Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Battle in Life

I have been in Islamabad for one month now and every day I am reminded of how great we have it in the U.S.A. The work is challenging, long, and mostly boring. There are more people then desks and we have to "hot desk" which means that if you leave for five minutes, you had better save what ever you were doing because someone will restart the computer and go to work. One day I sat at three different desks.

In case you are wondering what my official title is, I am "the guy that sits at many desks and does stuff." It is both an honor and privilege to have that duty title. Nothing makes a person more proud to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom than hearing, "Hey Brent, I am tired of standing here and I need you to fax this to Pakistan Air Force Headquarters," and "I know that you just spend 3 hours working on that project and even though you burnt five bridges to get it done, we are going to scrap it." What can I say, "I am proud to serve."

But rather then bore you with "war stories" I would like to address a much more serious topic. Something that I believe affects hundreds of people, maybe even thousands of people. While this may seem somewhat petty to some please, don't judge unless you have worn the shoes. Today, someone received a package of girl scout cookies that were intended to boost moral. Instead it started a long and controversial debate, no doubt started by me. As many of you know, I live my life according to a number of steadfast rules and what happened today clearly violated one of them.

Today confirmed something that I have always believed to be true. In fact I believe that it is no longer a hypothesis, but rather it is a cold and hard fact; people care, however, most do not care enough to send the very best. "But they sent Girl Scout Cookies" that is so sweet. The issue was not that we were sent Girl Scout Cookies, but that we were sent the crappy varieties. In case you are wondering what the crappy varieties are, I will clarify that anything other then "Samoas, Thin Mints, or the chocolate covered peanut butter ones" are crap.

This was the basis of my argument: I am never given Samoas as a gift. Think about it, when was the last time that someone brought Thin Mints to the office? What about Samoas to a social gathering? Exactly, it is always those Lemon sandwich ones (which by the way had a recall this year, yet the ended up in Islamabad Pakistan today). Is it possible to make a terrible tasting shortbread cookie? Why yes it is, I ate some today and actually thought, "man, I didn't think anything could make Pakistan more miserable until now." Admittedly, I am a short bread snob and only Walker's Shortbread from Scotland will do, but come on man.

Once again no judgement until you have put on my custom made Pakistani Cobra cowboy boots.

While many thought it was a nice gesture, I stated "If they don't want this crap, why would I?" A perfectly good question. It was there that the debate began. At one point someone said "If they are so bad why are you eating them?" By the way, that had nothing to do with the argument. At one point somebody actually produced a box of Samoas and said "Look, I got Samoas." I said "Well every now and then someone wins the powerball and walks away with hundreds of millions, but most people lose." So the debate went on. Later that day while fulfilling my official title of the "guy that does stuff" I found the following information. A website that promotes the sales of the cookies in California, here is a snip from the bottom of the page:

Gift of Caring

Girl Scout cookies not only taste good -- they do good, too, thanks to our Gift of Caring community service project. In addition to buying cookies for yourself, you can purchase boxes and have them donated to the military to bring a taste of home to troops overseas, or to local food banks or the American Red Cross to bring cheer to victims of disaster or families in need.

Gift of Caring is simple: you purchase the gift receipt, and Girl Scouts will make sure your gift puts a smile on someone's face, whether they're far from home in Iraq or just around the corner.

This is purly Girl Scout propaganda designed to get rid of their crappy cookies. I am here to tell you, if you care and I mean really care, I want Samoas!!!!!

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