If you have ever worked in the contracting biz then you have seen all the shady shit that PM’s, APM’s (Project Managers – Assistant Project Managers) and PMC’s (Private Military Company’s) do. Some of the nonsense PMC’s do so they can save a buck and PM's can Cover Their Ass when they screw up can be as simple as fudging paperwork to outright criminal fraud. It can be a bit offsetting but most of us who work in this industry have no illusions that the PMC’s we work for are in any way the Salvation Army. And what happens if they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar? The nearest working fool who is the lowest on the totem pole will eat a dick. Or if one of the PM’s buddies fucks up, steer clear because some poor chump will get thrown on a grenade - no way the PM's bud is going home. Getting thrown under the bus by the PMC you work for in Civilian Contracting has become an art form to PM’s and APM’s. If you think because you have worked for a PMC for four years and have shown loyalty somehow means you are protected, then I have some beautiful beachfront land in Somalia to sell you.
So how do you CYA?
On my first contract in the PMC world way back in the day I had an old timer for a hooch-mate who previously worked 20 years in the LAPD before getting into the contracting biz. On my first day in-country he sat me down and threw some serous Old School knowledge at me over a bottle of cheap scotch.
He tossed everything out from: don’t drink too much, don’t let a broad get you hemmed-up on a gig, stay away from the cliques that form on contracts and be cool to everyone because you never know who will be the PM on your next contract.
But the number one thing he taught me that I have done on every single contract after then was:
“Get a notepad, and every time you see anything shady happen no matter how small it seems at the time - write down the date, time, place, the people involved, companies involved and everything that happened to a T. So if they try to screw you over someday, you have a black book of ‘Try And Fuck me Over Now' to pull out and wave in their faces”
He learned this from seeing so many of his LAPD buddies get tossed away like yesterday’s trash at the tiniest sign of trouble. But, the guys who pulled out their little “Try to F me Over Now” Black Book and started reading it out loud got a letter of reference and had no problem getting a new job.
With your little “Try to F me Over Now” Black Book as leverage, you can at least strong-arm your bonus check and they can’t screw you when the next PMC you apply to calls for a reference. The Little “Try to F me Over Now” Black Book is everything from a shield to a cannon for the working man.
To this day I have a big ass stack of Little “Try to F me Over Now” Black Books from every contract I have even been on over the past decade plus sitting in a secure location, just in case...
This does not just apply to guys in the PMC world, how many times have you seen shady stuff in your job? And how many times have you seen good dudes you worked with get the shaft for no reason but to save the company a buck?
So train and shoot and network, but be smart. Cover your ass with a Little “Try to F me Over” Black Book in your pocket.
Founder – Editor in Chief DVM
James P. is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Southeast Asia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and covering his ass