Sunday, June 7, 2009

Letter of Recommendation

To: Contractor Approving Agency
From: Captain K.L.N., USMC

Subj: Letter of Recommendation re: Contractor Mujeeb

This letter is to certify that Contractor Mujeeb has in fact completed his contract for building the ANA barracks at FOB Combat Outpost and recommend that he be given consideration for future projects of flexible timeframe and limited importance. Due to Mujeeb’s scrupulous attention to detail, what was specified as a 4-month project took more than 6 months.

Mujeeb is a very giving man, who is very concerned with the feelings and well-being of the ETT in charge of supervising the construction project. Because he is so giving and caring, he can be counted upon to daily present gifts of lamb kabobs, Afghani rugs, clothing, and even air conditioning units. Recommend these gifts not be accepted due to the implied quid pro quo, however, accepting one such gift and giving to Mujeeb in return a construction level, carpenter's square, and tape measure, complete with instructions on their use and express expectations that they be used, could be helpful in the project’s end result.

Mujeeb is smart but forgetful. Oftentimes, when you lend him tools he will forget to return them. Mujeeb also speaks very good English, but he often seems to forget his English during periods of tension. Mujeeb is very punctual and concerned with finishing the job on time. As such, you can expect him to start coming to you to sign off on the project every day around the end of the specified time for completion. Mujeeb is well aware that the last 10% of any construction job is half the work, so you can expect him to complete the last part of the project from the time he informs you he is “finished” in about the same amount of time it took him to do the initial phases of the project.

The importance of environmental sensitivity is not lost on Mujeeb. In these days of depleting ozone, Mujeeb can be counted on to use a minimal amount of Freon in his installed air conditioners. Mujeeb also does his best to conserve important resources like cement by using a high percentage of dirt in his concrete. Furthermore, Mujeeb uses the “natural” method of drainage in his projects, i.e. solar evaporation, thereby obviating the need for upsetting the earth with digging.

Mujeeb is an honest man, but he seems to have difficulty understanding some of the terms in the contract itself. Perhaps this is a cultural disconnect. Mujeeb seems to have believed that the terms “complete and usable” as written in the contract meant that the air conditioners need only have been put on the wall, not that they were actually wired up and blowing cold air. To Mujeeb, “complete and usable” meant that a shower facility had been built, not that the shower heads would stay on when you turn on the water. To his credit, Mujeeb is concerned with the discipline and cohesion of his nation’s Army – I’m convinced he attempted to leave the completed barracks dirty just so we’d have the chance to muster the ANA and have them work together to clean the barracks.

In conclusion, Contractor Mujeeb is a well-meaning man with many good qualities. Recommend Mujeeb’s contact information be retained in order to facilitate locating Mujeeb in the near future for repair and refit of existing structures originally constructed by said Mujeeb.

Respectfully,
K.L.N.
Captain, USMC

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Clicking" on your different postings/the before and present/glad to see the "prior" on here, also. Love reading all your inputs. Keep writing. Love it!!

Anonymous said...

This is a good example of the quality of the contractors in
Afghanistan, I'm presuming. Where do they learn how to be so competent?

K said...

Haha, just to be clear...this posting was meant as a spoof. I didn't actually send in a LOR like this to anyone. It was menat to point out all the ways the contractors like "Mujeeb" try to take advantage of you.