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.


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?"


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


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?"


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


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


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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Print

Miss Nancynurse came back for one day after being absent without leave (without my leave, anyway) for two whole weeks and gave me hell for not keeping her up on what has been happening in the Hive. The wench!

If anything would have been happening these last couple of weeks I would have had some interesting crap to write about! But no..... there was flood fire and famine and inmates running amok and a major riot and somebody in C-wing swallowed their toilet but here I am writing about Chuck farting out on the rec yard.....

Silly woman.

The truth is..... nothing has really been happening lately. I'm not going to use the "Q" word and I really don't want to jinx us. I've gotten superstitious since I started working down here. The "Q" word is taboo and certain phases of the moon are to be feared. And mentioning aloud how many empty beds we have at any given moment will get you smacked across the chops.

Now there have been a few developments outside the Hive but I am, at this point, reluctant to mention them here out in front of Bob and everybody just yet. Ask me in private and I'll whisper what I have heard. I'm still trying to keep a fairly low profile here.

There was a message board for some of the staff of that "other" prison up the road and it got shut down from pressure by the upper management. I'm trying to avoid that fate. Even though there is little or nothing happening at the moment, this still gives me time to unlax and rewind when I get home.

So keep listening to the radio.

When something happens I'll let you know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Body Language Goes bad

Sometimes you can say what you mean best by saying nothing at all. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing you can do.

Me, I have verbal diarrhea. I can rarely keep my mouth shut about anything. Sometimes even I am surprised at the things that come out of my mouth. The good and the bad.

Poor Chuck got dressed down for talking smack. He's like me sometimes. If they want to talk trash he'll give it right back to them. Sometimes you can get away with it and sometimes you can't. Tonight he couldn't and got called on the carpet for it.

So he was determined to say as little as possible. He made paucity the best policy (look that up in your old Funk and Wagnalls!) and kept his mouth shut for most of the evening. hell, it was all I could do to make him talk to me!

We were out on the rec yard and had a couple of young hard as* gangster wanna-be's out there. We went down to put on back in the cage and let another one out. As Chuck was locking the one back in the cage he said "Hey C.O. You don't wanna walk up on me like that man! You don't want none of this!" (This big talk from a nineteen year old kid who weighs maybe 120 pounds) Chuck just looked at him quietly for a second, then turned his back and Rrrrrrrrrrrip! Let one fly as he walked away.

It was elegant and eloquent and elemental. And I almost fell down laughing before I could get back to my chair. Put the kid right in his place without uttering a word.

And I don't think that kid had anything else to say after that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gave Myself The Willies

I couldn't believe it affected me like that. Things in the Hive don't get to me very often.

When an offender comes to the Hive, he gets a stripped down set of his property. He is allowed sheets, blanket, pillow, towel, basic cosmetics (soap, toothbrush & toothpaste), three changes of clothes, stamps and paper, etc. Just the basic stuff he needs (or the state says he needs) to survive. It's not much.

So this guys property comes in and I get out the list and I'm going through it checking for contraband and making sure he gets what he is supposed to have. No big deal. I do that several times a day on average.

And I move his sheets and I see this little pink plastic box. I open it up and there, smiling up at me, are both sets of the guys teeth.

All of the sudden I get a case of the willies all over. I snap the box shut and toss it back down in the bundle and think to myself: "What the snap was that all about?" It's not like I haven't seen dentures before.

I mean really. What the snap?

I've stood and talked calmly to a guy covered in his own poop. Repeatedly. I searched a cell spattered with blood looking for a weapon. I've cut cords for around guys necks who were trying to strangle themselves.

Why in the heck would a pair of naked teeth get to me like that? I dunno. It was weird.

I've seen some strange and weird snit down here and just waded on like it was nothing.

Maybe it just caught me off guard or something.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monday Blahs

It seems like just yesterday it was my monday and here the sumbitch is again!

It's always the hardest day of the week. Sometimes I feel like I need to be retrained just to come back to work after my weekend. I spend the whole day chasing after myself trying to get re-acclimated to the house. There's new offenders and there is always some little rule that they have changed while I was gone.

But many things are just the way I left them. The Singer is still in C-1, singing his heart out and laughing like the Riddler from Batman. The Flamer is still in B-13 all by his lonesome and the pile of kites we have intercepted from other offenders trying to move in with him grows by the day.

Sgt Miz p is back from vacation and Chuck is back from his two week hiatus after both a death in the family and his annual recert training.

I got my crew back. This is a good thing.

Even if it is a monday.

I survived it. Nobody got hurt and nobody escaped.

Now that it's over, I can say it was a good day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Suspect That I'm Spolied

Now that the cold nights and mornings are upon us, I have been having trouble getting warm in the mornings. I dress in sweats and my slippers and sit back here in my cold little corner and shiver and drink my coffee.

My office is in a converted two car garage that wasn't very well insulated to begin with.

So to combat this, I have been soaking in a hot bath for an hour before I get dressed to go to work. Gets me nice and perking warm.

This morning was no exception. There I was, in a hot bubble bath, reading my book, smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee with a trickle of sweat on my brow. Paradise. Mostly paradise, anyway.

I hear the door to the bedroom open and my wife comes into the bathroom and sets a saucer with three fresh out of the oven home made chocolate chip cookies on the side of the tub.

Now it's paradise. My wife makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. And when they are fresh out of the oven, still warm and sticky they are pure ambrosia.

I think I'm a little spoiled now and then.

Be a dear and peel me a grape, would you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not Guilty!

Not this time, anyway. I definitely didn't do it.

One of the things that we take very very seriously in the prison is count. And when the count gets screwed up, somebody is taking one in the shorts for it. If it's an offender screwing around and messing up count, he gets locked up for it. If it's an officer, he gets chewed out for it.

If our count is screwed up for too long, we are supposed to notify the local sheriffs department that we may have a problem. That is how serious we take it.

Normally, our 4:30 count takes twenty minutes. Twenty five if things are hectic. After almost forty minutes when they called and said send all of the workers back to their houses, I knew we had a problem somewhere and I fervently hoped someone was not missing for real. I didn't want to be there all night long.

It wasn't me and no, nobody was really missing.

It seems that around two this afternoon they told some guy over in a house on B-side that he was moving to A-side. To which he replied "F*ck if I am! I aint going!" And they locked him up.

But apparently they never told whoever was doing the room moves in the computer that he was getting locked up and they moved him anyway.

So in the little virtual world of the computer, we suddenly had one more inmate than we actually did.

And let me tell you what, that sort of thing will give someone who works in a prison some serious ulcers.

I was on the phone with Vinnie up in the Control center when he figured it out. The conversation went something like this:
Vinnie: "You got an offender Cheesehead this afternoon? Which house did he come out of?"
Me: "My paperwork says he came out of seven house."
Vinnie: "Oh yeah? Look in the computer and see what it says."
Me: "Ok, it says..... Oh snap. Four house. Wait.... and seven house..... Oh snap."
Vinnie: "Yeah. That is a problem, don't ya think?"

And of course captain Crane was shift commander. He wanted copies of everything we had that said where this knucklehead came from and he wanted it right now. Sgt LB sent Big Mess up with an armload of paperwork to get copied.

I am so glad I didn't do it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Need A Cleanup On Aisle Three!

I write myself notes almost every night at work in my notebook and almost every night I drop them on my desk when I come home.

Tonight wasn't very exciting so I tried to find one of my notes and I couldn't locate anything. I really think I need to clean off my desk a little.

I tried weeding through a few things and ended up accidentally throwing my watch in the trash can. And of course it couldn't stay on top, it had to slide all the way down to the bottom of the can so I had to dig in there after it.

Among other things, I need to empty my trash can more, I guess.

I've found notes from my wife from things that happened six months ago. But I can't find the ones I wrote yesterday. Pfui.

So this is going to be a little short and not very interesting, I'm afraid. I'm really tired and not tracking well. I think I'll go to bed before I end up dropping myself in the trash by mistake.

Good night.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I got to be "it" today. That's always so special. The one guy who knew how to do everything.

They sent us the General as a Sergeant. It was me and BG and Ms. Maybe and the Cowboy and Sausage and an OJT. Luckily the Cowboy is shaping up to be decent. He's still kind of a squirrel, but he's learning and does pretty good.

And Sausage is just Sausage.... you know how he is. He's been everywhere and done everything on camp and he's competent, if somewhat annoying. A good guy to have at your back if the snit hits the fan. And he helped keep track of the paperwork. That was a blessing.

I spent all of my time running back and forth and making sure things were running right and keeping up with the numbers the best I could. I'm relatively certain they were all correct by the time I left.

I get a little pushy sometimes. I like things to run smoothly and with as little b.s. as possible. I can't help it that I have been down there so long I am set in my ways. There are ways and times that things should be done in the Hive. And when they don't get done right or on time things get screwed up.

So I get pushy.

Sarge doesn't know the house like I do and he pretty much set back and let me run the show. He didn't mind. Now, if I tried that over in his house on B-side, it would be another matter. That's his house. This is mine. At least for eight hours a day.

I think I earned my pittance from the state today. I can feel it in my head and my poor feet.

I really really want my regular crew back! Sgt. Miz P is out on vacation. Chuck has been out for a week because a family member died and he is in training next week. And we are still short one assigned officer and they won't put the job up for bid.


Much more of that and I am going to need another vacation.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And The Award Goes To...

...Our probation and parole officers. Or at least whoever came up with the idea.

Last night someone said that there seemed to be some sort of party or something going on at the P&P offices back behind the prison. There were an awful lot of cars there. Since it was Halloween, they thought it might be a party.

Instead, it was someone who had a really good idea.

They made all of the registered sex offenders who live in this area report to their offices at 3pm and stay there until midnight.

That is just freaking awesome. We don't know who all of the creeps are, but at least they kept the ones we know about off the streets while our kids were out trick or treating.

Whoever came up with that plan, I'd like to shake their hand.

So my hat is off to out Probation and Parole officers!

You are heroes in my eyes.