Friday, 1 April 2011


Good. Lord. Life pulled one hell of an April Fools Day on us over here. Strap on your seat belts for this one...

My first clue that the stars were misaligned today should have been the fact that there was no hot water when I got up for my shower. The shower was so cold that my poor head was stinging from the cold as I just stuck my head in to wash my hair. I arrived to find the office in confusion, 20 care packages stacked up in all our free space, two boxes on my computer chair... and no computer! Turns out one of our two primary case work computers crashed this morning and had been taken to the Help Desk for repairs. This causes incredible havoc for us as our shifts overlap to prevent us from getting backed up on casework. First I tried to get our casework system to load on the Secret computer but that didn't work because apparently you can only visit government sites. Then I tried to do casework on my personal laptop but the program is not supported by the Safari browser. So okay, no casework! At least one of the boxes on my chair was a care package from my Momma! :-)

So I start to unpack the dozens of care packages piled up in our office. I managed to get through two boxes, before I hear a crack and then an earth shattering crash as the top shelf of our toiletry supply store gives way and sends a tidal wave of hundreds of shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and insect repellent bottles all over the floor. A delicious lavender scented bottle of shampoo seeped half it's contents on the floor by the time I got to it... after an hour of cleaning! By this point we'd received a call that the computer was ready so I grabbed some comfort kits to do a quick hospital visit after I went to the Help Desk. Once at the Help Desk though, I was informed that no one called to say the computer was ready (yes, obbbbbbviously I hallucinated the call) so I was told to come back in half an hour. I zipped to the hospital real quick, and then back to the Help Desk where I am convinced they know nothing more about computers than I do. Nearly everyone at the office came out to help the Red Cross girl and every single one of them told me something different about the computer.

I left with the computer 15 minutes later thrououghly confused about whether or not the computer was actually fixed. Once back at the office the whole team had assembled to meet at 5pm for a Friday Night Pizza Hut treat. We attempted to hook up the computer quickly and low and behold, we can't get the ID card reader to work (necessary to log into our accounts). So after ANOTHER call to the Help Desk we're told we have to come back to the office to pick up a new reader.

At this point we decide Pizza Hut first so the four of us clamber into the car, with Kami and I sitting in the back with a huge Red Cross box of comfort kits smushed between us. We start the trip out to Camp Warrior laughing and chatting about how bizarre the day has been when we notice two soldiers standing in the street holding up cars. We pull up and Ingrid rolls down her window where we are greeted by an MP (military police) asking us where we're going. We all chirp, "Pizza Hut!" together and dissolve into giggles before he says, "And is everyone wearing their seatbelts...?" UHHHHHHHH. Kami and I look at each other....busted. Because we were in back with the box stuck between us neither of us had done our belts. The MP asked us to pull of to the side of the road. So we are all laughing nervously now and rolling our eyes as he approaches the car again.

He informs us that he is going to permanently seize and impound our vehicle.

We get silent and look at each other before Terra asks... "Is this an April Fools joke!?" We all burst out laughing, not BELIEVING what is happening to us today. He informs us no, he is dead serious. Then Ingrid super sweetly with eye lashes batting informs him that the car is essential to us because we have to be able to get mail. He pauses, looks at us carefully and then is like..."'re emergency essential?" We jump on it! I whip out my orders and ask "Want to see the copy of my orders?! You can see we are emergency essential!" At this point, he's found the excuse he needed not to be the asshole who seized the vehicle from the four red cross women. He says he'll give us a ticket which means two points go on the driver's Bagram license. Once he goes away to write the ticket, all four of us absolutely burst out laughing. Kami and I are laughing so hard we are crying. I am crying so hard I had to get a wash cloth out of a comfort kit to wipe my face and when the officer comes back, he says to me, "Ma'ma there's really no need to cry over this." Which just makes me laugh harder.

We finally get to Pizza Hut after driving the numbingly slow speed limit of 25 km, where with a few sweet smiles to the guy behind the counter, we manage to get our pizzas in 10 min, as opposed to the hour wait. By far the only success of the day. Then we headed back, I got dropped at the office to start doing cases on the one good computer, while the others went back to the Help Desk. They came back 20 min later with a Sergeant who spent the next hour trying to fix our already fixed computer. After many phone calls and sighs he managed to get everything working...except for the copy and paste feature which is absolutely necessary to casework. I did not discover this until he left however, so it is taking me twice as long to do cases tonight.

And to round off this crazy night, a soldier just walked into the office and told us his NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Office in Charge) told him to come to the Red Cross office and do an accountability check on us because there was an IDF (incoming - i.e. rocket, mortar, grenade, etc) which somehow we completely missed! Kami just looked up the lunar calendar and learned there is a new moon on Sunday... between April Fools and the new moon I hope life is back to normal by tomorrow!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great, I never knew this, thanks.