Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

So how does a motor pool sergeant in Iraq spend the Labor Day holiday?

0442--alarm goes off. I was up late, almost midnight, and had trouble sleeping because I slept late Sunday morning (10am). I hit the snooze button and got up at 0447.
Stumble to the latrine, shave, stumble back (150 yards each way on gravel), get dressed.

0530--ride to chow hall. Get breakfast to go so I can put it in my backpack and eat at the motor pool: bacon, biscuit, french toast, cinnamon roll. I ride with a large coffee mug.

0600--motor sergeant opens the gate. he is usually at the motor pool at o540, he splet late.

0610--my team gets its jobs for the morning. I have three mechanics today. Two replace the starter on a bus. One replaces the tire on a trailer. I pump 30 gallons of diesel into our generator. It is a hand-operated pump. It takes 7 minutes, so I listen to a New Yorker podcast on my iPod while I pump the handle.

0700--I fill out paperwork while my team works. I check on them. I do the weekly maintenance checks on a 2 1/2 ton truck. I also spend 15 minutes listening to another sergeant complain about some recent bad work assignments and getting caught between competing bosses. We commiserate.

0800--more maintenance checks. One of the clerks is back from leave so I tell her a couple of pirate jokes she missed.

0900--I ride to the south side of the base for a 0930 meeting. It's three miles, the wind is calm. I have 15 minutes ot check email--since we moved the motor pool two weeks ago, there are no network lines in the motor pool. I have to ride 1 to 3 miles rto check email

0930--Meeting with brigade about stories I am working on and about coordinating stories.

1030--back to email and calendar update.

1100--ride the rest of the way around the base back to my CHU

1130--talk to the couple in the Saturday post.

1200--fill out time sheets for me and my crew.

1230--go to lunch, meet my crew as they are coming back from lunch, give them afternoon jobs.

1315--back to motor pool. check on work assignments. Put away tool boexes and supplies that have come back from Camp Normandy fueling operation that closed last month.

1400--move trucks to get work ready for tomorrow

1445--go to CHU, change, check emails, revise speech for Friday

1600--go to battalion headquarters to check email.

1630--read CS Lewis essay, drink latte

1715--more email

1730--go to laundry

1745--nap for 30 minutes

1815--ride 15 minutes

1830--more email revise article

1900--go to dinner with a sgt who missed last Aeneid meeting, catch up on intro to Aeneid

2000--CS Lewis book group

2130--back to CHU, check email

2200--call Marc Abrahams, I wish out loud I was coming home soon. He reminds me whose idea this trip was (guilty as charged)

2230--shower and write this post

2330--sleep (up again at 0442)

Happy Holiday!!

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