4 Things That Security Contractors Love To Spend Their Money On

The Global War on Terror has offered unique career opportunities for American veterans that past wars have not. The US military’s inability to recruit enough troops to fill the mission requirements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other sites throughout the world has created the need to hire private security contracting firms.

Being a private military contractor allows a combat veteran to grab some of those big bucks that are usually reserved for those in the upper echelon or technical side of the military-industrial complex. Since well-paying jobs on the home front are hard to come by, it makes perfect sense for a man who was willing to fight in a foreign land for less than $20,000 a year to become a shooter for a six-figure income. If you’re one of these men, you come back with quite a bit of money in your pocket after doing a contract or six. How should you go about spending it?

1. Getting a sweet ride.

Now that you’ve spent a few of the best years of your life in a shithole country being the personal security for some faceless executives of Tax Payer Money Funnel Incorporated, you’re ready to live out your own dreams—unless you’re a closet hipster who has wet dreams about owning a Prius, which signals to the world you’re trendy, environmentally conscious, and gay. It will include one or all of the following: a truck, a badass sports car, or a motorcycle.

You’ve been stalking the vehicle that catches your fancy for months. Checking out every color and trim variations. Deciding which features and extras you must have: sound systems, limo tint, grills, and lift kits. You know what? Fuck it! Just murder that motherfucker out. Should you put 24s on it? You fantasize of cruising down an open highway with your hands in between the thighs of a hot brunette sitting in the passenger seat in a tank top who is barely able to contain her breasts and singing along to the latest Taylor Swift hit single because you’re confident enough in your heterosexuality to listen to pop music without irony.

You’re finally able to strut into a dealership like an OG gangster with cold, hard cash. You’re not playing any games; you’re getting the car you want.

“I have $XX,XXX cash,” you say to the shady salesman who is eager to take as much of your money as possible. “You will give me this car, at this price.” He’ll then try to swindle you by saying they don’t give special cash discounts. You’ll then be like, “Hey Broseph, I ain’t no dumb private just out of Basic that you can financially rape with your 18.99% APR loan you’re able to secure through a subprime lender because I got a secure job in the military. I’ve been contracting and doing my research. You’re going to give me the car I want, with the specs I want, in the color I want, and at this fucking price.” You then drive away with a gangster lean in your car because you just dick-slapped the dealership.

2. Taking a vacation that fully indulges your vices.

Sure, your friends and family back home will be eager to see you and have missed you dearly. But if you have learned anything from your years when you were in the military, it’s that being home on leave is pretty lame after two or three days. All your friends and family are doing their own thing. Even if you do show back up, you’re not really going to see them more than once or twice. Why sit around in your hometown where not much has changed when you can take a trip to a foreign place where the foreigners aren’t trying to kill you?

Wolf Of Wall Street

Wolf Of Wall Street

If Hollywood and music videos have taught us anything is that it’s standard operating procedure to celebrate your newfound riches with scantly clad women in an exotic location while snorting mountains of coke and popping piles of Viagra to combat chronic erectile dysfunction. However, since you’ve spent the last few months around men, your game with females may have suffered. No worries; the time-honored profession of prostitution is there to make sure you have someone who will pretend to care about you for the allotted amount of time that you have bought her. Make sure to hide your drugs.

Perhaps you’re not the hookers-and-blow type. Perhaps you’re the drinking copious amounts of alcohol, brooding by your lonesome, thinking to yourself how everyone in the bar seems like a pussy and you miss hanging around real men, awkwardly hitting on chicks, and then falling asleep as you jack off type. No matter; you’ll have a way better time in foreign places where your American brutishness will be considered a cultural flaw rather than a personal one.

An extravagant vacation may not give you any tangible assets, but it will give you life experiences. Think of all those stories you’ll be able to tell while you’re pulling security at your next contracting gig to break up the monotony of everyone bitching about who they think are total cocksuckers on the contract and bragging about how hard they were back when they were in the military.

3. Embracing your right to bear arms.

You can’t spend all your money on cool toys, travel, drugs, and hookers; you need to be an adult and make a responsible investment. A gun is an asset that assures the security of the rest of your assets. It insures that any person who intrudes upon your person or property will get two in the chest and one in the head.

As much as freedom haters will protest, gun ownership is your right as an American. You risked your life for this country not just selflessly in your military service, but for personal profit when you became a mercenary—I mean, a security contractor. You’re the embodiment of patriotism and capitalism, two major principles in our mighty nation.

Now it’s also crucial that you just not have enough to arm yourself, but everyone in your household, and two or three of your closest friends. When Obama causes a nuclear holocaust, currency won’t be stocks or deeds, but weapons and ammo.

4. Getting yourself out of the rat race.

OK, you’ve blown your money from your previous contracts, but this time you’ve learned your lesson. You can’t keep on deploying anymore. You hate being away from your wife/girlfriend, kids, or dog. You need to figure out how to make your money work for you, not the other way around. While the pay is great, this isn’t a long-term career. You have to make plans for the future on the off chance that the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen.

You’ve sacrificed and put a lot at risk for the opportunity you have now. You can use your money to start that business you’ve always wanted to start. Or invest in real estate to create a steady stream of income. Or learn a new skill set that actually has a market in the US.

You earned the money; whatever you do with it is up to you. You’ve been broke before and now you’ve gotten a taste of what making real money feels like. You know having money is awesome and it allows you to buy the things and experiences that make you happy to be alive. But it’s also a trap to keep you coming back for more and more. With a little smarts and a bit of luck, you can figure out how to have a sustainable income instead of being caught in the up-and-down cycles of being contractor-rich.

~Raul Felix

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The Harsh Realities of Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has become an option for many disillusioned recent college grads when they realize their Humanities degree is not that high in demand. You can qualify to be a TEFL teacher with nearly any type of degree. You will fantasize about how you’re going to enlighten foreign minds, but like anything else, reality will set in. Luckily for you, English Teacher X is a salty-as-fuck veteran of this mysterious world. He has written several books and been blogging about it since 2005.

Raul: English Teacher X, you’ve been TEFL for 15+ years now. What’s the biggest difference you see now between new, cherry English teachers and when you were a newbie in the 90s?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Of course, there are a lot more people doing it now in general, but surprisingly, I don’t see that much difference. Still plenty of middle-aged whoremongers/wife-hunters, plenty of young backpacker types, and plenty of clueless youngsters in search of a Real Authentic Cultural Experience. You’d think there’d be fewer clueless people with the Internet and all, but there are still plenty of wide-eyed innocents, many of whom end up ripped off but with a few interesting stories to tell the folks when they go back to working at the Cheesecake Factory. One thing you see a lot more of these days is middle-aged women getting into it for a midlife career change after a divorce or whatever. Eat, Pray, Love syndrome. My friend in Dubai says he sees a lot of them, and a friend in Peru says the same thing. They’re often also looking for romance—men are not the only ones unhappy with the dating situation back home.

Raul: What kind of “Authentic Cultural Experience” do most of the youngsters look for, and what is the harsh reality?

ETX

English Teacher X: Oh, you know, the usual—they think they’re going to learn the language and befriend the locals and such and go to traditional ceremonies and such, but they generally find that the only people who want to speak with them either just want to practice their English or rip them off somehow. Or have sex with them, maybe.

Raul: You spent nine years in Russia from 2000-2009 in an industrial wasteland you’ve named “Vodkaberg.” Russia changed quite a bit since those days. You mentioned that the same Vodkaberg doesn’t exist anymore. What changes have occurred?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Oh, man, well, it’s pretty much a 180-degree shift. When I got there, they loved foreigners, especially Americans and Europeans, and everybody loved to drink and smoke and party, and people were very cynical about work and the government. Everybody was extremely sexed-up, and there was a lot of prostitution going on. People had very little hope for the future. There was very much an atmosphere of “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Now, shit, it’s like the Reagan 80s. First there were a lot of rules limiting alcohol consumption—no more drinking on the streets, can’t buy alcohol after eleven, can’t drink on trains, etc. Then depictions of homosexuality in the media. With the Ukraine thing, Putin has stirred up the patriots and the nationalists, and even one of my slutty, foreigner-loving female friends there was lecturing me last night on Skype about how everything in the American media about Russia is a lie. People want to work hard to get the Toyota Corolla and the iPhone. People do take care of their health a lot more, though, I guess, which is a good thing. I read yesterday that Putin is banning some of the Russki mat—curse words—from movies, theater, and TV. He seems to be trying to create a Puritan republic in response to the excesses of the 90s and early 00s. Oh, and in addition to that, to show the attitude of Russians recently—a friend and I were trying to talk to some Russian girls in Dubai last week and one of them told us, “I don’t talk to Americans anymore because of the international situation.”

Raul: Damn, so Russia is losing its unique Russian ghetto charm; what a shame. Where could a young, hopeful, future TEFL type go to get the same crazy social atmosphere as was prevalent in Vodkaberg during your stint there?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Of course, your social life is what you make of it and anybody going to Eastern Europe can probably find enough alcohol and sex and general wackiness to satisfy them. But the kind of blind worship of foreigners—that’s hard to find these days. You’d need to go someplace that has endured a long period of isolationism and protectionism. North Korea, Cuba, Belarus. Just in general, the kind of places that are experiencing the sort of rapid economic growth and social change that Russia experienced during the 00s are places in the Middle East, and I hear people talking about places like Turkey, Ethiopia, and Lebanon a lot. Recently somebody sent me an email asking where the best place to go to have that experience would be and I answered, “Just go anywhere that people tell you not to go because it’s too dangerous.” I remember buying the train ticket to Russia back in 2000, and the women at the train station in Prague told me I was crazy; they would kill me. They didn’t, although not for want of trying.

Raul: Any random advice for any aspiring TEFLers?

ETXEnglish Teacher X: Well, I was thinking today that while TEFL is not much of a career choice, it probably combines well with your various possibilities for “location independent” jobs like freelance writing or running an eBay store or an affiliate site or whatever. As a teacher you’ll probably have enough free time to work on something like that, but you’ll always have something to do to meet people or to fall back on if your Internet job punks out for some reason.

~Raul Felix

Check out more of my writing at Thought Catalog

The UK Border Agency Debacle

“I’m from fucking Southern California, why the fuck would I want to illegally immigrate to your shitty, cold country?” I said to the United Kingdom Border Agent as she interrogated me in a small room. I was beginning to lose my composure and my temper. My body was shaking as my veins filled with rage. My fists were clenched and I was grinding my teeth in my best effort not to say anything else stupid. I have never ever in my life been so upset at any bureaucrat that I actually had to use every ounce of willpower to keep myself from breaking their face and ending up in jail.

Throughout the month of January 2013, I was randomly traveling around Western Europe and doing the typical backpacker thing. After exploring the wonders of Amsterdam, I decided my next stop would be London, England. I got on the airplane and arrived at London Gatwick Airport and was informed I was supposed to fill out some customs paperwork. Everything was pretty standard and I filled out my occupation: government. I shuffled through and took my place in line to await the process of getting my visa. I was next, and that’s where I met my soon to be nemesis, “McCunterson.” She was a gorilla looking, big fat black woman with a mix of a Jamaican and British accent.

"Oh what pleasure."

“Oh what a pleasure.”

Raul: “Hello.”

McCunterson: “What is the purpose of your visit?”

Raul: “Just traveling around Europe randomly.”

McCunterson: “Why?”

Raul: “… because I’m on vacation.”

McCunterson: “Don’t give me attitude sir, I’m just doing my job.”

Raul: “… alright.”

McCunterson: “How long have you worked for the US Government?”

Raul: “A year and half. Actually, I just finished working with them a couple of weeks ago. I just put that cause it was my last job.”

McCunterson: “So, you’re unemployed?”

Raul: “I guess I am.”

McCunterson: “Then why did you write you were employed? You know that is lying on a legal document right?”

Raul: “I apologize.”

McCunterson: “How much luggage do you have with you?”

Raul: “Just my backpack.”

McCunterson: “That little thing?”

Raul: “Yes, I travel light.”

McCunterson: “Do you have a return flight?”

Raul: “No. I haven’t bought the ticket yet. I’m not sure how long I am going to stay. I think maybe a week or two.”

McCunterson: “Why don’t you have a return flight?”

Raul: “Because I’m not sure of how long I am going to stay, like I said.”

McCunterson: “Don’t get smart, sir. How much money do you have on you and how much do you have access to?”

Raul: “I have about 500 euro on me and I have access to $X,XXX.”

McCunterson: “You really expect me to believe you have access to $X,XXX?”

Raul: “… yes.”

McCunterson: “I’m going to need you step over there, sir.”

McCunterson pointed me to little boxed area where I would sit while other passengers were screened. I sat there wondering what the hell was going on and what I’ve done wrong. I was a bit annoyed, but confident whatever the issue was would be resolved quickly, since you know, I am god damn American Citizen. I would wait for 15 minutes and McCunterson would come by and with a tone that makes me understand why husbands beat their wives, asked me mores questions that I already told her the answer to. She would then leave and do the same thing 15 minutes later. I waited for an hour.

Another Border Agent came by and told me follow him. He lead me to a back room and I emptied out all of my stuff. He looked through everything in my backpack and jacket, closely inspecting every pocket. He then found a pamphlet of different types of marijuana that I got from Amsterdam.

Border Agent: “Why do you have this?”

Raul: “I don’t know, I thought it was cool.”

Border Agent: “You have marijuana on you?”

Raul: “No.”

Border Agent: “Are you sure! I’m going to search all of you!”

Raul: “I don’t.”

Border Agent: “Alright, turn around and put your hands out.”

He started to search the rest of my person and pockets, luckily, no anal probing. After he finished searching me and my stuff, he left. Then came in a security guard. He informed me that I am being detained and he didn’t know the details of my case. He then asked if I would like a sandwich and something to drink while I waited in the holding area. I began to get frustrated. I am being detained now, for no fucking reason.

"Fuck you and your freedom, America!" -Union Jack

“Fuck you and your freedom, America!” -Union Jack

I went to the holding area and waited for an hour. McCunterson waddled in and took me to an interrogation room. I was heavily annoyed, but was able to contain my frustration.

McCunterson: “What did you do for the government?”

Raul: “I worked in Israel.”

She then began to ask more specific questions about what I did in Israel and I gave her some of the details I was at liberty to speak about.

McCunterson: “You really expect me to believe that’s what you did for the US government?”

Raul: “um… yes. That was my job.”

McCunterson: “Oh really? Do you have any proof?” She gave me a very mocking look.

Raul: “Not on me, on my computer.”

McCunterson: “I’m not interested in seeing what’s on your computer.”

Raul: “Who the fuck just carriers that form of information on them!” My voice was raising in frustration.

McCunterson: “Watch your mouth, sir.”

I hated her. The way she spoke in that smug ass british accent with that half-frown that only fat, black women seem to have. Stupid cunt believed that just because she said “sir” it didn’t change the fact that the way she asked and said things was condescending.

Raul: “Fine.” I fantasized about punching her in the face.

Her onslaught of questions about the details of my trip and my life continued. She asked questions about where I was from, where I was born, my past employments, criminal record, my plans for London, who I knew there, amongst other things. I told her about one person I knew there and who could confirm my plans and my story. I gave McCunterson her number.

I paced back and forward in the holding area, barely being able to resist the urge to throw every piece of furniture in the room against the wall. I was being held because this incompetent cow had never seen a backpacker randomly travel around Europe before.

McCunterson finally came back two hours later and called me into the interrogation room.

McCunterson: “Mr. Raul Felix, I have decided to deny you access to the United Kingdom because I don’t believe the reasons you have stated for coming here are true since you lied about being currently employed by the US Government. I believe you are trying to stay in the United Kingdom illegally…”

SassyBlackWoman

Raul: “What the fuck! I’m from fucking Southern California, why the fuck would I want to illegally immigrate to your shitty, cold country? Are you fucking kidding me?”

McCunterson: “Let me finish, sir.”

Raul: “Fuck you!” I stormed out of the interrogation room and walked out to the holding area where the security guards where.

Security Guard: “Hey! Calm down.”

Raul: “I’m fucking calm. Just let me fucking cool down.” I was trying to recompose myself and bite my tongue. I went back into the interrogation room. McCunterson continues on with her stupid, inept reasoning for not letting me into the UK and informed me that I would be deported to Amsterdam the next morning.

I was sent back to the holding area and let out big yell in frustration. I paced back and forward again, calling McCunterson every form of racial and sexiest slur I could think of to myself. I had completely lost my temper. The only thing keeping me from lashing out was the threat of going to jail for assaulting a government official.

I call my local friend on the pay phone and it takes her a while to calm me down. She informed me that McCunterson had called her up and that she asked a bunch of questions about me. The answers that I gave her matched the answers my friend gave her. I was curious to see why McCunterson still denied me entry. I asked the security guards if they could have her come by. She came by 30 minutes later.

Raul: “Ms. McCunterson, I just spoke to my friend and she said you called her. The answers she gave you matched with what I gave you. I don’t understand why I am being denied entrance.”

McCunterson: “Because I don’t believe you intend on leaving the UK. I made my decision and you’re not coming in.”

Raul: “But..”

McCunterson: “I made my decision.”

She then walked away. I stood there shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I would not see her again. I regret not having called her “retarded, incompetent, fat black cunt.”

Later, I was picked up by some other security guards to be taken to a detention facility. En route there, I expressed my hatred of the UK, its douchebag border agency, and that I hoped the whole place burned down to the ground. The security guard was actually a merry ol’ fella and expressed sympathy toward me and asked me not to judge the whole UK because of “some dumb customs asshole.” We then proceeded to have a pleasant conversation and he lightened up my mood. That was until, I got to the detention facility and was shuffled into my jail cell where I would spend the night. I was unable to quickly fall asleep. The incidents of the day kept on playing in my head. I would randomly punch my mattress in anger.

I was awoken by the sound the cell door opening. It was time for me to get deported. The same merry ol’ security guard was to escort me onto the airplane. I climbed the stairs and I was the first passenger on, with my passport and documentations given to the pilot. I sat there, dead pan, not really feeling anything anymore. Just amazed at the stupidity of the English. I really wished we didn’t save their ungrateful asses in World War 2.

FBStatus

It took me a while to be able to think about the whole situation without wanting to get into a fight. While my bitterness towards the UK has subsided and I’ll probably make another attempt to visit sometime in the future, I still harbor a deep hatred toward McCunterson. I wish I could wish misery on her, but she’s a government bureaucrat, misery and incompetence is her life.

~Raul Felix

Read another European adventure: Pussy Cats and the Appreciation of Modern Technology