Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once In A Blue Moon

It was an odd night. Not bad, but odd none the less.

Somebody new up in the bubble again and that always makes me nervous. I never trust new people up there.

I had heard one time that in the absence of a Sergeant in the housing unit that the bubble officer was tentatively in charge of the house.

Doesn't that mean that you should put seasoned officers in the bubble position? It stands to reason.

I know everybody has to learn sometime. But wouldn't it be better to learn somewhere besides the Hive?

I'm just saying.

So anyway, we're be-bopping around getting med pass and mainline done so we can get on with our night. I'm running around and kicking out trays and listening, as I always do, with one ear on my radio. Not really listening, but waiting for a certain tone of voice or any call with either a "5" or a "49" in it. Or anybody calling my name. I notice there's an awful lot of radio chatter going on, but nobody sounds too excited so i don't pay much attention.

I get into the office and Sgt LB says "Rev, I don't think you'll be doing any rec tonight."

I stop and say "Well, why the heck not?"

He says "Look out the window and tell me what you don't see out there."

So I look out the window and I can't see anything. I mean anything. I say "Hey! I can't see snap out there! Where are all of our................ perimeter lights?" Uh-oh.

The system went down. They closed the place down for a few hours until they fortunately managed to get it fixed. That was close.

We were already short people because of the holiday and we had to pull people from inside to go outside in more vehicles when the system went down. Thank the gawds the maintenance guys managed to get it back up and running again fairly quickly.

We managed to get a round of rec out after it came back up. Only took out a few and half of them started whining right away about how cold it was. Weenies. The other half complained because our basketball was frozen. What a bunch of crybabies.

And to top it all off, I can't even talk about the top secret thing that was found. I'm sure that nobody will ever own up to it or even admit they knew anything about it. But it is going to cast a pall over all of us down there in the Hive.

Grow a set and fess up!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's All Fun And Games

Until someone gets an eye poked out, anyway.

Nobody lost an eye but KP was assaulted in his nether regions with half a bar of soap. He wasn't seriously hurt, but we had to fill out the paperwork anyway. And it bought the offender an assault on staff charge. That is not going to look good on a resume'.

The idiot had a cadillac string that was obviously made from a torn sheet. So not only does he have contraband, he destroyed state property to make it. KP just went to the kids door and said "Give it up." He gave him the strip of sheet and then threw the bar of soap he was using for the cadillac out the chuck hole and hit KP right in Mr. Happy Land.

I was up in the bubble at the time giving the bubble guy (some new kid) a smoke break when I saw the soap fly out and hit him. I thought to myself "Oh snap, this isn't going to be good." But KP kept his cool and stayed professional the whole time. He wrote the idiot a conduct violation for contraband, destruction of property and minor assault. So I imagine this little cheese weasel will be shuffling off to a C-5 camp real soon. He's not a real ray of sunshine anyway.

Lots of laughs this evening.

That little idiot that we slammed last week? When he flooded his cell and went on suicide watch this weekend, all of the stuff in his cell got wet. And by the time he got off of suicide watch and could get his property back, pretty much none of it was left, apparently. He threw a temper tantrum about that off and on all evening. Until we started ignoring him, anyway. He finally got tired and went to sleep. Part of the problem is that he claims he had 45 stamps in his property. But his property sheet in his file says zero stamps when he came down and he didn't buy any from the canteen since he's been here. So if he did have 45 stamps in his property, they weren't his and they would be contraband. And he can't prove they were his so they won't be replaced.

Damn, it sucks to be him.

I wonder if he'll try holding his breath next? Kicking on the door and screaming profanity isn't working.

Kids nowadays!

And somebody ask the nurse how many boxes of Rice Krispies will fit in her coat pockets. I'm sure you'll get an amusing answer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where Are You From?

Just want to wander off topic here for a few minutes. I hope you don't mind.

Now that I am well into my second year of blogging here and subjecting you poor people to the sometimes nasty things I have in my head, I just want to take a moment and thank you.

And I do thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

I started doing this to clear my head. The eight hours a day I spend at work are so full of chaos and screaming and voices filled with anger and hate and discontent that sometimes I don't wonder why I don't go stark raving mad.

Then I come home and let it all flow out here and I can sleep again. It's okay.

Sometimes it does get to me. And you usually get to hear about it. Often in fine technicolor detail. Sorry about that. I do recommend not reading this on an empty stomach. Or on a full one, either, some days.

That's a little contradictory, isn't it?

It still amazes me when I come home and check my statcounter to see who has been reading my blog. I started keeping a record several months ago, listing at first, just the U.S. states, then not long after that the countries. Since I started keeping track I have had hits from every state in the U.S. and from 67 different countries.

I'm trying to collect them all. (grin)

And I look at the isp's the hits come from too. I get lots of generic hits from Charter and AOL and Time Warner and Embarq and Centurytel, Road Runner, Comcast and the like. But there are also lots of servers from schools, businesses and the military. Several banks (one even in Moscow), the FDA, the USDA, several government offices, at least one newspaper and at least once a naval operations center.

That last one was a bit startling.

The fact that I have any readers at all is still kind of startling. That anyone would take the time out of their day to read the horrible stuff that happens in a prison....... And the rantings of someone who works in one, as well.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks.

That and the fact that pretty much nothing happened today. We all came to work (well, most of us, anyway) and got to go home unscathed. The knuckleheads are still knuckleheads. Just another day in the Hive.

Sleep well.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Droppin' Dimes In The Ol' Karma Meter

I must be doing something right. Just missed out on two different uses of force yesterday. I thought it was going to go bad both times.

And then today of all things.........

I got to work and walked up to the metal detector and started dumping stuff out of my pockets. Oh snap! I realized I left my smokes and my zippo in the truck. Had the lads up front keep an eye on my gear and trotted back out to get them, all the while thinking to myself "That would have been a bad way to start the day."

When I get back in I hear "10-49! 10-49! A- yard!" over someone else's radio. Hoo boy.

If I hadn't had to walk back to my truck I would have been standing right there when the fight broke out and would have had to run and get involved. As it was, I missed it completely.

I must be doing something right.

And when I get down to the house Ms. Nancynurse is in there with some newbie nurse. She looked half scared to death. BG tells me "She just wants to do one or two cells, just so she can see how medpass is done down here!"

Yeah, right. I've fallen for that one before. I grumble and gripe and call her a pushy beeotch in front of the newbie (probably scaring her even more) and glove up to get it done.

To my immense surprise, we only do one cell's worth of meds and we're done with the demonstration.

Holy snap! You mean.... I didn't have to do the whole house? Well.................!

I must be doing something right.

And then tonight when they send Chuck this loud doofus fresh off of OJT who seems to think he knows everything to work the floor with him and we get stupid busy with lockups......

I just pretty much got to do rec.

I must be doing something right.

I have a feeling I'm going to be paying for this. If not tomorrow, the soon.

Hey, buddy! You spare a dime?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yuck

We had a food service worker down in the Hive that I didn't like very much. Aside from the fact that he was lazy and sloppy, he was also one of those whose flame burns way too bright.

Not that I have anything against anybody's legal sexual preferences, mind you. But I do dislike having them right in my face. And this idiot was in everybody's face.

Anyway, KP spotted him palming something the other night and told him to come back. And he kept going up the walk. KP told him to stop again and he kept going and tried to kick something under a cell door.

I wasn't there and I don't know the whole situation, but if it had been me I would probably have hosed him at that point. My interpretation.

What he was trying to kick under the door was a "bullet" of tobacco and rolling papers. They caught him dead to rights and cuffed him up. Big Mess and BG got the onerous task of stripping him out and searching him.

Yuck. Largely overweight and fairly nasty. Several rolls of fat. Big Mess said it was like trying to search Jabba the Hutt. Ew.

And they found more and more stuff on him the more they searched and had him lift body parts. BG said "It was like Fibber McGee's closet! More stuff just kept falling out!"

Ack.

I'm glad I missed that one.

Had a couple of close calls tonight. That little knucklehead we slammed last week decided to go on suicide watch. I guess it's all part of his master plan to get out of C-wing. he threw water all over his cell and kept his tray and told Chuck he was feeling suicidal. I figured he was going to get squirrely just as soon as we pulled him out of the cell. He didn't, tho.

Chuck and Sausage striped him out and left him naked in the cell. He started screaming "Hey! You have to give me a smock and blanket!"

I said "We don't have any." Which was true, at the moment. We had five offenders on suicide watch and all of the other smocks and blankets were dirty. We do laundry Monday mornings and get the stuff back monday afternoons. We had no clean smock to give him.

Fortunately (I guess) I had seen this coming and sent two smocks up to medical for an emergency washing. We can do that now and then.

I told him "In an hour or two when we get some clean ones, you'll get a smock."

He wasn't real happy about that.

And some other knucklehead try and hold a chuck hole hostage and then try to run out of the cell on me. That almost went bad but we managed to keep it contained. Just barely.

I was glad to see the end of this night.

I was glad about several things tonight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas The Night Before Christmas

And all through the house
All the critters were stirring......

I'll just stop right there.

That was going to get ugly.

Suffice to say that we got through the night and nobody got hurt. None of us, anyway.

That little prick we hammered last night is still running his mouth behind the door. Imagine that. He's going to be a continuing problem until we can get him transferred to a C-5 camp.

Then he can be someone else's problem. That used to bother me but I'm okay with it now.

I'd never admit it to that little creep, but I'm stiff and sore from that little ruckus yesterday. I do suspect that I'm getting too old to play with the big boys anymore.

But I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I can. Even though I always end up getting banged up, I enjoy it too much to quit now. Even doing the paperwork is amusing, at times.

Well, I am going to settle in for a long winters nap. You do the same.

Have a good christmas. be nice to somebody who deserves it.

I'll see you again sunday.

Crushed Hopes

It was a case of "Tiny little object meets an unstoppable force."

So anyway, this little idiot got it in his head that he was supposed to have a phone call last night. Started kicking and screaming.

Chuck and I actually checked his file and the computer. He was so pathetic I think we felt kind of sorry for him.

He had nothing coming. Told him he would get a phone call on saturday morning, just like everybody else.

Apparently that wasn't good enough for him.

We didn't think anything more of it and took out the few who wanted to go out to rec. Figured the situation was over.

Nope.

About half an hour later Sgt LB comes out and says "The Lt wants you to bring rec in early. We have a situation that we have to deal with right now." The crew comes out and helps us get the inmates put back into their cells and we assemble in the sally port. Me, Chuck, Big Mess, KP, Sgt LB and Lt Strong.

Sarge says "This idiot is demanding a phone call and he is holding his cellie hostage until he gets it. Captain says we go in and get him out right now. No time for a movement team. We are the team."

I look around at the crew. Once again, I am the smallest guy. 6', 185. Chuck, 6'1" maybe 190. KP, 6' 220. Sgt LB, 6'1" 250. Big Mess, 6'2" close to 275. And Lt Strong, 5'8" 225 with a bodybuilders physique. Biceps like small bowling balls. I try to remember what that knucklehead in the cell looks like. Maybe 5'4" and about 120 pounds.

Ooooooooo..... this is going to hurt.

We go to the cell and tell him to cuff up. He refuses. Tell his cellie (who is up on the top bunk trying to look very small) to cuff up. Knucklehead tells his cellie "If you get down off that bunk, I'll beat your a**!"

Little dipsnap has soaped his floor, hoping we would slip on it and has pillows strapped to his arms, of all things.

Lt Strong says "Open the door." Showtime.

The door pops open and we go in. KP is first, with Big Mess right behind him. Idiot kid takes a swing at KP and they dogpile him into the back wall. By the time I get in there all I see is a wall of blue and white shirts and black pants. I look down and through a little gap I see a leg wearing inmate gray. Eureka! I grab hold of that sucker and set to pulling on it. Trying my best to make it into a little pretzel.

The kid goes down and he's still fighting. Somebody says "Spray him." I look up through the tangle of arms and legs and bodies. I have no shot. Then I hear it........ "Psssshhhhhht!" Ah... the sound of pepper spray. I love it.

Numbnuts starts immediately screaming. "Aaaaah! I inhaled some of that! I'm dying! Give me a drink of water! Please!" What an idiot. He screams all the way out of the wing, with Big Mess and KP toting him like a cheap suitcase.

Sgt LB, Chuck and I look up at his cellie. He's still huddled in the corner. Chuck says "Get down here." The kid flies off the bunk so fast I thought we might have to go again. He turns around and cuffs up and walks docilely out of the cell and sits calmly on the restraint bench.

I nip over to C-wing and the idiot is still crying "Please uncuff me! Please! Give me some water! Give me a shower! I'm dying! Please uncuff me!" And he's shaking so hard they are having trouble getting the cuffs off.

What a fool. I don't imagine he will be trying that again any time soon.

And of course Captain Crane was the shift supervisor. Mister Kill A Tree For Corrections.

Five hours later we get the paperwork done and get to go home.

Nice.

Good And Bad Day

Sorry. Started out having a really crappy day.

My computer got a virus I can't seem to kill.

There was an accident on the way to work and everybody else was in way more than a hurry than I was. They wouldn't let me turn off to get around it.

I was almost late.

Then we got into a use of force on some idiot and the paperwork took four hours.

I got two and a half hours overtime.

Had to get on the wife's 'puter just to write this quick note.

Hopefully I will be a back up tomorrow to tell about it in depth.

I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Rain Gods Hate Me

I got up this morning and looked at the weather. It said "chance of rain- 90%". I gave an evil chuckle and slowly rubbed my withered hands together and said (in my best Montgomery Burns voice) "Excellent".

It looked like it would be a good day for rec.

All morning I kept a watch out the window and it was getting gloomier and gloomier.

Got to work and it wasn't raining yet, so we decided to stay in. Which was good, because it was the usual Tuesday Madness. We hustled hard to get caught back up again. We only got slightly screwed by day shift this time.

So, after everything else was done and it was time to do some rec, I looked outside and it wasn't raining yet. I told Chuck "Let's hold off for a little bit. We'll get these other things done first and then do some rec." About half an hour later Lieutenant Strong came down and his coat was wet.

Yes!!! Now it's time.

Went a round the wing and said "It's raining, do you want to go outside?"

Got alot of refusals and got completely through B-wing.

Went outside and it had stopped raining. Pfui.

Went back inside and it started raining again.

Went back out and it quit. What the snap?

And guess what it started doing just as soon as it was time to go home? Yup.

The rain gods hate me. What did i ever do to them?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm Not A Big Dude

I was watching an episode of "Lockup" on MSNBC the other night. They were showing the Adseg unit in some prison somewhere. All of the staff there looked like bodybuilders. Most of the guys had upper arms the size of my thighs and the one woman they had on their crew looked like she could take Rocky Balboa in a single round.

Me, I'm 6' tall and weight 185 pounds. I'm not a weightlifter. I work out with 5 pound weights when I do work out, looking for more tone than mass. Just trying to keep in a little shape and not get flabby.

As Sgt LB pointed out, except for Ms Maybe up in the bubble, I'm the smallest guy on the crew. Heck, she might even have me by a few pounds, but I wouldn't even suggest that to her face. I suspect that Big Mess might have the spot for biggest with BG right behind him. It would be close and I would hate to see those two arm wrestle. I'm sure the table wouldn't survive the bout. Even KP has me on height and size. Not bad for an old fart.

But as Sgt Brigadier pointed out the other day when he was down in the Hive, it's not what you can do, but what you will do. I have seen great big guys who weren't work a tinkers damn in a scrap. I, however, have the tendency to dive right in to a dustup, heedless of any possible consequences.

I'm sure that is going to get me seriously hurt one of these days.

But on the other hand, the offenders know that even though I am not the biggest guy on the crew I am the one most likely to introduce someone to Officer Concrete. If I am going to get into a mess, I want it to end as quickly as possible and they know if they go up against me they are going to end up getting all banged up. I don't fool around when it comes to that sort of thing. If I have to put my hands on one of them, it's usually going to go bad.

After a use of force, the Lieutenants and Captains always want to second-guess what we did. "Why did you do it that way?" My answer is always "It needed to be done and I did it the quickest way I could think of. It needed to stop and I stopped it."

That doesn't make me a bada**. I don't really like having to do it. For the most part.

I just like to be efficient, I guess.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Banner Day For Rec!

It was just one of those days when everything fell together. And the fact that it was blue cold outside didn't hurt anything either.

We did two days rec in one evening and even stopped early. Did the whole house in three rounds. Just amazing. That hasn't happened in a long time.

It's almost too bad that someone decided that we can only ask them once a day. We could have gotten a good start on the second round as well. Ah, well. I'm pretty sure we will be done or almost done with the second round tomorrow.

This is the time of year when it pays to have the rec job. Sure, you have to stay out on the rec yard for up to an hour at a time in the nasty weather. But when it's nasty very few of them want to go out and when they do, they rarely ever stay the whole hour.

And once in awhile I get to put one of them in their place. Make them lose a little face in front of the homies and it humbles them a little. They will all decide it's too cold and start crying to come in. And almost every time one of them will yell "Hey! Hurry the f*ck up and take us in!" Or something along those lines.

Ooooooo. Bad idea.

I'll stop what I am doing, look at my watch and say "You got forty more minutes." and go sit back down. Then I get to hear some of the others say "Man! Now we're screwed! I told you not to talk to him like that, stupid!"

After a few minutes the one with the mouth will apologize and say please and I'll let them go back inside where it's warm.

I'm a cruel bastard like that. It's a small ego trip.

But we did good today. It almost makes up for the months we have to struggle and work our butts off to get rec done. This is our vacation time. Sort of.

And on the plus side, I managed to recover almost all of the files I lost when my 'puter crashed last week. That was a very good thing.

Sometimes I have good days. This was one of them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just Say No!

We found drugs. Didn't find any tacos.

Dammick!

Started out a pretty typical day, for the most part. Sgt Banty, the day shift Hive Sarge, had made a few changes in the way things were run and it seemed to be working out good. I hope it stays that way. Don't want there to be any more rumors of animosity going around.

Anyway, I heard the Falcon out on A-yard calling for his cohorts to come to his location. He sounded kind of excited. And when the Falcon gets excited, things get interesting. I stepped outside to see if I could see anything and I saw the three of them heading my way at a pretty good trot. I thought they were coming to the Hive and I was thinking "WTSnap? Where are they going?" Then they turned off to go down towards the library. Stopped a guy on the sidewalk and patted him down. Then they put cuffs on him and took him away. By then Sgt Banty had come out to smoke. He looked up at me and in that slow drawl of his he said "Looks like we're getting a lockup, ya think?" I just grinned.

They bring they guy down and are stripping him out and he reaches into his boxers and hands the officer doing the strip search something wrapped in toilet paper. Turns out to be a syringe with still a little bit of what we suspect might be heroin. He's known to be a user.

I'm glad I wasn't the one who stripped him out. I hate handling evidence.

They decide to lock up a few of his cronies under investigation and while they are packing their property they find another syringe hidden inside a pillow. Don't know if it had anything in it or not.

They also decide to lock up some guy from B-side who is a known associate and while he is being escorted down to the Hive, something falls out of his pant leg. A little round package about the size of my index finger. I hear it was marijuana and cocaine. What an odd combination.

He claims it didn't fall out of his pantleg and he's never seen it before.

Imagine that.

So I imagine we are going to be stuck with these guys for awhile.

Several hours later we start getting property for these guys from their houses. We figured it took so long because they were carefully searching everything for more contraband. We open up the bundles and Big Mess looks down and sees.... a state coat! Why did they send that? He can't have that down here. I open up another one and find OTC meds for one offender in another offenders property. Big Mess finds a big bottle of shower gel. Can't have that. I find a roll-on deodorant in a white plastic bottle. Can't have that.

Who packed this stuff? The papers all say TJ. He knows better than that! TJ used to work the Hive. SO I call the house to give him what fer. Turns out he had Miss Trainwreck working with him down there packing property and by the way, did we happen to find a clip board with property sheets on it in one of those bundles? Miss Trainwreck was in charge of the clipboard and now she can't find it.

I understand now. Sorry TJ! No, we didn't find the clipboard. Good luck, buddy! Just take a deep breath and remind yourself shift will be over soon. Tomorrow she will be someone else's problem.

So the good thing was we managed to get rid of a little bit of the drugs on camp and lock away a few of the kingpins of crime. The bad news is I'm sure we didn't put a dent in the supply.

We do try, tho.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blown Out Of Proportion

There's something about this job and maybe the people that get drawn to corrections that on occasion makes them want to blow things completely out of proportion.

There was an incident last night with old Dip Set up in C-wing. They were doing med pass and since his door was open and he had a captive audience, he decided to proselytize a little bit.

And just a little bit of his proselytizing goes a long way, believe me. Plus he tends to eat toothpaste alot so it looks like he has got rabies or something.

Anyway, he's standing there at the door and he has his meds in his hand and is ranting and raving just as fast as he can because he knows any second they are going to shut his door and his audience is going to walk away. While he is in the midst of his vociferous rant, a fleck of spittle flies out of his mouth and hits Miss Nancynurse on the cheek. He didn't do it on purpose, it just happened.

Well, body fluid contact with an inmate is rather a big deal in prison. Understandably. A report was made, both on paper and verbally to the lieutenant. Nancynurse washed her face. And since it was an accident, we all figured the thing was done.

That's what we get for thinking.

During the night or in the morning, someone saw the report of the incident and misread what was said. It looked like he intentionally spit on the nurse and that we did nothing about it.

And as soon as we got there the snit hit the fan.

Well, other things were going on at the time, but it was trouble enough.

The bastards made me run again. Called a 10-5 down in the Hive just as Chuck came in and was getting a snack for his lunch. We both dropped our stuff and headed for the door. I had to dodge around a lieutenant who wasn't moving fast enough. Almost knocked him down. And we ran almost all the way from central to the Hive before they said 10-6. An inmate got a bad case of the stupids and ended up getting sprayed and slammed. No staff were injured.

So there we both are, already all sweaty and out of breath before our shift actually began. And we had to walk all the way back up to central to get our stuff and then trudge back down to the Hive to get to work.

And the first thing they do in the middle of all this is get hold of Sarge and KP and make them spend the best part of an hour writing paperwork about what happened. And then Sarge had to got up to the Majors office and spend almost two hours explaining what his paperwork said.

All that work to explain something that didn't happen. A non-incident.

We try to tell them when things happen just to keep them in the loop so they will feel important. But sometimes I wonder why we even tell them anything at all. What we should do is unplug the phone, lock the gates and when they come down we will just shout "We got this! Go away! If we need you we will call you!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Split Personality

Something that happened tonight.... I don't remember what exactly it was, whether it was something I said or someone else did or what. It had me laughing so hard I almost piddled myself.

I get that way now and then.

When Vinnie worked the Hive he would just look at me and shake his head and say "You do get tickled, sometimes."

I've come to the realization that working in the Hive is alot like having a personality disorder. You have to be OCD about getting the routine things done every day. You have to do the same things at the same time every day or you get off of your routine and you forget things. And you have to do things the same every day or it upsets the inmates and disorders their fragile little worlds.

You have to have a split personality and you have to able to change from one to the other at the drop of a hat. You go from being a kindly uncle or religious advisor to being Randy "Macho Man" Savage and ready to jump off the top rope onto someones head. A walk through a wing will have you saying the following things one after another:

"1:30"
"Yes"
"So's your mother!"
"I'll see what I can do."
"Go pound sand out your a**!"
"I've read that book, it's a good one. One of his best."
"Yes, it's still 1:30!"
"No, not yet. Maybe later."
"You aren't supposed to be touching him like that!"
"Pardon me? It's ah...... 1:30."
"Go frack yourself."
"You did? Well, don't do that. It hurts."
"Well, ho-dee-do-dah-day! Aint you just a little genius!"
"Sure thing, just as soon as I see him."
"Aww... did I hurt your little feelings?"
"Well, gee! Look at that! It's 1:30!"
"If you would learn to keep your hands to yourself you wouldn't be in here, dumb a**!"
"Damn, I'm sorry. If you need to talk to someone, let me know."
"Last time I looked, it was 1:30, but it seems like that was ten years ago."

And on and on and on......

And we seem to be a little manic-depressive at times. You get pissed off and ready for a fight if it becomes necessary and when it's past the next funny thing someone says is just freaking hilarious. Even if it wasn't really that funny.

I imagine this experience is twisting me in some strange ways. I'll probably end up having to retire to some little unabomber shack way out in the woods so I won't come in contact with regular people and frighten them with my odd adseg ways.

I suspect my days as a social butterfly are probably at an end. Ah, well.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Disturbing Person

We did a 2:00pm rec round in C-wing today. We asked everybody in the wing who could go and we only got four of them, so that was all we took. One of them was enough.

We haven't had him down in the Hive for awhile. I refer to him as Dip Set. That seems to be one of his favorite phrases. As a matter of fact, he had that written all over his clothes and when he took his shirt off out on the rec yard, he started writing it on his stomach.

Dip Set is a large man. Six-two or three and about 265 pounds, all of it pretty much solid muscle. He looks alot like Michale Clarke Duncan (see above), the actor who played Kingpin in the Daredevil movie, among other things. Someone told me once that before he went crazy and came to prison he tried out for a few pro football teams. I believe it. Strong as hell and crazy as a bag of leaky doorknobs.

He talks so fast and so constantly that by the time you have absorbed the meaning of one sentence he is several paragraphs past you. You would have to slow him down to be an auctioneer.

Here's a small example of the stuff he was rattling off out on the yard this afternoon:

"You better get some islam in you, bit*h! Take this book and read it and you better have something suave to say every time I ask you! You watch westerns? I'm Little Joe, bit*h! You better believe it! Tupac? Wrapped around the sun, always saying the same old sh*t like Ho ho ho ho ho? I'm not Jesus. He's not the man he says he is."

On and on and on..... there was lots more, but I can't write that fast. Hell, I can't even listen that fast! He did that for the whole hour we were out there. Sometimes softly to himself and sometimes at the top of his lungs at passing cars.

A very crazy and dangerous person. Three of us had to wrestle with him once and it wasn't a whole lot of fun, lemme tell you. It was an experience I hope never to have to repeat.

Fortunately for me, he likes me. When he recognizes me, anyway. It seems there are times when nobody but him inhabits his world. But luckily he is easily sidetracked. When he is on a tear sometimes all it takes is for someone to shout "Dip Set!" or his other favorite "Freestyle, bit*h!" and he's back on this planet and off on another track.

I just hope they get him back on his meds and on track again real soon. He worries me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Making Demands

There are ways of getting what you want from me. If it is legal and within policy, anyway. If you ask me once, and politely, I will try.

However, kicking your door and making demands is not on that list.

That little jackass that I slammed out on the rec yard a couple of weeks ago got himself moved out of C-wing the other day. I don't know who moved him or why. It was a bad idea.

Anyway, he got Chucks attention this evening and basically told him that he wanted to check in from his cellie. When Chuck questioned him further he found out that he wants to be moved in with one of our flamers over in B-wing. He was told that that person was in a cell by himself and was going to stay in a cell by himself. He was not going to be moved in with him, period.

Later on while Chuck and some new guy were doing med pass, this nitwit starts kicking on his door screaming that he had a medical emergency. Sgt Miz P knows this nimrod is trouble so she went into the wing with me. The conversation went like this:

Me: Is there a problem here?
Nitwit: I don't want to talk to you. I want to talk to Sarge!
Me: I'm asking you, is there a problem here?
Nitwit: I'm not talking to you! Let me talk to the sarge!

I looked at her and she shook her head and walked away. I did the same thing. He started kicking his door. I really felt like saying (in a very loud voice) "So you have decided you are in love with another man and you think Sarge is going to move you in with him? I don't think so!"

But that would have felt good so I knew I shouldn't say things like that. I didn't. But I sure thought about it.

Sarge told Chuck and the new guy and the nurse not to open that door or even the chuck hole for any reason. They didn't and he was still in there making demands as I left. I'm sure midnight shift will move him. That's what they do. But hopefully not where he wants to go. I hope thay have that much sense.

But I do wonder sometimes.

Sarge and I have a good arrangement. If an inmate wants something, they talk to one of us first. If they can't tell us what they want, then she won't listen to them at all. because if one of us doesn't think it's a good idea, then it's not happening. Period.

I'm sure this idiot is going to end up getting someone else hurt before we manage to get him transferred to a C-5 camp where he belongs. He's just young and stupid enough that he doesn't really realize how bad he is screwing up his life.

Let's just hope we can keep him from killing someone before he learns the lesson.

But I have my doubts about that, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sick Day Post

Actually, I think I made myself sick. AT first when i got up and realized that my system had crashed I was just mad and started doing a recovery.

Then when the full import of what I had just lost sunk in I started feeling sick to my stomach and after awhile it became real and I was sick. Sick enough that I stayed home from work.

I don't normally do that.

Like I have said many times at work, my last name is not french and it's not pronounced Dumas. I can't believe I went that long without a backup.

I lost everything. Bookmarks, pictures, games, documents. Stories I had written. designs and plans for projects, the whole ball of wax.

Hopefully it has taught me a lesson and I'll start backing up to my external drives now and then, so this won't happen again.

Just Mad

My puter crashed this morning. Lost everything I didn't have backed up in my external hard drives. Bookmarks and everything. I am just not happy at all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blue A**ed Cold

Cold cold cold. I think at the moment it is about 19 degrees outside and the wind is gusting about 20 mph. Cold cold cold.

Chucky was out today so they sent me Sausage. He's okay, but he talks my ear off and makes me just a little crazy. But he works and knows what to do almost anywhere and he's a good cat in a pinch. If something were going down I'd like to have him at my back. As long as it didn't involve any stealth, anyway. He clatters like the bell on a runaway mule 24/7.

We didn't get to do any rec yesterday so I figured we had to do some tonight. Started out in A-wing at 1 cell. Got all the way to A-25 and only had two inmates who wanted to go outside. Most of them just said "No", but I got a few "Are you fuc*ing crazy?". We continued on into B-wing and I went as far as B-12 before I stopped.

I got five victims, that was enough. They didn't get it when they said they wanted to go outside and I gave them that evil grin and said "Sucker!" They thought I was kidding.

I wasn't kidding.

As soon as we got the outside door open they started yelling "Holy sh*t! It's cold out here! I want to go back inside!" But it was too late, much too late by then. Got them locked into the cages and I went up to stand behind the door out of the wind and smoke.

They lasted six minutes. They cried to go back in the whole time. When I finished my smoke I decided to relent and take them back in. As I was putting on my gloves, one of them started yelling "Hurry the fu*k up!"

Oops. Wrong.

I looked at my watch and said "We have 54 minutes to go yet."

He immediately said "I'm sorry sir. Can we go in now?"

I guess I'm a softie. besides, I was a bit chilly myself, but I wasn't going to let it show. We came back in and called it a night for rec.

Other than that, it wasn't a bad night, for a change. There was some silliness earlier, but i think I'll save that for another post. Maybe tomorrow.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Batting Cleanup

There's something about being on third shift. Since it's considered the last shift of the day, people expect you to clean up the messes that have happened earlier. I don't mind that.

Most of the time.

But the crap that was handed to us today was beyond ridiculous. Bordering on the purposefully malicious.

I'm not going into alot of details here. Partly because I'm still mad about it and I don't want to get into the whole "blogging rage" thing. And partly because it would take too long. Sgt LB had me write up a list of the stuff that was screwed up and the Readers Digest version took me twenty minutes to write.

Let's just suffice to say that I think they managed to eat lunch without hurting themselves. But aside from that, everything else was screwed up.

And the one actual assigned officer that was there running the desk and tracking the numbers was the first one out the door when KP showed up.

I knew the evening was going to be a waste.

Do I expect too much? Am I a jerk for insisting people do their job? Probably.

I am almost hopeful that they will delete my position so I can go somewhere else and make this someone else's problem. But I do like my job when I am able to do it. And I have enough trouble making up for my own stupidity, thank you. I don't need yours.

You know who you are.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Suspect They're All Insane

I'm giving them all that look. The one that says "Okay, you people are completely batsnit."

We heard some confirmation from the Major today. He came down to visit the Hive and stayed in the office and chatted with Sgt Miz P for almost an hour. The big cheeses up in the capital have decreed that we must cut both positions and personnel.

Yet, when I came in this afternoon there were two more new hires hanging out at the front desk.

WTF?

If they are cutting personnel, why are they hiring more people?

He said they want to cut three Sergeants. Yet last week we got permission to promote one COI to sergeant to fill an empty slot.

Again, WTF?

Does he just get to be a sergeant for two or three weeks? And what happens afterwords? Does he get demoted or fired?

We had to cut one lieutenant position yet they just transferred another lieutenant from another camp and still a third camp is short one and they won't transfer anyone there or let them promote one.

WT holy F?

Who in gawds name is running this freak show and what the snap have they been smoking?

I guess this is just another example of why I am not management material. I would try to make my decisions make sense and nobody else would understand me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rumors Of An Axe

I reported a few weeks ago about rumors of staff cuts. The rumors are now flying faster and getting thicker.

Apparently some egghead did a survey or a study or made some wild guesses and came up with a solution to our states financial problem. He pointed at us and said "Cut X number of jobs here and all will be well." And the people in the capital bowed down to his obvious wisdom and showered him with bonus checks for his fine work. They in turn called the warden and told him "Cut X number of jobs!" The warden in turn told the major who in turn told the captains to find this number of positions to be cut from our staff.

Rumor has it that my and BG's slots are up to the chopping block. I'm not sure, but more and more people are coming up to me and saying "I'm sorry to hear about your spot. Where will you go? And where will BG go?"

I don't know if they are cutting personnel or positions. They seem to be under the impression that day shift can do rec as well as anything else that comes up during the day.

Personally, I can't see that happening. Day shift can barely get their own work done most days without leaving a mess for evenings to clean up.

Supposedly there is going to be a big meeting with the big cheeses on the 15th of this month and they are going to decide just what gets cut.

And when a position gets cut, they give whoever just lost their spot 90 days to find another position or they will get "placed" in one at the majors discretion. I glanced at the open bids today and there are maybe five COI spots open right now. If the rumors are true and they cut 20-something positions, that will make about four people for each. Or, the sixteen people with the least amount of seniority will just get screwed.

I'm a little worried, right about now.

And things are heating up inside the prison. We just had two more stabbings the other day and the number of shanks being found is increasing at an alarming rate.

And they want to cut staff?

I say lets plop that egghead "expert" down in the middle of the yard. When he looks around and sees no staff out there to protect him, do you think he'll change his mind?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's Play.......

The Check-In game! Sgt LB calls it "Musical Motherfuc*ers". Oh yeah...... you wanna see a bunch of really really pissed off Hive officers? Start playing this game.

Let's get two rules straight right from the beginning:

1. This house is not a dating service.
and
2. If you piss me off enough, I am going to make you regret it.

Tonight we were busy as hell. Only three or four lockups, but three r&o's from other camps right off the bus and two outcount returns.

And as soon as my crew hit the door the check in notes started flying.

If an inmate sends out a note that says "I am in fear for my life" we have to move him out of the cell as soon as possible. They all know that and do it often trying to get into a cell with someone they want to be in with.

Like any loophole in the system, they abuse it.

Tonight they over-abused it.

I don't think any of them actually got where they wanted to be. We work hard to try and avoid giving them what they want. On occasion we mess up, but it happens.

We were so busy and things were so nuts for the first three hours of the shift I don't think I managed to smoke or sit down once in that time. That gawd KP and BG were there. BG kept the food service thing going and KP stopped me from breaking a few of the inmates, I think.

We were getting a little testy. And I am actually surprised we got through the night without having to thump anybody.

KP and I managed to sneak out for a smoke about 7:30, I think. The first one of the night.

Whew! I'm glad it's friday. Being on days for the beginning of the week has got me alll screwed up.

I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Training: Day Three

Ooops! I forgot to post last night. Dang.

We went out to the range and it was wet and cold and pretty much miserable. Not that shooting something isn't fun, but when you can no longer feel your fingers it gets to be kind of a drag.

I always keep one of those chemical hand warmer packs in my right hand pocket to keep my trigger hand warm and flexible. It helps some, but not enough when it is that cold and wet outside.

By the time I got home my feet were wet and I was cold and feeling pretty worn out. I stripped off my coveralls and crawled into a hot bathtub (no bubbles) with a smoke, a book and an irish coffee. Half an hour later I got out feeling much warmer and so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open until my daughter toddled off to bed at nine.

We spent the morning in the classroom, first hearing a talk about the sex offender program, then the role of medical services and finally mental health and suicide intervention.

I worked hard (really I did!) to keep my mouth shut but I wasn't always successful. And once or twice when I wanted to say something and managed to choke it back, a snort still came out my nose. Sgt LB (sitting next to me) would say "Just stop." and everyone else would look at me waiting for the comment. At that point I would clap my hands over my mouth and shake my head so the class could continue.

I guess I have a reputation.

At least the state has gotten rid of those ridiculous glock pistols and we are down to only the shotguns now. In my opinion, those things were just an accident waiting to happen. 'Nuff said!

We fired the shotguns with a group of officers from the camp up north and since they are special and have further to drive to get back, they got to fire first. No biggie, it happens every year. A few of them stayed to help clean up afterwords. That was nice of them.

I'm not a gun nut. At this point in my life I don't even own a gun. But I do like them and I enjoy shooting. If I had the time and place, I would go out and target shoot all the time. I don't have the patience to be a hunter. If I am going out in the boonies with a weapon, I am going to put a hundred rounds downrange before I go home. I will frack something up before I leave, whether it be paper targets or old coffee cans, I will send them to paradise well ventilated.

So I enjoyed the actual shooting part. It wasn't very challenging. I managed to hit five targets twice with ten rounds. From what? Thirty feet or so? I could have thrown the shotgun from there and hit the targets. But I got to shoot something and that satisfied the primal hunter/killer part of my lizard brain. It was enough.

My training is over for the year. I am now, once again, fully qualified to do my job. Yee haw.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Taining: Day Two

I am now a certified Defensive Tactics master. Feet of fury and fists of death. Picture if you will an old ninja dressed in polyester. That's me.

Actually, I'm lucky I got through it without hurting myself or someone else. I had Unk as my partner again and we managed to give each other a break. He was respectful of my sore knees and I was respectful of his brittle bones.

I always walk out of DT class feeling like I know what to do when a crisis happens. Then I get in a use of force and end up slamming somebody and afterwords I think "I didn't use any of that stuff!"

And it's true. I can only think of a few cases where I actually used anything I learned in that class. I usually use whatever it takes to stay within the letter of policy and end the situation just as fast as I possibly can. I suspect that it helped me refine what technique I do have into something faster. My favorite combination is leverage and concrete with a dash of pepper spray.

Hey, whatever works, right?

On an unrelated note, that slick basticule of a training officer we have talked me into doing something decent and against my better wishes. We have a Field Training Officer program here. When new people come in for ojt, they get assigned for a day to an FTO to work in one assignment or another. The FTO sees to it that they get properly trained on how to work in that area.

Pretty much they just say "See that guy over there? Go follow him around today and do whatever he tells you to do and try not to break anything."

I've been avoiding that job for at least two years.

But Slick, our training officer, comes up to me and says "The Lt says I should talk to you."

I'm thinking "Oh snap! He's pissed off about that thing during CPR class!" I'm running around in my head trying to come up with some justification for acting the fool.

He says "The Lt says that down in the Hive you are the guy to go to. You've been down there the longest (I haven't) and you know how to do everything (aw, shucks) and you would make a great FTO."

Say what?

The surly basticule with the foul mouth and the bad attitude about authority and the extremely low tolerance for stupidity? And you want me to train the future generations? Are you out of your mind?

Well, okay.

I agreed to it. I'm still not sure why. I guess I'm just glad he only sold me that and didn't move on to used cars or oceanfront property or timeshares.

He's a slick talker. A good dude, but you have to watch him.

So one of these days they'll set me up with some more training and I'll get to learn how to train other people in how to do my job.

I just hope that at the end of the day they don't want to run screaming home to mommy. Some days in the Hive are like that.

So tomorrow: more classroom and the shotguns! If I don't post tomorrow you'll know what happened.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Training: Day One

Well, I still don't like getting up early in the morning. Why not make the day shift people stay up late instead? We could rotate every three years as to whose shift training happens on. Okay, it would be a little hard to shoot in the dark, but odds are if someone is going to try to escape, they are going to try it at night, right?

Sheeikes. They'd never go for that. It was an idea.

So our first day was taken up with CPR/AED class in the morning and Defensive Tactics in the afternoon. The CPR stuff is taken right out of the Red Cross handbook, almost word for word. With the occasional exception to the rules that pertain to working in a prison. That old double-edged sword that always hangs over our heads for choosing this profession.

If we do CPR on an inmate and he dies, we will probably get sued but the state claims it will back us up. If we don't do CPR on an inmate and he dies, we will definitely get sued and the state definitely won't back us up. Being at the bottom of the food chain does have it's drawbacks.

And for some reason I always end up with the group of troublemakers in CPR class. I'm not exactly sure why, I think they just gravitate to me. After we had all demonstrated our proficiency with the chest compressions and rescue breaths, our Resusci-Annie ended up with her hands folded behind her head wearing a pair of sunglasses and with an unlit cigarette between her cold, still latex lips.

The Lt that was the instructor was none too pleased. Luckily for me, I had been practicing my innocent look and managed to pull it off just this once.

It was a close call, tho.

This afternoon we went over some basic defensive tactics maneuvers. Breaking holds and doing come-alongs and things like that. They have trimmed the actual physical part of the training down so we don't do the more dangerous stuff anymore. I guess too many people were getting broken in training so they decided to go easy on us for awhile.

I got lucky and snagged Unk as my partner. He's a bit older than I am but still mean as a rattlesnake and no more interested in damaging himself that I was, so we made a perfect team. We practiced the moves without hurting each other and that was my entire goal for the day. My left knee is still scabby and pretty bruised and sore. I kept it wrapped up with an ace bandage and was careful about where I put it and how I moved.

So day one is down the tubes.

Tomorrow is some more defensive tactics testing and I think a short class about how to prevent offender suicides. I hope they got someone else to teach it this year. That poor woman who taught it the last few years used to flinch whenever she would see me in her class. Again, I really don't know why. I try to be an active part in the class and participate in the discussions. Isn't that the point?

Anyway, we'll see what tomorrow bring, shall we?

I'm sure when that friggin' alarm goes off at 6:00 am I'll be in a much better mood.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dirty Business

This is what I had planned on writing about thursday before all the excitement broke out. I wouldn't have minded just writing about silliness.

BG and I were out on the rec yard thursday afternoon, just enjoying what sunshine there was and listening with one ear to the knuckleheads and with the other ear on the radio. We heard one of the yard dogs call the Lieutenant on shift and tell him to go to channel two. I immediately switched to channel two, just because I'm nosy.

Here's how the conversation went:

LT: 19 on channel two.

YD: Yeah, Lt, I got the biohazard guys coming down here to my location.

LT: What's going on?

YD: They need to do a cleanup. Someone went number two down here by the canteen!

LT: (suppressing chuckles) 10-4!

BG looked at me and said (with a completely straight face, as usual) "I guess it's an editorial comment on their prices!"

I rolled. It was a good way to start the day. And I was pretty happy that I wasn't on the yard at that point.

So anyway, I'm posting early today because I have to be in training at 8:00 am tomorrow morning and I'm coming home and going straight to bed hopefully. They ripped me off on my days off for training this year and I won't be getting any extra time off to make up for the switch in shifts. Skeezy basticules.

Our training has been slashed from five days down to three. They are jamming everything we need to know into three days. So I get to work today, go to training the next three days and go back to shift on thursday. My inner clock is going to be all screwed up. And they are predicting rain and snow on wednesday when we are supposed to be out on the range with the shotguns.

Snappy.

I'll try to keep you appraised of what is going on and another inside view of our training program.

Don't touch that dial!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

All Banged Up Again

In case you can't tell, those ugly things are my knees. And, like I really needed any help in that department, they got a bit uglier tonight. Why do they have to make concrete so hard?

We were out on the rec yard, BG and I, just doing some rec like we always do. Even though it's a holiday, rec must go on. You know how it goes. Just another night in the Hive.

We had six offenders out there, A,B,C,D,E, and F. Offenders A and F were having a few harsh words between each other, but since they were in separate cages at opposite ends of the rec yard, we didn't think too much of it. Apparently Offender F had observed Offender A putting something unsavory in his mouth while they were in the county lockup together. Offender A denied this vehemently, but F was pretty sure it was him. Me, I just filed it away in my mental drawer. Offender A is the mouthy little punk that waggled his winkie at Chuck the other night.

Anyway, we got them all cuffed up and out of the cages and since we thought there might be trouble between A and F, I was down at one end and BG was up at the other trying to make sure we kept them apart. We usually don't even have to discuss this sort of thing. It happens alot.

While we are watching A and F to make sure they don't get together, Offender C suddenly rushes at F and shoulder checks him, almost knocking him down and smacks him in the chin with his elbow. I yell at them to break it up and C keeps going, so I grabbed him by the arm. C tries to pull away and go after F again so I planted him pretty hard on the concrete.

My knees hit the concrete some milliseconds later, much to my regret. Unfortunately, the kid was taller than me and probably outweighed me by thirty or forty pounds so it took a bit of oomph to get him tipped over and down to the ground.

As soon as he was down I had one hand on his chest and the other on my pepper spray and he said "I'm done."

You bet your sweet freaking bippy you were done. Punk.

Got him back up and into the cell and I had to call over the radio to get the cell door shut. Apparently I sounded pretty aggravated, because everybody else came trotting out of the office to see what made me sound like that.

So now I get to go make the phone calls and do the paperwork. Joy. Since I was the only one really involved, it didn't take too long. And Lt. Gerber was the shift commander tonight, thank the gawds. If it had been Captain Crane I would probably still be there doing and redoing my paperwork.

And they send someone down with the camera to take pictures of the offender and of my banged up knees and all the lads start giving me grief about my legs. I know they aint pretty, but they keep my butt from dragging on the ground, okay?

And do you know what really pisses me off about the whole thing? I tore a hole in my pants. That really pissed me off. Now I have to get some new ones. Pfui.

But...... it's my friday. Frack it. I get to spend two whole days recuperating before I gotta do it all over again.

Oh, and next week I have my annual training again. Isn't that lovely? I'll keep you posted on that as it happens.

Good night!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stop The Insanity!

Ok, maybe "insanity" isn't the right word. But "Stop the nastiness" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

I'm talking about spitting. More to the point, I am talking about spitting where I walk. And I usually don't walk on the grass, if you get my drift.

This is mostly a guy thing, so ladies, you can just skip this post if you want to, it has very little to do with you.

But there seems to be something about guys in general and C.O.'s in particular that makes them need to spit all of the time when they are outside. And I am not complaining about most of the guys who "chew". Because most of them have the sense to either spit in a bottle or over on the grass.

You know, sometimes you just gotta spit. I can dig that. I understand it completely. It's the ones that sit there and spit and spit and spit all over the sidewalk for no reason whatsoever than to just be spitting that get to me.

I don't want to have to wade through puddles of your mucous to get into and out of my house. And if something gets dropped on the ground, that old "five second rule" goes right out the window. If it hits the ground outside the house, it's history.

Have a little class.

Have a little decorum.

Using a little common snapping sense and walk five feet to one side or the other and spit in the freaking grass for gawds sakes!

You're grossing me out.

Ok, ladies, you can come back now. I'm done. For now, anyway.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adrenaline Dump

It might have just been too much coffee on my part, but I think it caught everybody else too. You could smell the adrenaline flowing around the camp like ozone, it was so thick.

Here's the setup: We'd had a bad count followed by a good count, which put us all behind. We had to send all of our workers back to their houses for the recount and chow was late and everybody was a little edgy.

When count finally cleared, there was radio traffic all over with everybody trying to return the workers and get things caught back up.

All of the sudden we hear a female voice, sounding kind of excited saying "Garble garble A-wing!"

And everything went quiet.

And all of us stopped what we were doing and went outside, waiting to see if we needed to run somewhere or go back inside and start some paperwork.

I looked around and we already had Screech in our house so I knew it wasn't her that time.

Somebody said "10-9?" Meaning of course "Please repeat?"

Nothing.

The Control center repeated it more formally: "Last transmitting radio unit- 10-9 your last transmission?"

Nothing.

So we started doing a radio check to make sure everyone was okay. Went through the whole list one at a time.

Turns out everybody was okay and nothing was going on. I suspect that someone just sat on their radio at the wrong time and then was too embarrassed to admit it.

But it sure made my black flabby little heart go pitty-pat there for a second. We have been lucky for so long without a serious incident on our shift that I think we are due.

It sure had me going. And coming down off one of those adrenaline dumps really really sucks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just Disgusted

I know I shouldn't blog while I'm mad. But sometimes I just gots to.

There's this punk kid inmate in my house. Well, there's alot of them in my house, but this particular one is just a pain in everybody's tukhes. He's nothing more than a big mouth connected to a very small brain and an all-around [EXPLETIVE DELETED] punk. One of those who takes every opportunity to run his mouth about corrections officers in general and us in particular.

This idiot went out for rec this evening and while he was gone, Chuck and the Cowboy got his cellie out and searched his cell. So of course when he came back he started mouthing Chuck and calling him all sorts of names. Very loudly in the wing.

So Chucky wrote him up for creating a disturbance and insulting behavior. When Sgt Miz P went to write the violation he got loud and mouthy again, screaming through the chuck hole and then declared that he was in fear for his life from his cellie and he wanted protective custody. Sarge told Chucky and the Cowboy to get him out of there but when Chuck went to cuff him up, the little snaphead stuck his penis out the chuck hole and said "Cuff this, bi*ch!" And he refused to cuff up and come out.

Once he declared he was in fear for his life we had to move him. And since he refused to cuff up, it was up to us to get him out of the cell and moved ASAP. Sarge called the Lieutenant who called the captain who didn't want to do anything at first. When he realized we had to move him, he sent the Lt down.

So when the Lt got there, he went up and talked and talked and the inmate cried to him that we had called him names and made him angry.

And who did he believe?

Not us, of course.

He got the knucklehead out and got him moved over to C-wing (which was what he wanted) and then came in and gave Chucky and the Cowboy and Sgt Miz P a stern talking to about how to deal with offenders in a professional manner.

He needed a thumping and instead he got a coddling. Because it was late in the shift and the Lt's friday and he didn't want to do any paperwork.

What the snap ever.

And this little punk might have a surprise in store. He thinks he is getting out the first part of next year and there is nothing we can do about it. What he has is a "C.R." or Conditional Release date. He thinks that it can't be taken away from him. And right now because he has only a little more than two months to go they won't transfer him out of here back to a C-5 camp where he belongs.

Who does he think Parole Officers talk to when looking for recommendations about an inmates behavior and eligibility for release? Not his mother (who I'm sure is so proud of him) that's for sure!

I'm sure I'll be seeing him again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are You A Good Cop Or A Bad Cop?

What with the bad press we get anyway and the fact that the testing to be become a corrections officer isn't really all that rigorous, we do tend to draw our fair share of nutbags here.

Plus you have got to be either really desperate or at least a teensy bit mentally off to want to work here in the first place.

So we shouldn't be all that surprised at some of the people we find wearing this uniform.

Some of us are really really strange.

But occasionally one of our staff will finally fall off of the deep end and do something so stupid as to get themselves "escorted off the property." Which is pretty much the same thing as getting fired right there on the spot. It just takes a little longer to do the paperwork.

There was one kid who used to work here that we all referred to as Nosehair.

I know..... it's nasty. But it fit him.

Anyway, we were all wondering how long it was going to take for him to do something stupid enough to get shown the door. He would get close, but never quite step over that line. He lasted much longer than we thought. Long enough that most of us had pretty much forgotten about him and his peculiar anglo-saxon ways.

Then a week or so ago he went completely postal and threatened his supervisor. As a matter of fact, he threatened to kill his sergeant. Even worse, he threatened to kill his sergeant in front of several witnesses.

Well, that got him escorted off the property, all right. And since they were trying to keep it quiet, the news was of course all over the camp in seconds. It was a hot topic of discussion for hours afterwards. But I think it was Chuck who first voiced the tiny thought that had been lurking in the back of our subconscious minds.

"What if he snaps and comes back with a gun?"

Uh-oh.

That was just not a good feeling walking out to the parking lot, lemme tell you! Especially since the thing in Fort Hood was so fresh in our minds. Chuck and I were dodging from tree to tree and ducking behind cars and skittering as fast as we could.

And, truth to tell, it wouldn't have surprised me all that much. The kid has square marbles rolling around in his head.

I always say if they let the pshrinks at us, they wouldn't allow any of us to work here. But maybe letting them take a gander at the new hires wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

It's bad enough we have to keep an eye on Them. I don't want to have to keep an eye out for Us as well. Know what I mean?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Searching

Well! Surprises after all. Here we were, just having another regular night. I was wondering what I was going to write about and thinking I was going to have to come home and search my notes for something from the slush pile.

BG and I come in from rec and Sarge is on the phone and he tells me "Go up to medical, then you are going to search four house."

OK, then.

I wander on up to medical and there is a motley crew of officers assembled there. Me, Vinnie, Screech, Big M, and a few others. About eight of us in all. The captain (Crane) and Sgt Buck are grilling some inmate in one of the side rooms in medical. Seems this little sucker wanted to check in for protective custody and decided to sell out everybody else in the wing that had anything at all. Nice. Now we are going to be stuck with the little jerk forever until they can get him off this camp.

SO we troop off down to four house and they lock the place down and we bring eight inmates down to the sally port and the captain calls me into the office and has me start strip searching these guys one at a time. I guess I got picked because I was the one with the cuff key. I'm hoping that is the only reason they picked me, anyway.

After strip searching eight guys the only thing I find is one with fresh tattoos. The Cap asks him where his tat gun is and he says it's inside his alarm clock. They find it and bring it down and cap asks me to write the guy for fresh tats and the gun.

No big deal. Hey, I'm on overtime!

So they lock up three or four guys plus the p.c. and the whole time K.P. and Big Mess are down in the Hive dealing with that I'm stuck doing paperwork for the captain and searching.

We started the night out with twelve empty beds and we had six left when I finally went home (about 11:30) and maybe more on the way, they weren't quite sure yet.

I never did hear if they found anything in the cells. I was still busy looking at naked inmates and doing paperwork.

I just have to point out that I would much rather have been searching the cells. That sort of thing is just not my cup of tea, if you know what I mean. Either part of it.

But hey, I got some overtime out of the deal. I guess I can't complain too much.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wabbit Season!

Or duck season. Or even worse... deer season. I think that is why we are so terminally short of people right now. All of those people must be out there doing something.

I only know of three people they held over from day shift and one of those was supposedly #5 on the list, so I am assuming they held over at least five people. We ended up with a day shift sergeant and a day shift officer in our bubble. Not the day shift bubble officer, which would have been okay, just a day shift officer in the bubble.

Just trust me, there's a difference.

And I looked at the schedule on the way out and we are starting shift short two officers. And of course, one of them is our bubble. Nobody in their right mind wants to work down there so they will just send whoever they don't like down there.

Man! There's just nothing like being on the bottom of the food chain!

Every once in awhile someone mass emails us some letter from the governor telling us what a fine job he thinks we are doing and how he is in our corner fighting for us. We got one a few weeks ago talking about the budget problems and how he is trying to find a way to fix the problems without costing anybody their jobs. Tonight I hear a rumor that they are cutting 37 "positions" from our camp. Not that they are going to fire 37 people, but they are going to remove 37 places that we can hire people for any time in the future.

In other words, we are short staff and we are going to continue to be short staff and we're just screwed.

And in the meantime, the prisons are going to keep getting more and more crowded and the staff is going to get smaller and smaller......

Until one day there is going to be ten thousand inmates and one officer at the gate with a can of expired pepper spray saying "Y'all better be good, now! Don't make me use this!"

It seems like there are nothing but diminishing returns. Pretty soon there will be nothing between them and you at all. That thin blue line will shrink to a dot like an old picture tube and vanish away.

It's a bit disheartening, sometimes, that's all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick And Crazy, Not A Good Combination!

I wrote last week about them opening up an unused wing of a housing unit because of the H1N1 scare. Anybody showing any flu-like symptoms is being sent over there until they can be cleared of the swine flu.

And of course, the inmates think everybody in that house has the swine flu and they don't want to go anywhere near the place to get it. So anybody with half a brain who has the flu is doing all that they can to hide the symptoms.

The whole plan is backfiring.

Well, I just found out today that there are three denizens for sure from the wobblehead house down there on isolation. One is the Whiner. He gets bored without constant attention focused on him so he calls a medical emergency for chest pains several times a day. There's nothing wrong with him, but it gets him attention. The other is Gunny, who I have written about several times before. He's heavily crazy and pretty strong and he gets out of control pretty quick unless they keep him heavily medicated. And if he gets pissed off about something he refuses his meds and goes out of control on purpose. And the third is Spaceman, who is pretty much legendary on this camp. He drifts in and out of reality like most of us change our socks and can be pretty violent if he drifts too far.

And who do we have down there watching these knuckleheads? One officer. A utility or whoever they happen to have floating around extra who can fill the spot. Somebody new, sometimes. One officer alone in the housing unit with I don't know how many possibly infected offenders without any backup except the yard dogs nearby.

And they just moved three of the worst wobbleheads in there for him to watch.

Isn't that just dandy?

I just hope the yard dogs stay close. It could get ugly.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attack Of The Killer Burrito

Ok, I just couldn't resist that picture. It still gives me the giggles every time I read it.

For the first time today they served burritos for dinner and for some whole reason the entire camp went completely nuts. Half of the offenders on A-side got into fights with each other and half of the ones from B-side checked in for protective custody.

The first fight got a bad radio call. I wasn't even sure where it was, but the control center called it as a 10-5 (officer needs assistance) in 2 house. Chucky ran and I stayed. The way my knees have been acting lately I don't think I could have made it out of the door, let alone all of the way to 2 house. When he was halfway there they changed the call to a 10-49 (a fight), so I didn't feel that bad about not running.

Right about the time we got the second inmate from the first fight locked up and BG and I went to do some rec, they called another 10-49 in 3 house. I could tell how this night was going to go.

We got one caught with drugs and I believe three PC's from B-side. Just steady all night long.

About the time we got done with rec for the evening, the yard dogs started trooping in with property from the housing units. As bag of property number five or six hit the floor the yard dog said "No more burritos!"

Who would have thought mere burritos could have caused so much trouble?

On a side note, the control center crew stopped me on the way out and showed me a list they had been working on. It was characters from the Batman movies, which actors had played them and who here in Raccoon City would be best for the part were they to be filmed here. They had a pretty good cast of characters built up and they had picked me to be the Riddler.

Snif... snif.... I'm so proud!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Missed It By That Much!

That was a close one. Went in to work, on my Monday... always a drag. Stopped in the Admin building to sign in and see who I was working with. I picked up the chrono and said "Oh Snap!" loud enough that all of the broken people on light duty came out of their comas to look at me.

I just shook my head, threw the paper down and muttered "I KNEW I should have called out today!" and stormed out of the room.

In their infinite wisdom, they had scheduled not one, but two trainwrecks to be the floor officers today. What the hell were they thinking? One of tghem was a young punk kid who manages to pull off being arrogant and completely clueless all in the same maneuver. He's emotionally immature and extremely lazy. The other is an older (?) woman who has been with the department for years without apparently learning a thing. I suspect that they just let her sleep in the parking lot for eight hours a day at her other camp, because she acts like she has never been inside the fence before and she seems to have the learning capacity of an Idaho potato.

If I had compiled an actual list of people I never wanted working around me ever again, these two would have been real close to the top. And they scheduled them both to be there on the same day.

There can only be a few reasons behind them doing that to us:
1. They hate us. (Which is probable.)
2. They hate them. (Which is likely.)
3. They hate me personally. (I don't care either way on that.)
4. They hate the Hive. (Which is entirely true. We tend to create paperwork for them.)


I walked into the control center and COI Miz P (Sgt Miz P's other half) looked at me with those big eyes of hers and said "What will you do?" I shrugged and said "It's too late to call out now. I may just have to spray somebody."

So I go on down to the house and think "Well, we'll go do some rec and it will get my mind off of it for awhile, anyway." But when we get there Sgt Strings says "Hey, I'm short people so I need you guys to stay in just in case I might need you."

Well snap! Nothing to do but sit around and stew for an hour and try to think of some way to avert disaster if those two actually show up. The best think I could think of was locking them in the C-wing closet until count time. But that probably wouldn't have worked, anyway.

So I wait.

And at shift change I see a clot of officers coming down the walk and right in front is...... yep.... trainwreck #2. Oh snap. And behind her is Sgt Miz P and some tall lanky drink of water and it's.... the Cowboy! Yay! I don't think I was ever so happy to see him. It seems that trainwreck #1 had called out so they sent us a replacement.

So it was with a clear conscience that I left the Cowboy in charge of trainwreck #2 and told Sgt Miz P "If you need me, call me. Otherwise, I'll be hiding out on the rec yard."

And I did, too.

I would poke my head in long enough to make sure I didn't see any blood and nothing seemed to be on fire and I went back outside.

We survived. The Cowboy and the trainwreck managed to get through the night with no major disasters. I felt sorry for him, but not sorry enough to take his place. That's the price you pay for being the new guy.

I think calling in was the only decent thing trainwreck #1 ever did.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Caution!

Just for the record:
I'm not your mother.
I'm not your father.
I'm not your butler, your maid or your personal assistant.
I will not do your job for you.

I won't clean up your mess when you leave one.

I will neither fix nor cover up your mistakes.

I won't make excuses for your stupidity, your laziness or your attitude.

I don't care if you want to go home early.

I don't care what kind of day you have had. That was then, this is now. There is work to be done, so get up off of your lazy a** and get it done because if you don't it will still be sitting there waiting for you when you come back.

And if you fu*k up my count one more time like that I will staple the blame firmly to your flabby butt cheeks.

And that's all I have to say on the matter.

Have a nice freaking day.

And to those of you who actually did some work during the shift, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We couldn't have done it without you.