Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's Just A Jump To The Left....

When I left last night I was assigned to the 30 house bubble today. I wasn't looking forward to that at all. It's even more boring than working a regular house. It's not a very important job. Mostly you are just there to make announcements. Chow time. Yards open. Count. Blah blah blah.

But it was inside in the air conditioning (if it was working, anyway) and with the other crap I have going on in my mind right now I figured boring might be okay. Probably be good for me.

Well, when I got in today all hell was breaking loose. Not with the inmates, tho. With the staff. A whole bunch of 3rd shift called out and they were keeping seven people over from days and Lt Gerber was frantically shifting people around trying to cover all of the spots.

He tells me "You're going on an outcount to the hospital."

Great. I haven't done an outcount in forever. Well (duh) six years. I don't remember what to do. But I knew that sometimes you don't get good relief on outcount so I went out to my truck and got my cell phone. I figured if I was going to be late I'd phone home and leave a message so the wife wouldn't worry.

When I get back up front, KP is walking up. Lt Gerber calls him inside and when KP comes out he says "If you don't want to go to the hospital I'll go instead."

I could kiss him. Except for that cheesy mustache, anyway. It looks bristly. Ack.

By the way, thanks KP! You are still my hero.

So I go trudging back out to the parking lot and drop my cell phone back in the truck.

When I come back Lt Gerber says "I'll just put you back where you were going." Then he pauses and asks "Where were you going, anyway?"

I say "30 house bubble." He shakes his head. "Oh hell no. I'm not sending you there. You're going to B yard!"

So after all of that, instead of being on my post early, I show up right at shift change for my third assignment of the night.

Luckily Sgt Miz P was working the yard with us. I rode around on the cart for awhile with her and talked out some of the crap in my head. She's a good listener.

It didn't really solve any of my problems, but it did make me feel better.

So despite the goat rope in the beginning and even though we got rained on twice I had a pretty good night. Spent half the night with Sgt Miz P and the other half with St. Francis. He's a good cat to have at your side if you're feeling blue.

Maybe I can sleep tonight. That would be nice.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Internet Down

My internet was down last night when I came home. Finally came back up this morning.

But it's no great loss for the blogging world.

I had no great insights or revelations last night. Nothing even remotely funny, either.

I was in a crappy mood when I went to work and pretty much stayed in one the whole night. Everybody saw that and pretty much left me alone. I spent most of the evening driving around the yard on a cart by myself.

Going someplace new this evening.

I'll try to be in a better mood.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On The Outside Looking In

Oh my lawd, my internet connection is slow tonight. I almost decided not to post because I couldn't get here. Hopefully I can get it to save.

I've noticed one real down side to my Wednesday spot in the comm room/P-car.... I'm on the outside. And if anything happens on the inside, I can't do anything about it.

Except maybe scream through the fence.

You guys know me. If something is going down I'm going to be there. I might not be in real good shape by the time I get there, but I'll go. You can count on me when the snit hits the fan.

But if I'm stuck outside in that damn car there's nothing I can do and it's a bit frustrating.

Conversely, if anything happened on the outside that I had to deal with, not many people could show up for that, either. Hopefully the other p-car and the other shotgun would have my back, but that's about it.

I was out doing my two hours driving when I heard something going down in the laundry. Not sure what it was, but it sounded like something. Then I heard this rather excited voice shout "78 to 69! 10-10!" The laundry officer hollering for the B-yard Sergeant. Granted, it is a little noisy down there and sometimes you have to shout. But he sounded excited. He almost had that 10-5 tone in his voice.

And there I was, stuck outside the fence driving around in the car. And my patrol area is on the other side of the camp from laundry. All I could do was gnash my teeth and beat on the steering wheel. And I really shouldn't do that. The state these cars are in it might come off in my hands.

Purely for my own morale I leaned out the window and shouted "Haul 'im out to the fence, Billy! I'll calm his a** down!"

That made me feel a little better.

Turned out it wasn't really anything. Just some knucklehead who didn't want to work. Got mouthy with one of the supervisors and then with the officer. He ended up going to the Hive without too much trouble.

But I do get wound up sometimes.

I'm too excitable, I think.

Lots Of Ground To Cover

Out on B-yard again today. Another hot and humid son of a buck. Almost made me feel like I was back in Central America again.

The other night I had asked KP if he knew how large the B side yard was. He suggested that I step it off and find out.

So today I did.

B side yard, which is the largest of the three yards we have on this camp, is about 160 yards wide and somewhere around 330 yards long. That comes out to 52,800 square yards, or a little over 10 acres.

Give or take a little, as I was constantly interrupted in my pacing and I'm not really all that good at math.

But those of you in real estate or who have farms might have an idea of how large ten acres is.

Now imagine this: There are over a thousand convicted felons loose and spread all over that ten acres. Some of them are behaving themselves, and some of them are not.

Your job is to catch the ones who are not.

At most there are three of you. One Sergeant and two CO's. And if there is anything going on anywhere in one of the six housing units abutting that yard, then there is probably only one of you out there to keep order.

And there is one spot you can stand in where you can see most, but not all of the yard. There is nowhere that you can see all of it.

So we spend our time moving. Either walking or riding in a golf cart. They keep making me take the golf cart because they know that I am susceptible to heat injuries, having had heat stroke once before.

And you go around and around and make loops and try to vary your path so they don't know for sure when you are coming. And while you are doing that you try to keep an eye out toward the wobblehead yard (because you never know with those wacky wobbleheads) and down at the dining hall and up in the gym and those coming and going from both the library and medical.

But hey, only eight hours of that then you can go home!

What could be simpler?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fighting The Good Fight

Against boredom, mostly.

It seems that when we are doing our jobs properly and paying attention, then our biggest enemy is boredom.

I liken it to being the night watchman in a nuclear power plant. As long as we are vigilant to problems and monitor all of the gauges, then nothing should happen.

We can just clock out at the end of the night, tell the next shift "business as usual" and walk out the door.

But lawsy lawsy it makes for some long nights.

Luckily I spent the evening locked up in a house with TJ, Sgt McGiggles and Mr Toad. Quite the combination. Most of our evening was spent talking about movies and teevee shows and telling bad jokes. Really bad jokes.

Really really bad jokes.

Some of them should be criminal. I'm just saying.

And the worst part of the evening was after count cleared and TJ and Sarge went home and left me alone with Mr Toad.

The man is not a stunning conversationalist, to say the least.

It was less of a trial than being locked in a room with that annoying wobblehead last week.

But not by much.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Small Glimpse Of Hell

I guess that title might be a little harsh. But just a little.

I've talked about this inmate before. He's the one that dances like Michael Jackson and claims he could kill all of the CO's and knock down the fences if he doesn't get his meds.

When he gets mad he claims that he "blacks out" and that his (other) personality comes out and does terrible things. He also claims that he has nearly beaten other inmates to death.

In his mind, he is one bad mother....... (hush your mouth!)

In harsh cold reality he is just a scrawny little punk with severe emotional problems and delusions of grandeur. He also has very poor personal hygiene. In short, he reeks.

Apparently they kicked him out of the Hive either last night or today and stuck him back in the wobblehead house. And they stuck him in a cell with a guy who is neither a slob nor a wobblehead. I know they guy. He used to be one of my workers. He's pretty fastidious and keeps himself clean and neat.

When the cellie told this wobblehead, who goes by the name of "slingblade" that he better take a shower and wash his nasty clothes, he took off for the mental health offices and cried that his cellie was threatening him and that we'd better do something about it, quick!

Sgt Bowman and I got the call. As soon as I saw him I knew we were going to be locking him up. And sure enough, we did. Under Administrative PC.

I got to escort him back down to the wobblehead house. Since they were busy doing med pass down there and it was almost count time, they stuck me and him in the Sgt's office to wait until they were ready for him.

I know that it's unprofessional, but I really cannot stand that little creep. His constant claims of being a bada** combined with his pungent odor really ick me out and I don't like being anywhere near him.

And they left me in there alone with him for fifteen minutes. The evil swine. And he babbled at me the whole time. When the house officers got in there, he babbled at them. And when Sgt Bowman showed back up he babbled at him.

By that time I just wanted to grab him by his shirt and throw him through something solid and scream "WILL YOU JUST SHUT THE F*CK UP, FOR GAWDS SAKE!!!!"

I'm pretty sure I ground half of the enamel off of my teeth before I managed to get out of there.

Luckily by the time he was ready to go, I was busy doing other things and Sarge sent St. Francis to do the escort. If it had been me, I'm not sure he would have made it to the Hive with all of his appendages still attached.

I have seen a glimpse of my personal hell. Locked in a room with that little creep and not being able to slam him.

I'll be good! I promise!

Friday, July 23, 2010

At Least I Got To Ride

Thursdays, of course, are my day to be out on B-yard. Historically, it has rained every day I have been on the yard.

Today it didn't. I'm just pretty happy about that.

I was a bit worried, as the weather forecast said it was going to be really really hot, with heat indexes well over 100.

And I knew that they had taken away the guard shack (and the fridge and the microwave and the a/c) in order to put up a new one. We were hoping the new shack would be in place today, but no such luck.

So we had no good place to go and cool off and we had to leave our lunch boxes up at central. It sucked having to go up there every time I needed something to drink.

I had brought four bottles of water and a big powerade. I drank all of that, and another bottle of water out of the machine and a refilled bottle of prison water, which tastes nasty.

And sweated it all right back out again. I was hoping I would get one more days use out of that uniform, since tomorrow is my Friday. But no such luck, there! I didn't even want to be in the same room with my uniform by the time I came home. Pfew!

But at least we had two working golf carts, so I got to ride around instead of walking while the yards were open. That was a plus. And a rarity. I just drove from shady spot to shady spot, keeping an eye on the knuckleheads.

Tomorrow I get to work the yard again. This is costing me a fortune in liquids!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Unexpected Journey

In our institution, as in any big business, there are certain people who are good at doing certain things that other people aren't.

For example, if there's an inmate that needs to be transported up to The City or down to The Capitol, then they call Sausage or Goosey. Those two know the procedures and the roads and know how to get it done correctly.

Granted, you couldn't trust either one of them with a wet book of matches any other time, but they are really good at going on the road.

If you want someone to take pictures, you get Slick off the yard and if you want anything to do with E-squad or the Dog Team, you call Sgt Giggles.

You call me if you want someone thumped or if you need to talk one of the wobbleheads down out of a tree somewhere. It's all I'm really good at.

I'm in the Comm Room tonight trying to get that hideous inventory done when the phone rings. It's Captain Walrus. He's real pleasant, asking me how things are going, etc.

Then he says: "I'm being nice, so you must know I want something."

Well, that was pretty much self-evident and I said so.

He proceeds to tell me this long tale about how one of the transportation vans broke down and was being towed in here but they didn't get to finish their run.

I'm still waiting for the punch line at this point.

He asks me if I know how to get to the other prison just north of us. Well, yeah. I worked there for about a year before I transferred here. I know the place.

Then he asks (still very nicely) if I would mind running the rest of the stuff in another van up there and dropping it off.

Hell, I didn't mind. It would get out of here for awhile!

But here's the thing. On Wednesdays I am the Comm Room officer. The only one. There's always only one. So in order for me to leave they had to pull the guy from the front desk up to the Comm Room, then pull someone from the Control Center to cover the front desk.

Wouldn't it have been much easier to grab an extra from one of the houses or yards to do that, rather than shifting three people around?

It's not that I minded going. It's somewhere I knew and I could get there without getting lost. That's a plus for me. I can get lost in my own driveway.

Even though I had bad memories of that other camp, the trip wasn't too bad. I stood outside the fence and marveled at how quiet the place was. They have central air in the buildings, so none of their windows open. That was one positive thing I remember about the place. If the yards were closed, you could walk down the sidewalk and not hear a single inmates voice.

That would seem like a little slice of heaven for awhile.

But the only way I would ever go back is if I could take my own people with me.

Culture Shock

They sent me over to Peggy Sue's house today.

It's the sexual offender program house. I knew that going in there.

I was not at all prepared for what it was like. Not one bit.

For one thing, there are no cells, nor doors. All open wings with between 36 and 60 inmates in a wing. That was a real odd thing for me, to walk into a room with 60 inmates running around loose.

They mostly police themselves. All of these guys have to finish this program in order to qualify
for early release or parole. So they behave themselves in there. They want to finish so they can get out of prison. I can understand that. And when one of them screws up, they band together and make him turn himself in.

They were quiet and polite.

They got out of my way when I came into a room. They called me "Sir".

That made me suspicious. I kept prowling around trying to catch somebody doing something stupid. I prowled around enough that it was starting to make them nervous. And I still couldn't catch them doing anything.

Because they weren't doing anything! They were all in their little support groups or studying at their bunks with other inmates.

I couldn't even catch anybody smoking in the bathrooms.

I don't know how Peggy Sue does it.

That place is weird as hell!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prowling Familiar Territory

I called last night to make sure where I was at today. Lt Stoner looked and said I was in 4 house.

That's cool. I can do 4 house. Down there with Big Mess and Sgt Duck? Oh, yeah.

Burt when I got in today Lt Pinocchio points at me and says "The Hive. Bubble. Miz Maybe called out."

Oh snap. Back in the Hive again.

Ah well, it's the first time in two weeks. I can deal with it.

I had almost forgotten how much difference there is between the Hive bubble and the ones in regular housing units. In a regular house you are busier, but it doesn't matter so much there if you pop the wrong door. The inmate will either close it again or leave it open. Half of the time in a regular house, it doesn't matter.

In a regular house you sit at the panel with your back to the wings. I never really understood the thinking behind that idea. But also, in a regular house, everybody hangs out in the bubble so there's always someone calling out doors to open.

And in a regular house, there's very little room to move around in the bubble. It's packed full of lockers and filing cabinets and tables and things that they need to run the house on a day to day basis.

In the Hive you are by yourself up there. And the panels face the wings (well, they did, but the one is still broken and missing. How much longer?????) but you have to watch out yourself to make sure you have the right door. Because if you open the wrong one, someone might get hurt.

And there is very little stuff up in the Hive bubble. It's all down in the Sgt's office, where everybody else hangs out. So you have room to prowl back and forth, keeping an eye on things.

So that is what I spent most of my night doing. Prowling the bubble and watching over my crew and pacing back and forth and hoping I didn't screw up.

I had almost forgotten how nuts the place was. But it was nice seeing BG and Chucky and Windows again.

I believe it was Thomas Wolfe who said "You can't go home again." He was wrong. You can go there, but only for one shift and you're much happier when you get to leave again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Leave It To The Wobbleheads!

They just never seem to cease to amaze me. Them wacky wobbleheads.

I'd only been down to their house once for a brief visit since I have been on utility, so I haven't had much contact with the overly medicated lately.

But news does still filter down.

This afternoon while I was waiting to go to 7 house and work with Porgey and the Mad Bomber, Uncle Scary came up and said "Do you remember (insert name here)?"

Of course I did. He was a frequent flier. Poor kid has some serious issues. Probably the least of which is this morbid fascination with his excretory system. In laymans terms, he plays with his butt until he makes himself bleed. Icky, I know. He ends up on suicide watch alot.

Anyway, Uncle scary went on to say: "They put him back on suicide watch again. (Imagine that!) He had an appointment with mental health and he never showed up. They started looking for him and they couldn't find him anywhere. About the time they were thinking about locking the whole place down to track him down, somebody found him. He was actually in his cell. All the way underneath his bunk where you had to crouch down on the floor to see him. They found him stark bare butt naked underneath his bunk eating Fritos. When they asked him why he said "It's cooler under here." "

Apparently there was a bit of a struggle getting him to come out and put some clothes on and he ended up down in the Hive on suicide watch again.

And strangely enough, there was a Code 16 down in the Hive tonight. An offender was bleeding.

Three guesses who it was.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm In Charge Of What???

So there I was... out on the yard with Sgt Little J and COI Goosey. Half a bazillion inmates out running around the yard unfettered. Several of which have threatened to kill me at one time or another down in the Hive.

Then something goes down in 7 house and Sarge and Goosey take off to handle it. Leaving me alone on the yard.

A few minutes later Lt Gerber comes trotting by and he says "I guess you have the yard. Handle it!"

You have got to be snitting me!

Turned out it was okay. It was only for an hour or so and I didn't screw anything up. Actually when it's just open yard you have to work pretty hard to screw anything up.

That's a good thing.

I just drove around and around on the little golf cart, making laps around the yard. It takes about six minutes to make a slow lap around the yard. So I made about 40 laps tonight.

That got old pretty quick.

At least it didn't rain the whole evening.

And I did do the Del Norte walk again. It looks like that's going to be an every Thursday thing for me. Looks like I better get back on the treadmill and work on my legs some more, eh?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thinking About Mortality

There were two incidents years ago down in the Hive when I thought I might have killed someone.

One was the little knucklehead i ended up breaking the window with. So far that has been the high point of my career in corrections.

The other one was the one that spit on the Pshrink and then spit in my eye. He went down pretty hard and I thought I had broken his neck. I hadn't meant to do that, even tho I was pretty mad. I'm glad in retrospect that I didn't.

Today I found myself in the P-car, driving around the perimeter with a loaded shotgun next to me.

That shotgun has only one real purpose: To shoot an inmate trying to escape. To kill him.

Of course, policy gets pretty vague about when you can actually shoot somebody. They don't like to get pinned down when it comes to using deadly force. They would rather leave it up to the individual and then say "We didn't tell him to do that." if it turns out bad.

I think about these sorts of things when left alone too much. It's probably not a good thing.

Would I be able to shoot somebody escaping?

I'd like to think I could. It's my job.

But how would I feel about it afterwards?

Having never killed anybody before, I just can't answer that question.

I just keep hoping I never come to that bridge to see if I can cross it.

Could you do it?

I've Been Replaced!

The new orders came out today. I was hoping that Chucky would get my old spot. AT least BG would know who to thump when things went bad.

But some guy off midnight shift got the spot. I've only met a few midnights people since I left the 2-10 spot and I don't know this guy. I hope he's good. And I hope he's ready to work his butt off. BG don't willingly allow much slacking. Sgt Mix P says he will do okay. If she vouches for him, then he must be all right.

But then she vouched for me too. Maybe she'll be right this time. (grin)

I do worry, tho. Even though I don't work the Hive anymore I miss my crew and worry about people getting hurt and things not getting done. I'm obviously a bit neurotic.

I'm sure you have noticed that.

Speaking of Sgt Miz P, I was talking to her on the way out tonight. She said "Revvy, the Hive aint no fun anymore. I don't like it down there."

I suspect she has just gotten used to dealing with the wobbleheads down in her house. But it's mostly true. The place isn't anywhere near as exciting as it used to be. And nowhere near as fun. One of the many reasons why I left.

And I have three words about working utility in a regular house:




And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gee.... How Nice.

When I left Friday night, I looked ahead on the chrono sheet and they had me on the bench. That means that I was extra and I would get put wherever they needed me.

Aw. Nice.

So I came in today and found out I was in the strip room. When any inmate workers leave the institution they get strip searched when they come back.

And I was the guy they picked for the job.

I feel so special.

I don't know how many guys paraded through there this afternoon. Maybe thirty. And every single one of them had to get mother naked and do this little dance where they show the insides of their mouths, behind their ears, under their junk, the bottoms of their feet and squat and cough.

Not exactly my cup of cheese, if you know what I mean. And even if I did swing that way every single one of them was hot and sweaty from working outside and they smelled nasty.

And frankly, not a single one of them was in the least bit attractive.

I'm just saying.....

But as a sort of reward when I got done with strips they put me out on A yard as an extra. That was okay until the thunderstorms rolled in.

Then it proceeded to rain and thunder like it was going to be the end of the world. And once again, I got completely soaking wet.

The lieutenant seems to like me a little but the weather Gawds have it in for me, I'm sure. Them sunzabitches tried to drown me!

At least I was mostly dry again by the time I got home.

I'm on the bench again tomorrow. I wonder what's in store next?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I think I've said something about how different a regular housing unit is from the Hive already. But I'm going to say it again.

I worked three house today with TJ and the Gnome. We had no sergeant, so it was just the three of us. Aside from the occasional wing walk or a few cell searches, we spent most of the night up in the bubble swapping tall tales and talking about teevee shows.

Walking the wings in a GP house is just so odd. For one thing, most of the cell doors are open most of the time. That still freaks me out just a little.

And it smells clean. Sure, there's the odd guy who just came in from playing ball or something and is a little sweaty, but there isn't the deep overpowering funk all over everything. Nobody in a GP house plays in their poop and I forgot how much I appreciated that.

The inmates are, for the most part, polite to me. When they talk to me at all, and there are quite a few of them that remember me, they are to a man amazed to see me outside of the Hive and they all remark on that. And most of them agree that it's a good thing I got out of there.

I guess I'm ready to relax a little and not be stressed out and hurt all the time.

This move will probably save me a small fortune in aspirin and antacids.

Time will tell.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Last night was my first night on B yard. The first time I had even set foot on that side of the camp for over a year.

It hadn't rained substantially here for several weeks. The whole area was as dry as a stale saltine cracker.

Until I got out onto the yard, anyway. Then it became a tarantula downpour. So I got to start out my shift soaking wet. Inside of twenty minutes my fingers looked like I had just spent an hour soaking in the tub. And my boots made little "squish squish" noises every time I made a step.

No big deal.

I like walking, so I made use of the space and the time out there and walked several laps around the yard, even in the rain.

I think I overdid it just a little.

I forgot to take into account that I would have to do the Del Norte walk after the yards closed.

We have two rows of outer fence, all lined with barbed wire and razor wire. The inside fence has sensors wired to it that react to any motion in the fence which sets off an alarm in the control center. Usually it is just wind and birds, but some day it might be an actual inmate so we still have to check the alarms when they go off. The sensors themselves were made by the Del Norte company which seems to no longer exist. (Doesn't that just figure?) That's why we call it the Del Norte walk.

At any rate, the walk is somewhere around half a mile or so and you have to set off the alarms in each zone as you pass so we can know that they are still working at least at that moment. You also take pen and paper with you and note down any lights that are not functioning and anything odd you might see that could cause a problem.

I saw one skunk (and I had to pause while he got on his way), several birds, a cat and three baby bunnies.

I didn't write those down in my report. I thought about it, tho.

When I got done with that I went back to the yard and tried to sit down for a bit. Right about then Sgt Bowman came out and said we had a lockup in 6 house. So I walked down there. It was one of my frequent fliers from the Hive needing PC. He was packing his own property and I waited while another officer assisted him.

While we were waiting I heard an ASAP call from 30 house. So I left the PC with the other officer and speed-walked down to 30 house. Turned out to be pretty much nothing important, so back to 6 I went. Walked him from 6 to medical and then down to the Hive.

Back to the yard. Property in the wobblehead house to go to the Hive. Took the cart to get it and run it across. The battery light was blinking, and I figured it was going to die very soon. The power on the cart was very low and I almost didn't make it up the hill and over. I decided I would just walk the bag of property from the gate to the Hive. It's not very far.

I got down to the gate and said "Oh snap! Where's that property?"

There it was, at the top of the hill where it had fallen off.


Walked up and got the bag and schlepped it back down to the gate and across. On the way back I had to push the cart over the top of the hill to get it back.

So I think I overdid it just a little for my first night. When I got home last night, between the heat and the rain and the walking, I had a nasty heat rash on my calves. Most likely from wet polyester rubbing against them all night.


I'm Pooped

Too pooped to pontificate. I'll tell you about it in the morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Random Numbers

I would really like to meet the crazed lunatic that invented the numbering system that we use for our radios up in the comm room.

He wouldn't enjoy the meeting so much, but I would.

He'd be needing a whole bottle of Bactine afterwards. Trust me.

You'd think that they would just start with #1 and go on until they ran out of radios.

"Oh nooooo...." he says, his voice dripping with venomous sarcasm. "That would make waaay too much freaking sense now, wouldn't it?"

The lowest number we have is five. The highest is in the 700's. But we don't have anywhere near 700 radios.

And of course, every section has to have their radios reserved so they get the ones they want.

So the chaplains radios are marked with a "J". Don't ask me why.

The cooks radios start with "S". The rec officers start with "R". The only one that makes sense.

Maintenance, is of course "M" and the CTC radios are marked "CTC".

It seems at one point in history common sense broke out.

Some radios have mics and some do not. Some have cases but no mics, some have cases with swivels you can put on your belt. Some do not. Some have everything. Some have short antennas and some long ones.

And everyone has a preference.

When you get a radio, you give a key tab. It's a little bit of metal with your name stamped on it. It goes on a hook to show which radio you got.

But the little hooks have little or no connection with the radio numbers. And there are four different boards with the little hooks to choose from.

5-10 might be on this board. 11 got lost somewhere so 12, 13 and 14 are over here, but 15-22 are over on the other side.

72? Should be right next to 73, right?

Oh no. That's on that other board over there. It's special.

And since 5 is our lowest number, you'd think it would be first, right?

Oh hell no. It's way down at the bottom, right next to 6. Right between 179 and 184, right next to CTC1!

Of course it is! What was I thinking?

What the hell was I thinking?

That's a damn good question.


So tonight I was scheduled to be in the 4 house control room. I came in early hoping that I would have gotten moved elsewhere.

No such luck.

Lt Gerber was on the books and when I came in he said "You're in the 4 house bubble. Good luck." And he smirked at me as I sauntered out the door.

I have never worked the bubble in a regular house before and I was a bit disputatious. There is a lot more opening doors in a regular house than there is in the Hive.

I spent most of my night in front of the control panel flipping from screen to screen and popping doors as fast as I could.

I only screwed up a few times, I think. And it was no biggie.

If you pop the wrong door in a GP house, they just wander out and close it again.


At times I had Sgt Duck and Miss B and some fairly new guy whose name I forget at the moment standing at the windows calling out cell numbers while I sat at the panel poking at it with my finger like some spastic woodpecker in need of viagra.

When there were no doors to be opened, I paced.

That drove Miss B crazy. She'd say "Quit pacing! Relax!"

And I'd scream "I CAN'T!!!"

Still not used to being idle. It'll pass.

I'm sure I'm probably adding years to my life by getting out of that place.

But the transition is killing me.

Tomorrow I am up in the Comm Room, handing out keys and radios. I'm sure that's going to be a mess. Haven't been up there in years.

And all by myself. Alone for eight hours for the most part.

If, by chance you happen by the Comm Room and hear strange muttering and perhaps some inarticulate screams, pay them no attention.

It's just me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Post: Day One

Well, after my getting ready for work jitters, the rest of the day was a complete anticlimax.

I worked 3 house with Tango J, Mr. M and Sgt McGiggles.

They kept me just busy enough to keep me from going completely postal.

But other than that I was bored. Just hanging out and swapping stories. Every once in awhile doing a wing walk. I was antsy enough I think Tango J did more cell searches than he wanted to, just to give me something to do.

And nobody screamed.

Nobody kicked their door.

Nobody threw anything at me.

Nobody called me foul names or offered to have sex with me.

And 99% of them went to bed and to sleep after count.

A few of the offenders were actually polite.

It's unnatural.

It's going to be a while before I can get used to this sort of thing, I imagine.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Schedule Again

Man, I hate getting used to a new schedule. Last week and for the last year and a half (since I left day shift) I have been leaving for work at 1:00 pm sharp.

Now it's twenty after.

I got dressed for work half an hour ago and I have drank more coffee than I am used to getting.

Now I'm all jittery.

Nervous? No. I'm pretty sure I won't run into anything that I can't handle. I'm just off my schedule and I don't handle that well.

It'll take me some time to get used to it. But I will.

If anything fun happens I'll let you know.

Wish me luck!

Is there any more coffee?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That's A Wrap!

I guess I can say that everything went pretty well for my last day down in the Hive. Better than I had expected, for sure. As Drew so aptly said, it was bittersweet.

I half expected everything to fly off the handle and spend half my night doing paperwork.

So glad that didn't happen.

BG and I did some rec. I saved almost an entire page to make my last epic entry in the rec book.

And I found this little dingus on the floor in the office. It looks like a corner from one of our employee handbooks that someone cut off. Maybe three quarters of an inch square with a staple in the middle of it.

That crazy critter in the back of my mind said "It looks just like a tiny book! I'll write in it!"

And I did. It took me most of the night sitting out on the rec yard in between getting up to let the knuckleheads in and out of the cages to fill the thing up in my tiniest handwriting. I wrote about the people I have worked with in over half a decade of working Adseg and how they affected my life in different ways.

Between that and the rec log I spent a good portion of my night doing paperwork, after all.

My hand hurts.

But I have a three day weekend to rest back up before I start my new bid.

Hopefully I will have some fun and different things to write about.

Mostly I think I'm just going to be startled about how different it is.

We'll see.

Be careful out there.