Understand that a lot of what I deal with on a daily basis is classified, so I have to be intentionally vague quite a bit. In some cases it's understandable, but in most it's really not. Like "come on I KNOW that's not classified" info that would make great writing but just can't be put on here.
So the other day there was a military plane coming to pick up some stuff (vague) from here. We are in a VERY austere location, on a base owned by a country who often doesn't seem to understand that they have an Air Force. We don't get these planes very often, so it seemed kinda weird to me that no one had called us to ask some simple questions like "is there a runway" and things of that nature. We're in the desert, and the airfield doesn't have the normal capabilities you would expect at say, DFW. They don't have some of the capabilities that they have at even small airfields at home. But yes, they do have a runway. And its dirty.
It doesn't seem to bother the Iraqis much, or the contractors that work with them either. It may ding a plane up now and then but its no big deal. So, since I'm such a nice guy, I called the guys flying here and let them know that. I said "the runway's a bit dirty, so use caution."
What they heard was "upon landing a giant Kraken will rise from the depths and swallow your aircraft whole. It will then slowly digest you for 1000 years and sell your wives and children into slavery."
You would think that I had just told them that the wings would spontaneously combust when they touched the eeeeeeevil dust on the runway. They, of course, cancelled the mission and forwarded my clearly ingenious and well-educated comments up the chain. Waaaay up the chain. Like lots of stars up the chain. And my name has been all over it.
If anybody got the license plate of the bus that they threw me under, please contact the appropriate authorities.
So, for the last 72 hours, I have been having extensive conversations that have a lot of "sir's" in them trying to convince them that it really isn't THAT dirty, and that we DO actually fly here. Every day. In small planes. With students. Who can't land.
Unbelievable bureaucracy like I've never seen it. Equally unbelievable ass-covering. But I'll save that for another post.