We’ve experienced a few changes over the last week or so but, somewhat oxymoronically, the KAF tedium has not abated. So let’s see what’s new and not so new in the zoo.

Lost in Translation

It’s funny if you have the decency to speak English.

I haven’t seen a Surf with a busted ball joint this entire roto! L claimed to have seen one but she’s British and they claim that Monarchy is a valid form of government so they are not to be trusted. The confirmed sightings of Fruses, however, is way up. My suspicion is that the assembly line ball joint installer guy was moved to the decal application department. Thanks to M for spotting this latest one in a parking lot on our way home from work last week. As I got out of my car, IPod in hand, the approximately dozen guys crammed into the smoking gazebo looked quite surprised to have a visitor. One fellow walked over. “Hi, I just want to get a picture of your car” I said in my best pseudo-friendly voice as I gestured at the backwards writing only to be met with a blank stare. It dawned on me that the guy spoke no English so I spoke more loudly as I slowly annunciated “The writing backwards…funny…haha”. Blank stare accompanied by vaguely ominous rumblings from the gazebo which encouraged me to quickly skedaddle with my photo.

Grease is the Word

It’s raining grease, hallelujah.

As we walked towards the North Line for lunch, DN mentioned that it smelled like a deep fry day. One can often smell what’s on the menu before actually getting into a DFAC (although it’s disconcerting when the smell is seemingly unrelated to the menu). DN seemed rather enamoured of the prospect of a greasy feast so I suggested we walk inside the rocket wall. There are some enormous fan vents there under which there is a perennial grease puddle. I suggested to DN that, if he timed it just right, he could catch a grease drop on his tongue just like the first snowflake of a beautiful winter flurry.  He demurred.

North Line News

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Not only is North Line once again offering both fried eggs and omelets, but you can now get poached eggs upon request. I fucking love poached eggs. I suck at making them though. I always end up with a pot full of stringy egg whites and broken, watery, semi-cooked yolks. These, however, were properly cooked and tasted pretty good despite the chef going a little heavy with the vinegar in the water (necessary, apparently, to avoid having a pot full of stringy egg whites and broken, watery, semi-cooked yolks).


North Line now also offers pretty decent grilled cheese sandwiches at most lunches. They’re usually using white bread and process cheese…just the way god intended. What’s the “process” in process cheese? No one knows but the day-glo orange ambrosia it creates is the perfect accompaniment to bleached flour. One time they used whole wheat bread…what the fuck? That’s like using those goddamn fruit flavoured miniature marshmallows to make Rice Krispie Squares. Anyway, imagine my delight when I see these properly processed grilled cheese sandwiches calling my name. Then imagine my dismay to find that there is no fucking ketchup at the condiment bar. Grilled cheese without ketchup? That’s the moral equivalent of surgery without anesthetic for chrissakes. I’m not sure I can forgive them for this.

Okay, they have real ice cream at every lunch. I forgive them their trespasses.

Who’s Watching the Watcher?

The DFACs seem to have really tightened up their control of who gets in for meals. The scuttlebutt is that some scallywags were creating fake meal cards. The meal cards are electronic so it seems to me that it would take some high tech know-how to do this. To combat this fraud, we have to ensure the writing side of our meal card is up when we swipe in. It seems the fakes were just plain white on both sides. I’m rather amazed that someone who has mastered the black art of electronic meal card forgery can’t manage a colour printer. Anyhow, many of the DFACs have a supervisor watching the plate handing out guy. For those of you not familiar with the process, you walk into the DFAC and, after washing your hands, you put your meal card on this electronic card reader thingy and wait for a green light under the watchful eye of a DFAC dude who then hands you a plate and in you go. This guy, whose only job is to watch for the green light and hand you a plate is now supervised. This supervisor’s job seems to be to watch for the green light also. If they don’t trust the light-watching-plate-handing-out-guy to watch the light, why not just train the supervisor how to hand out plates and free up the other dude to replace the fucking ketchup when it runs out?

Times They are A-Changin’

Many moons ago, in response to a reader’s whine request, I created a page listing the DFAC meal hours. with a solemn pledge to update it if I ever fucking felt like it. I never did. Well, some smarty pants commented on it with an update of the meal hours for every DFAC on KAF. So it’s updated. Get off my back.

Moving on Up

Totally different than my last room. I mean, look, the window is on the right side of the back wall…not the left.

First, L and K, who work for our subcontractor, are told they have to change rooms. I’m told that our guys can stay where they are for 6 to 8 months. A few days later “6 to 8” months has become two weeks for several of us. So, I moved today. This is the 7th place I’ve lived since getting here 4 years ago. On the bright side, our new hallway doesn’t smell like poo. On the downside, remember that email I told you about…no paper towel for some accommodations blocks because of idiots? Yeah, we’re now in one of those blocks. So, not only does this mean we have to dry our hands with toilet paper (feel free to try this at home) but we are, apparently, sharing our bathroom with paper towel flushing morons. Ugh.

Being the first one to take up residence in the new building, L didn’t make us enthused about the move. “How are your neighbours?” I innocently asked. In most societies, a lady being asked such a question by a gentleman might reply “Oh, they’re just lovely. I’m sure we’ll soon be fast friends”. But this is KAF and my simple question brought forth the following: “Ugh, one of them was using the toilet with the stall door wide open! I don’t need to see her poo. Why would she do that? Oh, and she was making noises the whole time…you know, grunts and things. What the hell?”

At least our company recognizes the prima dona temperament of our guys and gives us single rooms. L’s company isn’t so perceptive and she now has to share. Her roommate, a very nice Canadian woman, is new to KAF and considerably younger than the crowd I bitch and moan work with. Consequently, she was quite excited and enthusiastic about being here when she joined us for dinner on her first night. We did, however, give her a glimpse into what she may become and, perhaps, helped her on her way. I was particularly delighted by her cheerfully rendered comment “These carrots are pretty terrible”. That’ll morph into “Holy fuck, I can’t eat this shit” soon enough…you mark my words.

Got Change for A DFAC?

Change is bad.

Monti, Cambridge and Far East (and maybe Niagara) are all in the midst of a remodel. They’re putting in separate entrances and service areas for people who get take out meals. Again, for the uninitiated: If you have a boss who’s a bit of a prick and won’t give you 1/2 an hour to get to the DFAC to eat you can get a take out meal or have someone pick one up for you. Currently, you enter along with everyone else but, if you place your card on the “take out” card reader, the light-watching-plate-handing-out-guy gives you a styrofoam takeout box instead of a plate. Hmm…the need for this level of quick thinking in the dynamic take-out/dine-in world of swipe card watching may be why the supervisors don’t feel able to take over the light-watching-plate-handing-out-guy’s job completely…it would be like an airline CEO having to take the controls of a jumbo jet. But I digress. Fuck, about the only thing worse than eating a rapidly cooling DFAC meal from a styrofoam box would be eating a rapidly cooling DFAC meal from a styrofoam box that someone else picked out for you. Seriously bosses? You can’t spare the guy for 30 minutes so he can have his choice of hot slop?

Oh there they are.

Anyway, the new separate entrances are a boon to underemployed highly efficient folks like me who can dawdle over meals. It means I no longer have to wait in line behind some poor fuck with three take out boxes while he fills them up with his best guess at each person’s preferences. But, I really don’t like the way stuff is getting moved around in each of the DFACs. I entered the Far East a couple of nights ago, turned right to get my tray and shit and “Aghhh”  there was a goddamn wall there. I spun around in confusion, my head awhirl, thinking “What mad chicanery is this? This labyrinth is unfathomable!” Turned out the trays were a few feet to my right. But I still didn’t like it.

For Fuck’s Sake!

Remember those new signs I told you about? They’re up at all the Supreme DFACs. So, I was at the Cambridge for breakfast the other day. Santos was in fine form so I got my three eggs over easy in no time. I then went looking for the bread…the white fucking bread. “Hey, there’s the bakery sign…boy, those new signs are useful”, I naively thought. The bakery had a half basket of rolls and whole wheat bread. I dejectedly grabbed two pieces of whole wheat as the gorge rose in my throat. It’s then I notice a couple of guys over at some toasters a row over. By the contented looks on their faces I just knew they were toasting deliciously bleached white bread. Sure enough, there it was…a basket of the whitest bread I had ever seen…right underneath the fucking “Ice Cream” sign. I then noticed three signs (“Salad”, “Sandwiches” and “Condiments” if I recall correctly) hanging forlornly over nothing at all over by the new take out area wall. What’s the point?

Twice Burned

Mmmm…doesn’t that look appetizing?

I told you about that really shitty party at the Lux we went to at L’s insistence despite the DFACOmatic recommending Niagara. Well, a few days ago, J really wanted a hamburger for dinner so, rather than use the DFACOmatic, I suggested the Niagara because they always have hamburgers. We got there and there was a huge line up right out the door. “Fuck this” J, M and I exclaimed pretty much simultaneously and we trundled off to the Lux. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that hamburgers aren’t something the Luxembourgianishites (sp?) have any expertise with. J and I both went for the burgers…a decision I immediately regretted as it was fished outta the grease bucket and plopped on my plate bringing forth memories of the lung burger I’d eaten last year. The lesson for everyone here is to use the DFACOmatic for all your KAF dining decisions. If you don’t, the terrorists have won.

Photo Ops

I’ll leave you with a couple of KAF sights that I found amusing:

Brazilian Jujitsu? Who checks for compliance?

I do not understand.

Bottom Line

“Strange fascination, fascinating me. Changes are taking the pace I’m going through” – David Bowie

6 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. Quality reading again my friend it sure gets you through reading the stuff that goes on here, at first before I arrived I thought maybe some of it was purely for entertainment value but now having been here a while its so true, love it thank you for making my nights a bit more bearable here next too the poo pond. Keep on writing dude

  2. sinage at dfac 2 cambride has since been addressed and you should now find the items you require in there correct locations .

  3. “There are some enormous fan vents there under which there is a perennial grease puddle”

    I would not suggest drinking this stuff…….eeyuuu. These are the main extractor vents from the whole kitchen, as you know we feed in excess of 6500 per day, that’s a lot of oil and steam, all passed through these vents, we do get them cleaned out monthly, not by me I may add, but if DN loves grease so much, he is welcome to come along and help out (eeee there’s a challenge for you!)

    Thanks for all the other positive remarks, we en devour to do our best, and my door is always open if you have any burning issues.

  4. I am totally jealous of your new domicile. It looks like the Waldorf-Astoria compared to mine! That wall locker looks divine!

    My wall locker is the top empty bunk of my bed with all of my clothes hanging neatly in a row on one end. The improvised clothes hanger is good for a bit of privacy but it’s pretty ghetto. I just hope they don’t throw another person into our tincan or I’m screwed.

    I knew I should have gotten out of the military a long, long time ago and come back as a civilian contractor. Sigh. I recall at my first re-enlistment in Iraq saying (after someone suggested I get out and come back as a civilian, as they had done) “Nah, we aren’t going to be at war much longer…” That was early 2004. If I could kick myself, I would have done so repeatedly and would still be doing so even as I type this response.

    Enjoy your new crib and keep on writing about these horrible DFacs! I’m glad that there are others here that observe and (perversely) take some pleasure in the bizarreness of this place called KAF.

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