not even high compared to Europe where some places give you 60 days the first year you work for a company. In the US you are lucky to get 15 days a year. Screw that.

So the bad day at work thing. I had a bad day yesterday for sure. I was rattled and I was very nervous. Oh well. No time to complain. I have a good job here and I like it. If I get whacked it will be doing something I enjoy and I can honestly say I will have died a happy person. I would rather die in Thailand at the age of 80 with my own private yacht, but whatever. The bad day at work isn’t here; it is everywhere else that people are not happy doing what they are doing. Yes, it is dangerous here but statistically there is a better chance of getting offed in Detroit or in a car crash.

Ok, so that is it for me. It is 1837 and nary a bomb so I shall commence to watch Animal Planet.



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Monday, August 7, 2006 at 4:31:00 AM GMT+4  

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