Sunday, December 26, 2010

Like a Temp Agency with Guns

By this point in my "career" I was in about 6 months. After my basic training course and soldier-type course (SQ for the Army readers) I had grown used to the routine of the PAT platoon. Show up in the morning, shaved and in uniform. We had the odd inspection of our barracks the odd day but this was just to keep sure that we cleared out all the beer bottles us guys accumulated throughout the week. The cleaning lady who took care of the basic stuff in our barracks that we weren't cleaning literally made about $50 - $60 a week in recycling all our empties. But mostly it was to ensure the hygeine of the place was up to snuff and that no plague would run through the base. Laugh all you want, but there was always the odd weeks were the base had loads of case of what we titled "shack hack" because of living so close with so many other people.

By this time I had established my own core group of friends but because we were all in the same platoon it wasn't odd to at the end of the day "link up" with a new group of guys who you were comfortable with because they were in your platoon and go party with them. There wasn't really the same social cliches as high school because there wasn't really enough women to fight over or try to empress on an Army base full of hero wannabes.

So back to the inspections. These were the days were you basically just straightend up your room, swept, and mopped the floor, and made all your things just look tidy. No crazy "everyone the same" environment from courses we had taken. Just keep your stuff in order and the layers of dust to a minimum or out of reach of where the Warrant Officer would inspect. I had a good rep by this time so my inspections were always quick and relaxed. However even with this low level bar of success some people still managed to mess that up.

Like the guys who hid the girl from the night before in the bathroom so he could get a quickie before work started. Or the guys who insisted on hoarding rotten food in their lockers (why? I dunno). And of course the guys who just reeked of booze who could barely stand. I mean we were all usually in some recovery state from the night before but some guys were sprinting in 10 minutes prior unshaven reeking of bar-trash perfume just whipping their clothes off to get a uniform on before inspection. Some people...

I mean looking at it, it was the easiest job in the world at that time. Put on a uniform, show up on time, keep things tidy and go to the classroom for the day where you could have as many smoke breaks as you wanted. By this time we convinced the Warrant Officer to let us watch movies throughout the day on the projector screen in the classroom. This cut down on guys skipping work after role call and generally keep people quiet. It was usually some war movie that pumped everyone up, but after a month you get tired on the same films. And it was always a fight picking a film like when you and a couple friends try to order a pizza and try to agree on toppings (it always ends in just pepperoni).

I had done a bunch more taskings by then. Nothing memorable really, moving office furniture, cleaning vans and cars for the brigade, shredding old paperwork, setting up tents, cleaning dirty shovels and equipment, setting up a concert for a "Support the Troops Concert" we weren't invited too, hanging Christmas decorations at messes, and other random "Joe-jobs" around the base.

There was one highlight though. Some guys and I were tasked out to clear out a house of a soldier who had committed suicide (not in the house though, thankfully) but we had to pack and carry out all this persons valuables and possessions to send back to their family. Kinda depressing packing up this persons life in little cardboard boxes like emotional time-bombs for their family. I did find out through the Major in charge of the operation that the person suffered from mental problems leading up to the suicide (never found out how though). It only took a day and it was like the person never lived there.

So this was my day to day working along in PAT platoon waiting for my course. By this time the course I had been supposed to go on had been pushed back for unknown reasons for two months. So until then I just had to work away my days doing these odd jobs and watching lots of movies. It seemed my hands had fallen into some idle time...

To be continued....

p.s. Non of the pictures used are of me or anyone I know. I grab them off Google Image. Although I'll have some cool videos coming if I can find that damn camera connector cable.


  1. lol that was a fun read. cant wait for the next post :)

  2. Surprisingly, that doesn't sound like a bad job at all. I tried to get in the American army years ago but I forgot to lie about having asthma as a child.

  3. Good idea. Never show the net your real face.

  4. sounds crazy dude keep it up mayne

  5. I've always wanted to join the army, it would force me to socialize and be all mean

  6. haha man the army sounds more like a regular job than I thought.