It’s good to be a contractor. It’s better if you are KBR. As far as contractors go, they pretty much have a strangle hold over most contracts in Baghdad.
You may know them better as Halliburton, but they changed their name for their overseas operation so that they could avoid the stigma of being called Halliburton. It’s kind of like how Blackwater got a bad rap after their “mercenaries for hire” started killing Iraqis. They changed their name to something unpronounceable.
Anyway, back to KBR.
They manage the dining facilities. They manage the lodging offices, where they allow me to sleep in this awesome trailer. They also do our laundry for us! That’s right. They do our laundry for us. All I do is give them a bag of my dirty clothes (Scooby Doo underoos and all), and they give it back to me a couple of days later.
Most of the white clothes have a dull orange tint to them — a product of being washed in machines where everyone else’s dirt-encrusted clothes have been washed.
So, what does it cost the taxpayer for this contract? Only $100 per bag. Back home, if I charged people this, my laundromat would be burned to the ground. However, they DO fold my clothes for me. That’s probably worth the government paying about $25 per bag, but not a C-note.
In all fairness, the $100 bag incidents were five years ago. I’m sure KBR is now a completely honest company and isn’t interested in making ridiculous profits.
Now, let me ask you… are you interested in some swampland prime real estate in the Florida area?