It's our favorite time of the year. Winter. When as soon as the first flake of snow is detected in the sky half of every shift calls in sick or stuck.
I have known a few people who called in because of the snow who lived less than a mile away from the prison. I offered to go and personally drag them to work, but so far the upper management has seen fit to decline my generous offer.
It's also the time of year when they employ tons and tons of "traction enhancement material" all over the sidewalks of the prison. In a normal world, this would consist of rock salt or even sand. The State, in it's infinite wisdom, uses this ridiculous mix of small gravel (containing a few large rocks) and some sort of ash that has the consistency of powdered lead and containing one granule of rock salt per ten pounds of cinders.
When this concoction is spread upon an icy patch of sidewalk, the gravel is immediately picked up in everyones' shoe treads and carried into the house and the cinders become a slippery sticky grey paste that splashes up onto your pant legs and makes the whole place look like the Toutle River valley right after Mt. St. Helens erupted.
For the next several months every surface or every floor in the institution will be covered in a grey patina of ash, cinders, and small rocks. The wheels on many desk chairs will be ground down to nothing by rolling over the gravel left by careless feet. The entire place will be covered in grey crud and every single person will crunch when they walk.
Of course, they won't spread a gram of this mess out in the parking lot, where sometimes it takes you half an hour just to get out of your parking space.
But it will be flung with reckless abandon just outside of every housing unit where it will all be tracked back inside within an hour.
I don't know what the grey stuff is. They call it "cinders".
I probably don't want to know what it really is.
I'm proposing building a huge parabolic mirror to focus the suns rays and blast away the ice and snow all over the camp. I'll even offer to man it now and then.
But if you are walking across the yard and see the big beam of light coming in your direction.....
Even out of uniform, I'm scary looking. Or maybe I'm scarier out of uniform.
My daughter plays World Of Warcraft. The old fashioned way, with the cards and the geeky dice and all. Her and her boyfriend had been invited to play at a card shop in town with some other kids. The wife asked if I would go and check the place out.
The last place we had in town was creepy and nasty and looked like a den of thieves. I suspect that it was. Among other things.
So I went to scope the joint out. Dressed as I usually am in tiger striped camo pants, dark glasses, a big black coat and a hat that says "Wicked".
The place was a bit scroungy, but it was more teenage hangout scroungy than actually dirty. It looked live in. Like a place a bunch of teenage geeks would gather at to play World Of Warcraft.
And to my immense surprise, that was who was there. A bunch of teenage geeks. And one girl in the whole place. My daughter.
I scoped the place out. It wasn't too bad. But I felt like a gunfighter that had just walked into the sissiest saloon in town. Everybody quit talking when I walked in. Then they started trying to be friendly. Overly friendly. I thought I might have to shoot my way back out again.
Wandered over to the corner by my daughter and watched her get her cards and stuff together for a few minutes. I could see that the place was pretty harmless.
And I had think I had made my point.
That was my kid.
Don't make me come back here again.
As soon as I walked out the door the questions began. "Who was that dude?"
She just smiled. "That's my dad!"
And she knows I got her back if something goes down.
I understand that there are people who work for the department who don't use their radio very much. I get that. It's understandable. I try to use the damn thing as little as possible myself.
But if you have something important to say, you damn well better know what you are doing.
I'm just saying......
So I'm standing out in front of Central waiting for BG to come through.... Nothing going on at that point. Just another day. He comes out and we start our walk down to the Hive.
This calm unexcited voice comes over the radio:
"M-something to Station Raccoon....... 10-45 in the dog run. Two gentlemen in the fence."
I look at BG and he looks at me and we both say "What?" You can almost hear the whole camp stop and say "What?"
So the Control Center comes on and says "10-9 your last transmission?"
And he says, still calm and unconcerned: "10-49 in the dog run. Two gentlemen in the fence."
Oh snap. A fight... maybe. But that phrase "in the fence" shakes me just a little. Are they fighting or trying to escape? And which dog run? There are two of them.
I turn to BG and say "I think I'll go to this one. You go on down to the Hive and get them ready." I hotfoot it back through central, drop my lunchbox in the lieutenants office and skitter out the other side.
Out on B-side and everybody seems to be running towards the 30-yard dog run and not the other one, so I head that way. I get about three quarters of the way there and here they come with two inmates in cuffs. And I can tell from the way they are hanging their heads and shaking them that they have both been pepper sprayed.
Nifty. At least I didn't get there first. I hate starting the day out like that.
About the time I start walking back the Captain comes trotting out of central and starts down towards the other dog run. We wave and point to the offenders in cuffs going the other way. he stops and says "Was anybody hurt?" I shake my head. "They got sprayed." He used words I don't use here. They really hate it when you make them work.
So back out through central I go, grab my lunchbox and head back for the Hive. I'm already winded and spattered with mud.
Sometimes when I get in and ask what's been going on I get "Not too much" or "Nothing" or "It was one of those days again."
Sometimes I get way more than I wanted.
Apparently the midnight shift Sarge is a budding novel writer. She writes down everything that happens in minute detail and in very large handwriting. It looks like a teenage girl writing in her diary. All that is missing is the little hearts over all of the "i's".
I looked at the passalong log book to find a large entry marked with a highliter. It stated:
"Offender Chucklehead in C-6 was yelling and kicking on his door. When COI Whatsizname went in there he stated that he had sh*t himself while he was asleep. He didn't know it until he woke up and it felt like a squishy jelly doughnut."
When someone is sentenced to prison, they basically end up with four different dates to get back out again.
The first is a "Good Time" date, which means if they do their time and finish whatever programs they have to do in that amount of time and don't get into any trouble, they get out early.
The second is a "Presumptive parole" date. If they do their time and don't get into too much trouble and the parole board thinks they have learned their lesson, they get out early, but not as early as the good time date.
The third is the "Conditional Release" date. Which means they can get into some trouble but as long as they do not assault a staff member or try to escape they can get out a little early, but not as early as the other two.
And finally is the "Maximum Release" date or "12/12" as the inmates call it. (I don't know why) That is the maximum run of their sentence and the final date they must be released from prison. Most of the knuckleheads in the Hive are 12/12ing their sentences. I have helped a few of them reach that goal.
One of the knuckleheads we had on the meal loaf (the one who screamed at me and called me "fa**ot for eight hours) had a CR date for monday. He really thought he was getting out and going home in the morning.
What he didn't realize was that since he had racked up several assaults on staff for throwing things at them, the parole board had yanked his date. They were 12/12ing him and transferring him to another camp. A C-5 camp where they don't play lightly with that sort of thing.
We were told not to tell him that he was transferring in the morning. They thought that if he found out, he would go on suicide watch and he wouldn't get transferred. We can't transfer someone on suicide watch.
So we told him nothing.
And when they came to get him in the morning they told him he had to get on the transfer bus to go to the next prison down the road to get released. He was apparently happy as a clam and went willingly.
I don't know what happened when he got to the next camp and they told him he wasn't going home.
But I'll bet it wasn't pretty.
When he left here he had eight violations pending. I think two of them at least were for assaults on staff. My guess is that they will try to prosecute him on at least one of them and give him a few more (8-10) years.
So a fool who had a measly two year bit who could have probably gotten out in nine months now gets to do his whole bit and maybe make it fivefold.
What a jerk.
It still was kind of a dirty trick, but he deserved it.
My goal in life is to never once be a stupid as that guy.
She always knows what she is doing. I guess it's one of those nurse things they teach in school.
I was sitting at the cheap worn government issue desk and wrestling with the computer when she entered the room. It wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. And the computer was winning.
With great deliberation she wiggled her pert little bottom into the chair next to the desk, making sure I could see her in full profile. One hand darted into the side pocket of her colorful scrub shirt and pulled out a Cadbury egg, her brightly colored nails making short work of the foil wrapper.
She skinned that thing until it was naked as a...... well, until it was naked as an egg, for chrissakes.
She glanced at me out of the corner of her eye and then lifted the chocolate to her full lips and slowly sucked it into her mouth.
I thought to myself "Snap! Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?"
Her lips engulfed the egg and then she slowly, almost tauntingly, slid it partly back out again, her too-white teeth shearing off the end with an almost vicious bite.
Somewhere in the middle of that I completely forgot my feud with the computer.
Her sensuous lips closed again on the candy and she slowly began drawing the creme filling out of the egg and into her warm willing mouth.
I noticed a puddle of drool building up in my lap but couldn't bring my mind around to doing anything about it. I tried desperately to distract myself by thinking about Duluth and doorknobs and Dumbeldore and other things beginning with "D" but it was no good. At that point it would have taken a sharp blow with a ball peen hammer to my forehead to peel my eyes off of her lips.
She slid the now nearly empty chocolate shell out of her mouth and her slim pink tongue darted out to finish emptying the last of the creme filling. My brain entered a sort of zen state and I could very nearly see every single molecule of creme filling as it disappeared.
Then she tossed the last of the egg almost carelessly into her mouth, chewed it up and swallowed. Then she got up from the chair, and with a mischievous smile in her eye, winked at me and wiggled her way out of the office.
Sarge said "You gonna finish that file or what?"
I replied "Zimbabwe" or some other such nonsense, my mind still many many miles away.
I think that damn nurse does that stuff to me on purpose.
It was one of those rare odd nights when exactly nothing went on.
Qui..... oops. Almost jinxed somebody.
Boring to say the least.
We had Officer Screech down there tonight. She doesn't sit still well at all. She and Chuck went out to search a few dozen cells just to keep her occupied. We were afraid if we made her sit still too long, she would burst into flames.
Ah well. It was good for both of them.
BG and I had alot of time for introspection out on the rec yard. We chatted about this and that and got off into a few war stories.
Well, not really war stories. Both of us were ex-military but had never really seen any combat. I, for one, am really really happy about that. But there are alot of us who have seen it and a few of our brothers and sisters in the polyester blue line that are in the thick of it even as we speak.
At any rate, it occurred to me that an awful lot of the people working here are either ex-military or active reserve or guard. I started ticking names off on my fingers and came up with an awful lot of names.
I asked BG what percentage of the staff here in Raccoon City were military or ex and he replied "About a third."
He held up three fingers and touched the first one. "Truck drivers."
The second finger. "WalMart employees."
The third finger. "Military. That covers 99% of them, I think."
By jove, I think he's right.
Enough of an odd demographic to make a statistician reach for the zantac.
It was just one of those nights. One of those nights. Like we were hip deep in caterpillars all night long.
We now have two offenders on the meal loaf, and neither one of them is happy about it. The first guy just won't respond when you offer it to him. And then when you walk away he goes up and pees out his door.
I guess it was a commentary on the cuisine.
The second guy when I offered it to him, he told me "You can stick that meal loaf up your a**!"A few minutes later he realized he might get hungry later and started screaming "Hey! Give me my mother fuc*king food, you fa**ot! Give me my mother fuc*king food right now, fa**ot!"
I listened to him kick and scream for awhile and figured I might give him another chance. I was even polite about it. All I got in return was more profanity and aspersions on my sexuality and some veiled threats about what would happen when he got out of prison.
That just doesn't work for me. He refused it. I have a suspicion that if I had tried to serve it to him that I would have ended up wearing most of it.
I bet he'll be hungry by morning, tho.
And while all of this was going on they sent us this utility person to work the bubble who was pretty much useless.
Couldn't hear us, or just wasn't listening.
Couldn't see us out in the wings.
Wasn't paying attention. I think I could have run through the sally port in flames and she wouldn't have noticed.
Opened several wrong doors. In C-wing of all places.
By the time the night was over I was having issues. I thought about going up and chewing her out but I'm sure it would have just made it worse. And not much is worse than a petulant bubble officer. I'm sure she would have just sulked and refused to open anything.
KP agreed with me. He's the voice of reason in the house. So I kept my yap shut.
If you haven't noticed yet, I have a sense of humor. It may not be as "refined" as most peoples, and it probably borders on crude and adolescent at times, but I do know a good laugh when I see one.
As a matter of fact, alot of the things I find really funny (especially at work) would make most non-correctional people lose their lunch.
But some of the stuff is just funny no matter who you are.
We have a radio that farts when you key the microphone. It doesn't do it every time, but just often enough to get the whole camp chuckling. When it gets keyed up it goes "Frrrrrrrrrrrrrt!" and sounds like you have your microphone down your pants.
One of the lucky guys on A-yard had that very radio tonight.
And the urge to misuse that malfunction was great. I kept wanting to call him on the radio just to hear that noise. Like this: "45 to 67" "Six-frrrrrrrrrrrrrrt!-even." "Disregard" "Frrrrrrrrrrt! 10-4"
I didn't do it, but damn it was tempting.
I'll be even Queen Victoria would have been amused.
In prison, there are two kinds of inmates. The ones with sex cases and the ones without sex cases.
If you don't have a sex case, you talk smack about those who do. If you do have a sex case, you don't talk about it. Or you act like you don't have one.
About half of the time the inmates who talk the biggest crap about the ones with one of "those" cases have one themselves.
Tonight we had some knucklehead kicking on his door screaming for a medical emergency. When KP got up there he handed out a barely legible note stating that he feared for his life from his cellie. When we got him out, he said that his cellie found out what kind of case he had and was threatening him.
So we moved him to another cell. And when his new cellie asked him why he got moved, he told him. And his new cellie promptly thumped him a few times. And the next thing we know the dude is kicking on his door screaming code 16 again.
Time spent with the old cellie: 1 week.
Time spent with the new cellie: 3 minutes.
Time invested in moving people around and writing paperwork: about 3 hours.
Now the knucklehead and his cellie are in C-wing under investigation for an assault. The stupid kid who thumped him could possibly get 5-8 years added on to his sentence.
Some times you just gotta know when to shut yer pie hole.
I had forgotten last night that we had a guy who got treated with the meal loaf again. The one in the picture above actually looks more appetizing than the one we serve.
Our loaf looks like someone may have already eaten it once. 'Nuff said!
This knucklehead has apparently had enough issues with day shift that they have written him violations for three food or sanitation related incidents. Enough to get him put on the meal loaf.
If you haven't seen or heard of this before, go on yahoo and look up "prison loaf recipe". It's extremely nasty.
I got the pleasure of serving him his first dose of it last night. I popped open his chuck hole and said "Hey, Chuckles. You want to eat this nasty disgusting glop?" He said he did and I plopped it down in his hands, nasty and wet and cold as it was.
Later on during the evening I hear him saying how nasty it was and somebody else in the wing told him that if he went on suicide watch he would get a brown bag instead of the loaf.
Uhhhhh....... no. That's not how it works.
So he went on suicide watch on our shift and he went to sleep dreaming of his brown bag breakfast. And when morning came and they served him the loaf again, he got mad and smeared poop around his cell to get back at us.
I wonder if they could tell the difference between the loaf and...... never mind.
So someone wrote him another violation and filled out more paperwork and got him an extension on the loaf. Eighteen more meals of it.
He was hungry by dinner time and took the thing again. From the noises I heard coming from his cell, I don't think it went down too well. I won't describe them.
I think he's going to be one extremely hungry and contrite little critter about six days from now when he gets to eat real food again.
Or at least I should be in the running for the damn Nobel prize.
Although I have trouble seeing myself as a peace maker.
Coming down the walk towards the Hive today and I can hear that lunatic Dip Set screaming at the top of his lungs and beating on his cell door. Hoo boy.
The first thing day shift tells me is he's calling code 16's, trying anything he can to get out of the cell and get some attention. He says he's having chest pains. He says he is having trouble breathing. Yeah, right. They can hear him screaming all over the camp and he's having trouble breathing. He's suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. He's having withdrawls from his meds. He's having side affects from his meds. (which is it?)
He's being a general pain in the butt and out of control and they don't want to open his cell door.
I can understand that. As big and crazy as he is, he can be a handful. And I can hear him screaming and beating on his door.
I go walking into C-wing and he immediately starts screaming my name. "Rev! Get over her Rev! You gotta talk to me! You gotta help me! Reeeeeev!"
Of course, he doesn't really call me "Rev". He uses my name. Anyway.
So I go wandering over there and in a very calm voice say "So, what's up, Dip Set? Why you being so loud?"
He immediately lowers his voice several levels (thank goodness) and says "Where you been, man? Were you on vacation?"
"No, I was home sick for the last couple of days. I was sick as a dog."
His voice drops even lower. "I'm sorry to hear that." He says. "You okay, man?"
"I'm feeling better. Still a little weak from the fever and I have a headache. All this noise doesn't help, you know?"
"I'm sorry, Rev." He says, even quieter. "I'll try to be quiet. You take it easy, man. Feel better."
"Thanks, Dip Set. I appreciate your help."
And he wasn't a problem for most of the rest of the night.
Let's take a look inside the mind of one of the problem knuckleheads down in the Hive.
I'll call him Jimmy.
I don't know anything about Jimmys early life or home life. I don't know if he had brothers or sisters. I don't know if his parents loved him.
Some of those questions I could get answers to if I decided to look hard enough. It's not that hard if you want to find out.
Jimmy is a meth head. That I know from seeing some of the notes he has tried to send to other offenders. He has used meth and knows just enough of the formula to probably poison himself or someone else if he tried to make some.
I suspect that Jimmy has underlying mental problems that were evident before he started using drugs. He claims to hear voices. He's destructive and self-destructive. I know that the nurses give him an awful lot of medication and sometimes it works.
It's pretty obvious by this point that Jimmy is not the most stable individual I have ever encountered, isn't it?
I also suspect that Jimmy never got very far in school. This I have also ascertained from his notes. He has the spelling skills, syntax and handwriting of a third grader.
There are also signs that lead to me to suspect that Jimmy is gay. While he vociferously denies this, and threatens grievous bodily harm on anybody who makes suggestive comments to him, I suspect he is just covering up. Jimmy publicly declares that he hates "fags, queers and all homos" (his words). Yet I have seen things that lead me to suspect that Jimmy is also declaring his self-hatred.
To cover up all of these self deficiencies, Jimmy has declared us his enemy. If it weren't for us, grouping all of law enforcement into one convenient bundle tagged "the police", Jimmys life would be fine. If the police would just quit "messing with him", everything would turn out all right.
Jimmy obviously got most of what he wanted from life by acting out. He discovered early on that if he acted just crazy, angry and mean enough, people would give him what he wanted just to make him shut up and go away. And he is constantly perplexed by the fact that this act is no longer working for him. He doesn't understand that we have seen thousands of people crazier, angrier and meaner than he could ever be and that we don't really care if he screams all night or not.
I could answer all of these questions I have about Jimmy if I just asked the right people and looked into the right files.
But I really don't care enough to look. All I really care about is the fact that Jimmy is a constant problem in my house. I have to protect myself. I have to protect my staff. I have to protect other inmates. And lastly, I have to try to protect Jimmy from himself.
It's not that I don't care. I would cure him if I could. But I can't. And I have 174 other Jimmys in the Hive, all of them just as much of a potential problem. And close to 2,000 other Jimmys waiting to take his place. And more of them arriving twice a week. Each of the with their own screwed up home lives and drug addictions and depravities and aberrations.
And eventually most of them are going to arrive on my doorstep in cuffs and I have to figure out how to handle them the best.
And I have to protect myself and my staff first, and them last.
In the Academy when you first decide to be a C.O., they run you through a short class called "Anatomy of a setup" where they show you a little of how the offenders will try to get one over on you. They talk about how the offenders will try to get you to give them things or bring them things they aren't really supposed to have.
And they are really good at that. Alot of them will try to set you up just for fun.
What they don't warn you about in the academy however, is your fellow staff members.
You cannot turn your back on them for a minute.
When you work that closely with people for so long in a high stress environment like the Hive, you learn which buttons will set someone off. Usually you just file the data away in your mind so you can avoid the situations. Sometimes you can even see something bad coming and avert a catastrophe.
But CO's, like anybody, tend to get into mischief when they have idle time on their hands.
One of my big buttons is what we call "Hug-A-Thug's". Those people who feel sorry for the offenders and want to give them things to make their life easier. We have quite a few of those here.
As far as I'm concerned, if they are in the Hive, they are lucky that they get air. And most of them don't seem to deserve that.
So a couple of my comrades decided to push that button for me the other day.
Brothers in arms.
The ones that are supposed to have my back.
Set me up.
Between them they compiled a list of six of the biggest snapheads in the house and wrote them down saying "Phone calls per the caseworker."
I almost lost my freaking mind. I could see six different uses of force in my mind and how they were probably going to play out. Something in my mind went "snap" and I came to a decision. I crumpled the list and threw it in the trash and said "Nope. I aint gonna do it. List? What list?" Then I decided to head over to the pod and have it out with the caseworker and tell him if he wanted these idiots out on the phone, he could do it himself.
As I was fixing to stomp out of the office with a good head of steam going, Chip stopped me and said "Look at your partner over there." I glanced over at Chuck and saw that he was grinning from ear to ear. He couldn't hold it anymore and bust out laughing. And so did everybody else.
I'll admit, it was a pretty good joke.
And it's a good thing they stopped me before I left the office. It could have gotten ugly.
A little bit later I was standing outside smoking and cooling off and the aforementioned caseworker stuck his head out, wiggled his fingers at me and said "Hi Revvy!" That's when I knew he was in on the joke.
I snapped a finger in his direction and said "You go sit down."
And he went.
A sense of humor is a good thing to have in our profession. I almost lost mine there for a minute. But I'm feeling much better now.
Next chance I get, I'm filling Chuckys coat pockets with mashed turnips.
What can you say about a day that just wasn't all that bad? We started the day with everything pretty much squared away. No crises or big messes to clean up.
For a Tuesday, that's pretty rare.
We had plenty of empty beds and sure enough they were filling them up just as fast as they could. We knew that was going to happen.
The one suspenseful point turned out to be a non-event. We got a call that they were sending someone down for suicide watch.
No big deal, it happens all of the time. We had an empty camera cell so it was no biggie.
But about two minutes after we got the call, here comes the dude through the door being personally escorted by Lt. Strong and Sgt Squirrel from the yard and they are both holding onto him pretty tight. A little light went off in my head and I said "Oh snap! This can't be good!" So we all went piling in there after him.
But the kid stripped out and put on his smock and laid down and was no problem. They thought that there might be, hence the hefty escort. Some poor wobblehead kid who hasn't gotten into the program yet and wasn't taking his meds again. Nutty as squirrel poop.
But all in all it just wasn't a bad night. Busy as hell, but we work together well and we got things done in short time.
Heck, we even took time out to have a short rubber band war in the office.
Gotta break up the night somehow. And I think we finally taught Ms. Dollface not to start any snap with the boys from the Hive. She thought we were soft. Didn't realize that we work as a team.
I'm going to try to stop harping on this layoff/cutbacks thing until we get some more solid information. But the rumors are flying hot and fast. And deep.
And for some reason everybody above my pay grade (which is almost everybody) is backpedaling madly and saying "No no! I never said we were going to make those cuts! It wasn't me that said that! I wasn't even in the loop on that decision!"
Gee....... imagine that.
I can almost hear Johnny Cash in the background singing "No no no it aint me, babe. It aint me yer lookin' for...... babe."
All of the sudden they realized that it wasn't such a good idea and now nobody wants to take the blame for making the call.
I wonder if the Direktor is sitting in his plush leather office chair and saying "Cuts? What cuts? Nobody told me anything about making cuts! Whose idea was that?"
And yes, I realize I spelled it wrong. I did it on purpose.
The Boss man is still fighting the good fight, trying to keep a few of us around. And poor Chuck is trying to learn how to do everything, just in case he gets left holding the sack.
It's a big sack, Chuckie. Use both hands. You can do it. I have faith in you.
So correct me if this isn't about some of the stupidest crap you have ever heard in your life.
The rec yard has been covered in snow and ice for the past week. Subzero temperatures. The locks were freezing shut.
We got a little rec done earlier in the week, up to the night when it started snowing. After that, it was too cold and too dangerous to go out there. Hell, I was slipping and sliding and I get to wear good boots with good tread on them. The offenders only get to wear shower shoes. Do you know how slippery those things get when it's cold?
On thursday the wind was blowing the snow around so hard we couldn't clear the yard. One of the dormworkers and i tried to clear a path and an hour later there was an inch of snow on it again.
So we said "No rec. Too dangerous."
On friday it was still bitter cold and we still couldn't get a good path out to the rec cages, so the Captain called down and said "No rec. Too dangerous."
Is there any part of the phrase "too dangerous" that seems ambiguous? If you slip and fall on the ice with your hands cuffed behind your back, you are either going to land on your face, breaking your nose or on the cuffs, breaking your wrists.
Either way, it's just not good.
On saturday morning when day shift did phone calls, some idiot inmate called their mother and cried because they weren't getting any rec this week. The aforementioned idiots mother called the prison and complained because her idiot son wasn't getting his recreation while he was in the hole.
The call was passed on to the duty officer ( I won't go into that ) who panicked and demanded that we get rec done. She (the duty officer) called multiple times to the Hive and finally talked to BG and asked if rec was going to get done.
He said "No."
Well, that didn't go over very well.
The next thing anybody knows the Warden Himself is walking through the door asking about rec. They want BG to get started as soon as possible. As soon as count cleared, they were demanding that he get started.
Hell, they hadn't even fed the house yet!
As soon as they finished feeding and kicking the trays, they sent down two yard dogs and told BG that nothing was going to get done besides rec that night.
Normally we take eight out at a time and they come and go as a group. Saturday night they brought eight out and as soon as two or three of them got cold and demanded to go in, they took them in and brought out two or three more to take their place.
The recreation assembly line. And officers and inmates running back and forth from the rec yard to the cells just as fast as they got their little piddies cold. They did the entire house twice in three hours. Running about like the Keystone Cops.
Needless, hopeless, reckless and totally not within policy. Stupid.
It only needed one thing to go bad and somebody's tit would have been in the wringer. Some inmate getting stupid or falling down and the whole thing would have fallen apart faster than a Sarah Palin for President campaign.
Luckily, nothing happened.
If the weather had been nice, they would have never pulled it off.
So how many mommies are going to call and complain when day shift takes over rec? And how are we going to pick up the slack with only two officers in the house?
And you know what? We don't get paid anywhere near enough to put up with this crap.
And just for Chucky, blue a** cold. It tickles him so.
Got our first real snowfall of the year last night. Was kind of tricky getting home. Only a few inches of the real fine powdery stuff, but it was enough to make everybody drive stupid.
Today the temps dropped out of the bottom and the wind kicked up to around 30 mph. Yikes. It blew snow in all over the rec yard and we couldn't get it clear. I took one of our dorm workers and a couple of snow shovels and we tried to clear a path so we maybe could do a bit of rec if someone was stupid enough to come out.
An hour later when BG and I checked it, there was an inch of snow in the path again. No way were we going to try to take them out in that wearing only shower shoes. Somebody would have gone down and gotten hurt. If you tell an inmate "Walk slowly, it's slippery out there." they will run just as fast as they can to get to the cage they want next to their buddy.
There are no rocket scientists in prison.
So we pretty much stayed inside as much as possible.
On the plus side, the Boss says that there might be hope for saving our positions down there. He sent an email to Sgt LB saying "Don't lose hope and don't bid out yet! I'm still fighting!"
More meetings going on about that. I'm not going to hold my breath.
Ran into the A-yard Sarge on the way out last night and asked him if he had any openings coming up. He seemed interested. He's a bit of a squirrel, but I can work with him. Just keeping my options open at this point.
Personally I don't wonder if they are doing this just to drive us crazy.
Big Mess came in today and learned about the cuts.
To say he was angry was putting it mildly. I kept waiting for him to yell "It's Clobberin' Time!!!"
Not a happy camper.
So he's bidding out. He doesn't want to get caught off in a wreck either. I don't much blame him. I don't want to be anywhere near the place when it goes bad. But then I don't want to be too far away, either. I still have alot of friends down there.
The whole thing sucks.
This morning I spent an hour or so sending out angry emails to the Governor and the Senator and Congressman and State Rep. Trying to explain that what they are doing there is going to get someone hurt.
I got alot of form letters back.
As long as it isn't immediately affecting their pocketbooks, they don't really much care, it seems. We have all been saying for the last couple of days that it's going to take someone getting hurt and filing a lawsuit to make them put more people back in the Adseg unit.
And that is pretty sad. Everyone I have talked to at work is just stunned that they are pulling us out of the house. They say it's just crazy.
And it is.
I still don't know for sure how all of this is going to play out. I guess I'll just wait and see.
See that squashed looking gooey thing laying on the ground outside?
That's my morale.
We got the official word today about the cuts. My job is one of them they are cutting. Well, my "position" I should say. I get to keep my job.
Just not doing rec in the Hive.
Maybe I should have been more of a kiss a**. I'd probably still have my spot.
But that's just not my style.
KP and I are both getting cut from the house. KP, if you are just learning this for the first time, I'm sorry. I didn't really want to be the one to tell you. They are going to cut two from day shift and two from evenings. Evening shift is going to be run with only two officers in the house. Day shift is supposed to be taking over doing recreation.
Yeah. Let me know how that works out for you. They are hard pressed to get their own work done with six officers. On a good day.
Let's see..... where do most of the uses of force happen? Where do most of the staff injuries occur?
Yeah, let's cut staff from there.
I'll be gone. KP will be gone. Sgt LB says he's bidding on another job somewhere else. He said it rather eloquently: "They are setting someone up to get hurt and I don't want to be held responsible for it when it happens."
I am wavering back and forth between extremely angry at their stupidity and extremely depressed about losing my spot in the Hive.
Anyway, it should be a done deal in the next three weeks or so. I'll be somewhere else.
Last week I learned from a third or forth hand source that I was under investigation for my blogging.
Somebody made the accusation that there was a blog out there about the Hive and it was "naming names and pointing fingers and trashing the place." And that there were references to staff misconduct and unreported uses of force.
And of course, everybody started saying "Well, Rev has his blog......"
To which I replied "Who? Me?"
My name isn't on a blog anywhere that I know of.
But I started looking around and asking questions about whether there might be another blog going. Nobody in the Hive crew knew anything about one.
I started preparing my defense, just in case. I really didn't want to get harassed about my blogging habits and i didn't want to give it up, either. I really like coming here and getting all of this crap off of my chest every night. It's good therapy. I had written down the name of the area ACLU lawyer just in case I got the chance to drop that name in the course of the conversation.
Turns out I didn't need it after all.
Today i heard that they were dropping the investigation. Apparently the investigator spent several hours reading my backlog of posts and couldn't find anything wrong with what i was doing.
Then he said my blog was "boring."
So I'm not Tom Clancy. Sue me.
If you want to read about excitement every night, people are going to get hurt. And I don't think anybody wants that. I'm getting too old for that kind of silliness.
Ok, this is kind of a dumb thing. But when you spend your time going from one extreme to another like we do, your mind plays dumb tricks on you.
In the Hive we are either balls to the wall busy or bored and looking for something to do.
Today was a perfect example of that. They filled our last available bed right before shift change. While BG and I were out on 2:00 rec to be exact. And if they would have had a major problem somewhere and needed to lock up a bunch of people we would have been in some serious trouble. As it was, they only locked up two more tonight. So we only had to kick two out early.
That was a blessing and a curse.
But something came along to fill our time and occupy our minds.
Some of our food came down on a bread rack. Our bags for the diabetics and the sack meals for the guys on suicide watch. No big deal.
And in the bottom of the bread rack was a note.
It said simply (in bold red letters): "Here To Nose Sat."
I read it again. It was very plain and printed clearly. And it still read "Here to nose sat."
I showed it to everybody in the room. "What the hell does this mean?" I asked.
I called Main Production and talked to Officer Footies. He knows everything there is to know about food service.
He didn't have a clue.
He asked the cooks.
They didn't have a clue either.
I told you it was dumb. But it occupied our minds for most of the evening.