Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Games People Play

The joyful clatter of children at play. The patter of their little feet and their squeals of childish joy. The echoing thunk of a rubber ball and the whispery whisk whisk whisk of a jumprope against the concrete and foursquare courts and hopscotch grids chalked on the sidewalk. Sometimes I miss those noises. Occasionally I will stop somewhere kids are playing just to listen to the noises they make as they are having fun. Sometimes that makes going to work worthwhile. What I mostly get to hear is curses and screams, threats and often very direct sexual propositions. Sometimes those really bother me. I'm a mid-forties male with thinning grey hair and a bit of a paunch. I'm not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Although I do look awesome in hats. I will admit that. I know that they just say those things to try and get under my skin but I never let them know that sometimes it does. Usually when an offender propositions me I'll go to his cell door and look him up and down through the window and state (in a very loud voice) "No thanks, you're too tall for me, miss." and walk on as the rest of the wing razzes my poor would-be suitor. They kick on the doors as hard as they can in hopes it will either get our attention or just to annoy us and the walls of their cells are decorated with such genius missives as "FUCC THE POLLESE". That one was one of my favorites. Hell, if I could just figure out who those pollese were, I might not like them either. I told that to the offender who had written that on his walls and he just stared at me like I was completely crazy.
My father read my blog awhile ago one day while I was on a sarcastic jag and called my wife and said to her that he thought I liked my job but now that he's reading my blog, he's not so sure. She explained that one of our favoriye pastimes at work is to complain about working in a prison. He understood. It was just like being in the miltary. They could send us into a combat zone and lose our mail and be late with our chow and there wouldn't be anything we could really do about it. But the one inalienable right we had was to bitch about being in the service. And even if you loved doing what you were doing and were in a dream post, there's always something to bitch about. And while I do like my job (for the most part) and the people that I work with (for the most part) there are lots of things about working in a prison to bitch about, trust me. If we had a complaint department, most of us would never even bother getting out of line after our turn was up. We'd just walk around to the back of the line and wait to go again....


  1. You were in the military and then you got a military-like job when you got out? That's called being a lifer. I worked for the US Postal Service and got out before I killed any one. I'd never go back to that sort of thing having done it once. On the other hand the money was good.

  2. I was in the army for seven years, then I got out and was various things but mostly a sign maker for about fifteen years. Now I'm a corrections officer. When I got out of the army I swore I'd never hold another job where I had to wear underwear and shine my boots. I guess you're right. I got sentenced to twenty to retirement and I'm doing it on the installment plan.