The Rug Merchant has returned to his roots and is now concentrating on.........well, selling rugs. Which seems fitting. He's still the head of the company, but he spends a lot less time hanging around the compound and screwing things up. Which is nice.
What's not so nice is that he took the Doctor with him to help develop the nascent carpet business. Which means that I've lost the single best employee the company had, a man whom I have depended on for 18 months to hold this outift together. He sticks his head in from time to time, and helps out when he can, but it's not the same as having him around on a daily basis. Needless to say, things are falling through the cracks and some of our supervisors have reverted to their status as useless mouth-breathers.
By way of compensation, I got to pick my new Ops Manager and I think I found a good one. So far, he's professional, focused and competent. Within a couple of days of being hired, he took it upon himself to visit all of our local sites in Kabul and check on the status of the guards and the clients. He didn't need to be told to do this, just assumed (rightly) it was something he should do.
As a former member of the Afghan Air Force (back in the 80s), he was trained by the Soviets (which is always a red flag; no pun intended). However, he spent the last twenty years living in the West and occasionally visiting family here, so he has a good grasp of the proper (i.e. Western) ways of doing business. As a bonus, much of his Western experience was actually in the security business, so I don't need to babysit him and he understands the basic concepts quite well.
Tomorrow we take 40 of our guys to the firing range for basic marksmanship training, so we'll see what the new Ops Manager can do. And I get to take out some stress on innocent pieces of fruit, which is always a good time.*
*If you've never shot a watermelon with an AK-47, I highly recommend it. It's a waste of good food, I admit, but it still makes me laugh a day later. Just remember to save some for the other guys to eat. Fresh fruit is a luxury here, so it's not advisable to use it all for target practice. Good rule of thumb: shoot half the fruit, distribute the rest, buy extra. Have fun, make friends, earn some loyalty.