Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big Brother Is Watching

Just when I thought it couldn't get any more irritating to work in a prison. ANd why am I always suprised? Just an optimist, I guess. We've always had a metal detector we had to walk through to go inside. Mostly, it's for the visitors. We don't want them carrying in any weapons or anything. When staff would go through it, it would beep, but they expected it to. My badge alone was enough to set it off. Add my handcuffs, can of pepper spray, keys and assorted buttons and buckles and whatnot on my duty belt, and by god the thing will beep. Let's see... two steel barreled pens, metal eyeglasses and a zippo lighter, too. So they set up a second detector strictly for staff, and they told us it would be set low enough that we wouldn't have to strip down to get in. They lied. Now it's as hard to get to work as it is to get aboard an airliner. There was a line to get in and I had to remove my duty belt and empty my pockets and then do this little dance with one hand over my badge and the other over my belt buckle to get through the damn thing. Step through and put all the stuff back in my pockets and put my belt back on, which is no simple thing. Take a look at the next police officer you see. Look at all the little straps he has holding his belt on. I have those, too. Mostly because I have no hips so I need to attach the thing to my pants belt to keep it up. Some staff go for the "gunslinger" look, with the belt hanging down on one hip. That's not me. I feel the need to have all my stuff secure in case I need to run or move suddenly. Then add all the extra stuff I get while I am at work. A radio, a cuff key, house keys and at least two extra sets of handcuffs, sometimes more. My belt alone with the gear I always have is over three pounds. The extras, maybe another three. So the thing needs to be securely attached to my body when I'm there or stuff will go flying everywhere. But it's a real pain in the butt to take on and off. I suppose if my life depended on my getting my belt off in a hurry I'd probably die. But that's neither here nor there. They put in the detector to keep anyone from bringing weapons (namely firearms) into the prison. But they make plastic pistols now with less steel in them than my zippo lighter. Why I bet I could... No. Not going there. I couldn't and I won't. May not be a genius, but I'm smarter than that. Somebody from higher up decided that we should all go through a metal detector to get into work. Probably somebody who has either never stepped foot inside a prison in the last 5 years, or one of those "muckety-mucks" who get escorted inside and nobody cares if they beep when they go through. It's like the cell phones. Nobody is supposed to have a cell phone inside the prison gates. Unless you're "somebody" of course. Then nobody cares. You can always tell who is really important around there, because they are allowed to carry a cell phone inside. I rattle on. Sometimes I think Dilberts pointy haired boss sits in an office up in the capitol and rolls word dice to create new policy. Then there'll be a fancy memo send 'round stating "All staff members should now wear green socks (to go with our black boots and pants, of course) and the new duty uniform will include an ascot and a red beret." Let the governor come down incognito and do my job for a week. I'll bet they'd change the setting on that stupid detector. ANd the first time some inmate threw something on him, but I'd get a raise, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment