|04-07-2009, 07:26 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2009
So, I suppose I need a place to drop this, and since I'm here... I may as well. Feedback would be nice.
I'm active duty army. Before this, I was in the Marine Corps for 5 years. I have "Career ADD".
As a Jarhead, I heard a ton of stories about how much better the Army's quality of life was than our own. But, I found out things were much, much different. The following accounts are true, and names have been changed to protect the innocent (and give it a "GI Joe" feel).
As some of you may know, many aspects of the American military are currently overseen by civilian contractors. As it turns out, this is a very cost-efficient way of conducting certain missions and freeing up troops to perform more crucial duties.
But let's be honest- the two biggest military contractors out there are Xe, formerly known as Blackwater (known for having its security personnel drunk on duty and shooting innocent and unarmed civilians) and Kellog, Brown, and Root also known as KBR (known for using unqualified and untrained employees to wire shower units, which electrocuted about 7 US troops).
There's one such civilian contracting company on post. Since I don't want to give away the name of my post, I'll call it "The Pit". Here on the Pit, there are several barracks controlled by a civilian company. Since I don't want to use their name, I'll call them "Extensive Enterprises". The company is in charge of maintaining a livable barracks area and housing single Joes. They issue keys, inspect rooms, perform maintanence, etc.
There's just a few problems. Here goes:
A few months ago I had a hermit crab. I studied up on how to care for them, maintained his environment's temperature, fed him, everything. He lasted about 4 weeks. I had a second hermit crab afterward, purchased from a different place. The same thing happened to him. After speaking with the guy at the pet store, I was shocked to learn that a lot of hermit crabs die quickly in certain environments like old schools, apartment complexes, warehouses, etc... "old" being the operative word in all three. After consulting several other hermit crab owners, I came to discover that certain molds and mildews in these old ventilation system will kill the hermit crabs... and these molds and mildews are harmful to humans. You know, humans that live in these barracks.
After a while, the barracks were "remodeled". And by remodeled, I mean they pulled a Hasbro on us- they just repainted the walls and gave us newer (cheaper) furniture. Smells like an Arbco Industries job to me.
Now, it gets better...
-There is no temperature control whatsoever in these buildings. You have a "thermostat", which basically functions as a thermometer with buttons that do nothing. This is especially frustrating when you are in a 85 degree room in the summer, or a 45 degree room in the winter. When Extensive Enterprises is contacted concerning the matter, they claim to be unable to change the Pit's policy on air conditioning (which seems silly to me), or say they will "get right on it" and tell you this is the first they have heard of it (this happens when it has gone on for several days at the time and you repeatedly call them, and it takes several more days).
-The company is in charge of maintaining the barracks. I find this hard to believe since they don't mow the grass (despite their mission statement saying it is their responsibility) or fix problems (I had a massive hole in my shower wall for 2 months). Instead, Joes are performing most of the maintanence on the buildings, to include cleaning and preparing old rooms and moving furniture. I am not asking these people to perform the duties of picking up trash, but they can at least do more than issue keys and inspect rooms. Speaking of which...
-The company randomly decides to inspect rooms without notifying the persons living there. This is especially troublesome, considering my apparently freakishly abnormal desire to be notified of people stomping around in my room where all of my important stuff is. Perhaps I am being a bit fickle, but I would like to know when people are coming into my living area. Especially when they nitpick silly things like a penny jar (labeling it "unsecured money") and a laundry basket (dirty laundry everywhere...?). Also, when appliances don't work, you get gig'd for not having a work order on (which this company seems to be unable to keep track of).
Tankers, I realize this may seem unimportant to you. But I do feel the need to let this out, as well as notify you all of one major thing-
YOUR tax money is paying for this.
|04-07-2009, 07:34 PM||#2|
Mad Scientist at Large
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Portland, OR
How about a certain other company (screw it, Haliburton) that charged taxpayers $99 a load to do laundry, and hearing GIs complain that they smelled worse than before they were washed.
Friends, I don't know what you could do to fatigues to make them smell worse than having a dude sweat in them for 36 hours straight, but damn if they don't get credit for inginuity.
|04-07-2009, 07:40 PM||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: P-Cola, FL
Notify your chain of command and keep copies of workorders for when the pit "misplaces them."
|04-07-2009, 07:47 PM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Good ol' KBR... We had to disable our smoke detector because they didn't have a single good 9volt on camp -------, thier random inspector accused us of smoking in our room.
Oh, we were lucky enough to share port-o-potties with KBR TCN's when i was living in tent city. They like to stand on the seat, and hover and drop. They get the stand and hover right, but they can't aim very well.
Feel your pain bro. Don't get me started on thier electricians. We had a conex converted into a work trailer by them. within 48 hours it was gutted by fire, traced right to the crappy wiring...
I'll stop, it's your thread :-)
|04-07-2009, 07:47 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2007
sounds bad. hopefully they'll lose their contract. the only defense I can give for items not being fixed is the gov't not paying for or ordering the parts to fix. most contracts are for the personnel (and immediate utensils/supplies) only and the gov't handles construction supply costs. though each contract is different so who knows. if you want to do something about the contractors then look up the contract, it should be readily available. find negligence and point it out to a superior. they can they fine or sue the contractor for failure to fufil the agreement.
|04-07-2009, 08:00 PM||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Land Of Confusion
I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps.
One barracks I lived in, in Japan, had heat, but didn't have A/C. In the summer, the air vents still blew out hot air. During the work day, leaving windows opened, or fans on, was unauthorized. In the "dog days of summer" the barracks was too hot to tolerate. It was literally to hot to live in. The company office and the supply office, both of which were on the ground floor of the barracks, had window unit A/C's. Apparently Marine Corps Captains and Gunnery Sergeants and other assorted pouges don't work in the heat.
I lived in another barracks, this one in Quantico Va, had windows with broken frames and wouldn't close and doors falling off the hinges. We had a blizzard during the 90's that closed the base, and Marine Corps bases rarely, if ever close. I took pictures of the snow filled halls and doorways and the broken doors and windows and sent anonymous copies to the battalion CO and to the base general, with threats to send copies to my senators and congressmen and local newspapers and tv stations.
A few days later the problems were fixed, the company gunnery sergeant was relieved and we had formation about the chain of command.
|04-08-2009, 11:03 AM||#7|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central SD
I work in a Govt civilian building, and in the winter it is either 50 degrees or 85. One day last summer we came back on a monday and the office was 92 degrees. They shut off heat and air at 4:30 everyday and leave them off on weekends. In the winter the building cools considerably so it is freezing on mondays so they crank the heat so that by tuesday it is 80 degrees. The summer is the opposite with it being in the 80s or better on monday, then they over compensate. The GSA guys in our building complained, saying that keeping it a constant temperature is more efficient, but the managers are in another city and they say no.
F'ing government waste.
Gunzlingr's BST Thread: http://www.hisstank.com/forum/g-i-jo...ml#post1742979
|04-08-2009, 11:31 AM||#8|
Join Date: Dec 2008
I doubt it's any consolation, but military living conditions weren't really any better when it was the military themselves in charge of quarters/barracks, etc....
I can definitely say the maintenance issues and temperature control issues were very much the same, as well as mold/mildew/asbestos/etc... Most of the time the response was "suck it up and drive on." I don't know for certain where you're at, Hostile, but on Ft. Bragg when I was assigned there, we were told that there were basically massive "central heating and air conditioning" units that serviced several buildings at once, and that they were only shifted from "heating" to "cooling" on very specific dates. So usually we had a month and a half in late fall/early winter where we were freezing, and again in late spring/early summer where we were baking.
That isn't to say that the contractors shouldn't be doing a better job (that's what they're getting paid for, presumably), but more a lament that things still haven't improved.
|04-08-2009, 11:42 AM||#9|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Government funded "ex-pat" type contractors are a rare and lazy breed. I feel you. I've seen it all over the world. Unfortunately, there is a monopoly of lousy contractors working over there, and in a lot of other gov't funded operations.
You can thank gov't sponsored incentive programs (I'd elaborate, but it would border political so I won't) and the lowest bidder for the problems stateside. If it's gov't sponsored, you can pretty much bank on it being LCD (least common denominator) top to bottom.
|04-08-2009, 11:45 AM||#10|
Join Date: Aug 2008
I am going to go break something now!
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