In the B & B Compound on the military base most of the service jobs are done by Bangladeshis. This is very common throughout the Middle East and it is not uncommon for them to be out of the country for years working. Here they make about $250 a month and their room and board is paid for. Our breakfast is from 6:15 a.m. to 8:00 at about 10 til 8:00 all the workers line up because the cafeteria is opened to them right at 8:00 a.m. They rush in and all go for their favorite, piling their plates high with food. Before they come in the cereal is put away. Most of them are fairly skinny which is amazing for the amount they eat. They always eat after the paying residents of the camp. The workers at the DFAC (remember that’s what the dining facility is called) and the one who work in the laundry work the hardest.
As for the ones who clean our rooms they come in, wipe down a few surfaces, run the water and that’s it. One of the men who works for the security company was saying he finally had to tell them just to leave the cleaning supplies and he would do it himself. He also said that you have to ride them, that in their culture they are used to being yelled at. He said that the man who is in charge of them is always yelling. I don’t interact with most of the workers except Hassan and Ali who work at the dining hall. I say Hi, when I pass but that is about it. Here I’m very careful about my interactions with men, particularly non-western men.
Our sheets and towels are changed on Sat. the one comfort thing I brought from home was my favorite pillow with my frog pillowcase on it, but when I came back from work on Sat. my frog pillowcase was gone. They had taken it to the laundry. When the man delivered my laundry that evening I asked him about it. I hope I managed to make him understand that it was mine; otherwise I’m going to have to put out an all points bulletin in the cafeteria and have whoever ends up with it on their bed return it to me. That could be embarrassing.