Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ask An Inmate

When I went through the academy Lo, these many years ago, one of the best pieces of advice they gave us was "If nobody else knows what to do, ask an inmate."

When I first heard that, I thought they were pulling my leg. Surely they weren't serious.

They weren't and they were.

Of course you do have to be careful about which inmate you ask. That's where experience comes in.

I misread the chrono and thought I was in Main Production today but instead I was in A-dining. In Main Production you have another officer with you in case you don't know what to do. In A-dining you are on your own.

The cooks are there, of course, and they are usually a great help. But they are often busy with their own thing and don't have time to babysit if you don't have a clue.

Most of the offenders who worked there knew me. They knew that I didn't know what was going on most of the time but they also knew that I would treat them fairly if they treated me fairly. And that worked out okay.

They kept me straight on what needed to happen when. They let me know when I needed to open the doors and unlock this and that and give them access to things they needed to do their jobs. Basically I was just a large ambulatory fairly amiable keyring. In return they did their jobs well and quickly and we actually got done about half an hour early.

There were a couple of times when they asked me to do things and I didn't do them right away and I found out later that it would have been much better if I had done them when first asked. And I was big enough to say "You were right. Next time we'll do it your way."

All in all, despite having to get up and go in early it was a pretty good day. Nobody got hurt and nobody escaped. And I got to wander the yard for half an hour and chat with a few people before going home. That was nice.

There was no need for Smoke and Mirrors today. Hopefully the festival suited some needy magician or down at the heels politician somewhere who needed the help.

Wednesday is I Am In Control Day. Wow. I'll feel just like Al Haig after the president got shot. Even if he was wrong.


  1. I'm confused. Are you in control today, am I in control today, or are the inmates in control today?

  2. Doug- You'd have to ask whoever came up with that wicked crazy list of holidays. It sure wasn't me. Apparently it wasn't the inmates, either.

    Bryan- Are you two ganging up on me?

  3. Proof that if we all work together, things could work out just fine.

  4. Chanel- Sometimes things go well. It was a give and take situation.