Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Ice To Be Home

I wrote the following post while I was up in the com room last night:

Let's see.... Where to begin?

There were so many fun things tonight.

We've all known for a week that bad weather was on its' way in tonight and tomorrow. I packed a little extra food and extra smokes and extra Tylenol in my lunch box before I left the house.

Freezing rain. And the drizzle started just as I left the house. Lovely.

When I got to the comm room there was a geek from the IT department installing a new camera system for the visiting rooms. They tore out all of the VCR's and the little gadgets to control the cameras and replaced it with some computer driven thing that nobody has had any training on at all.

And of course when they installed the new gadget the computer promptly crashed, wiping out the whole system. The little geek was re-installing everything. And he didn't know enough about the system to reprogram it himself. He was on line with tech support the entire time.

This is the guy who is supposed to teach us how to use the thing. Hoo boy.

He was using his cell phone as a speaker phone instead of holding it to his ear like a normal human while Brother D and I were trying to handle shift change and the mass exodus from everybody leaving because the weather was getting bad. He kept whining because we were making too much noise.

I really wanted to show him the optimal place to insert that cell phone.

One thing I discovered right after I got in was that one of the banks of our radio chargers had died. I asked the day shift guy and he said "I have no idea when that happened. Oh well." We could barely keep up with charging the radios as it was and now we're down a whole charger. Nice...

Some time since the last time I was in there the warden had come in and taken away the remote for the teevee in the comm room. We are now locked on the weather channel and pretty much nothing else. At first I was pissed at the warden about it. Then I found out that a certain comm room officer (no names mentioned) was sitting at the desk with his feet up watching Andy Griffith when the audit team came through. He didn't even get up when they came in and that's why we lost our teevee channels.

I wish the warden would have removed him rather than our teevee channels. It would have been nicer for everybody. I'm still not real happy with either of them right now.

So the freezing rain started and everything gets real icy real quick. I hear rumors they are going to shut down the highway. Here I am thinking "Snap. I'm not going to get to go home tonight and might not be able to get there even if they let me!"

I toddle out to the parking lot to get my coveralls, just in case I need them. All the way out to the truck and back I'm doing the Oh-Snap-It's-Slippery-Tango. I'm sure it was real amusing had anybody been watching.

I get through the first three hours of my shift and I'm ready to go out in the P-car. My pockets are loaded with snacks and water and I have a fresh cup of coffee to take out with me. I call Brother D to come to the front. Next thing I know he's on channel two. He calls Sgt Puddle and says "Sarge, I got a problem." Model-A and I look at each other and say "He's stuck."

It seems that when he tried to come back around the corner to come back up here, he slid off of the road and munched into the fence around the water tower and was stuck in the ditch. Just slid smooth off the road. Brother D is one of the most careful people who works here. He wasn't hot-rodding. he said there was nothing he could do. The car was determined to slide into that fence and he couldn't convince it otherwise.

After all of that I ended up missing my turn in the P-car. Rats!

I was really looking forward to it, you know.

We had to get the grounds guy to come in with his big salt spreader and de-ice the outer road and pull the P-car out of the ditch. Him and his dump truck salt spreader does the whole perimeter road twice with a good layer of salt.

I looked at Sgt Puddle and said "We all knew this was coming for a week now. Why didn't he do that this afternoon before it got so bad? Maybe we wouldn't have wrecked a P-car if he had!"

Sgt Puddle looks at me with a straight face and says "We in the DOC are reactive, not proactive!"


So I'm sitting here now wondering if I will make it home tonight or not. Whether I will have to stay or if I'll end up in a ditch somewhere between here and there. At this point there's just no telling.

And that was all I wrote there.

Out of the 68 people on midnight shift, 35 of them called in. I was startled when I got relieved. The parking lot was nasty and I almost slid downhill trying to get out of my spot. I drove about 30 mph all the way home and managed to make it without too much trouble. But it was a long tense drive.

So today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day. Yum.

Tomorrow is both Underdog Day and National Maple Syrup Day.

I'm thinking french toast. How about you?

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