Friday, January 21, 2011

Yoda, I Am Not

I have been put in the position of .... not necessarily having to teach somebody how to do the job here but in one case needing to and in another case wanting to. It's been weird.

We have had two back to back groups of new hires come through. The class before is already off of OJT and are actually working on their own. This latest class is still on OJT and being shuffled from place to place, trying to see everything.

The other night they gave me one of the guys off of OJT for the comm room and P-car. He'd been in both places before but never got the chance to learn the job. Since he had to go from the comm room to the P-car at 4:00pm, I had just a little over half an hour to impart what he needed to do in both places.

And of course, ride out shift change at the same time. But I needed him to know what he was doing. One, he was going to be in the P-car with a loaded weapon and he needed to know where to be and how to react and where to go when they called. And two, he was going to be alone in the comm room for two hours and I really needed him not to screw anything up while I was gone.

Unfortunately he was a bit of a "know it all" and didn't listen to me a whole lot. A lot of what I said just went in one ear and out the other. It made me a bit nervous sending him out to the P-car. But smart me, I called Sgt Puddle and told him. he went through it step by step with the kid and then sent Vinnie out to ride with him for about twenty minutes until he knew the zones and the radio calls.

It was about the best we could do under the circumstances. Luckily nothing off the wall happened and he and the car came back with all of the shotgun ammo intact. When I switched out I told him if he had any questions about the comm room to call Sgt Puddle.

And the night went fairly smoothly.

Tonight we ended up with three OJT's out on the yard. Two of them were fairly young and one was about my age or so. One of the young guys just sat and listened and didn't talk much. I don't know if he was overwhelmed or scared or shy or just listening. The other young guy was outgoing and asked questions and joined in the discussions and seemed interested in what we were saying. And the older guy asked smart questions and seemed to listen to the answers.

Do I think I really taught them anything? Heck, I don't know. Maybe I imparted a few gems that might keep one or more of them from getting themselves or anybody else hurt. I sure hope so. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope something sunk in and that they'll stay around long enough to end up being somebody you can count on.

You just never know.

Okay. January 21st is National Hugging Day. I'm not going to be doing any of that at work. Or at least I'll keep it to a bare minimum. But you guys out there feel free to pass out a few free hugs for the ones I'll be missing inside.


  1. Can't stand those kind of people that "know it all". Betcha he will be the first to do something REALLY stupid.

    Just don't tell the inmates what tomorrow is.

  2. Misty- I hope he does something dumb without getting himself or somebody else hurt. Something small and stupid but not dangerous.

    Sunday- Hugs back! (grin)