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.


  1. I love the phrase, "you couldn't trust either one of them with a wet book of matches"

  2. Guy- It's so true! The whole place would be in flames!