Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Expecting The Worst

I was going to write about what a night we had, but it seems I've already been there and done that lately. We had a really calm night so after the yards closed we sat around and tortured each other with amusing stories and really bad jokes.

Just me and Sgt Uncle T and some guy who is so new I haven't made up a nickname for him yet.

It was a good night. Or parts of it was, anyway.

Uncle T had several "meetings" with Captain Jabba and none of them turned out nicely. It seems they just haven't taken a shine to each other.

Just as soon as the Cap would call on the radio Uncle T would cringe and say "God damn it! Here we go again! More skin off my butt!"

And it's true, mostly. The man never has anything positive to say to anybody. He just criticizes and makes veiled threats. I guess it's his leadership style. He apparently likes being a bully because that is all he ever does.

And if you stay calm and use logic to refute his (usually) inane statements, he gets mad and throws you out of the office.

Unfortunately, alot of the leadership around here is like that. And we get used to being criticized and always assume that we have done something wrong.

For example: Last week I was out on the yard. Yards were closed so we were at leisure for a few moments. Out of the blue I get a radio call from Sgt Archer, who was working over on A-side. he tells me to come to central.

My immediate reaction is "Oh snap, what did I do?" All the way there my mind raced over the events of the last few days. I didn't think I had done anything wrong. And I know Archer and he wouldn't get me off in a wreck on purpose. He's a good cat. But I worried the whole way up there. And when I walked into the office there was an evaluation sheet with my name on it laying on the desk.

And once again the paranoid part of my mind thought "What did I do?"

But since Sgt Archer is my rating Sergeant he does my annual evaluations. And he had actually written up a good entry to put into my file. It basically said that I showed up to work more often than not and was on time when I did and was sensible enough not to run with scissors on the yard.

Or something nice like that. It was positive, anyway.

I almost fainted. But I restrained myself and thanked him instead.

We almost never get that kind of positive reinforcement from our leadership. Sure, there are a few, like Uncle T and Sgt Archer and a couple of others who will tell you now and then you are doing a good job and actually thank you for what you did manage to do right.

That always feels good and makes coming to work a positive thing.

The rest of them just want to concentrate on the negative stuff. "Oh sure, you just saved the Wardens life but your name tag is on crooked! That's going in your file and if it happens again you're fired!"

Okay, so I exaggerate a little. But you get the gist of it.

So many of the upper echelons want to forget that we are here to manage the inmates. They feel that since this is a prison they have to punish somebody and since they no longer have any direct contact with the inmates except for emergencies, they must punish us for any trifling or imagined derelictions.

Yeah, let's piss off the front line troops. Make them regret they ever came to work in the first place! The beatings will continue until morale improves!

By Gawd it worked for Leona Helmsley and it will work for me!

Whups. Almost forgot. Tomorrow is Evaluate Your Life Day!

Yeah. Sure. I hope there's no paperwork involved.


  1. When I was the foreman I would always thank and give praise to the crew, at least those who didn't go out of their way to screw me. When I left a couple of my crew commented that I was the only one to ever thank them for a good job. And our management wonders why morale has been so low for, oh, I'd say at least 23 years?

  2. It really makes it hard to learn the job as a young yearling around Raccoon City when you see yourself being scolded after doing something right, like saving a life. I caught a dude trying to drown himself one night and never once got a "good job" by anyone other than Sgt. LB and Sgt. Duck. The new butter bar just ripped me a new one about how I was 17 minutes instead of 15 since my last check--the last 12 of those minutes were during a 23 count!

  3. Careful Rev, your on dangerous ground. Keep up the criticism and it may "Off with his head!"

  4. Release the KRAKEN, clean up on isle #14

  5. You see this all too often when some people are given authority. I was a supervisor in a steel mill for 15+ years and had a crew of 45-50 people under me. I think everyone of them had respect for me and considered me to be at least fair with them.

  6. Joe- A good supervisor knows how to motivate his people to do a good job. The rest of them just want to play power trips.

    Drew- They can't just say you did good down there. There's always something you screwed up, whether you did or not.

    Bad Actor- They've been after my head for two years now. What else is new?

    4 star- I think it would take more than the Kraken to clean up this joint... But it's a good start!

    Just Plain Tired- You need a new job? We need some new leadership!