Saturday, June 18, 2011

Skeleton Crew

Just the other day it seemed, we had CO's running out of our ears. Today we were down to bare bones and we really needed the extra people.

I thought it was going to be an easy night, like last Friday when they sent me to 10 house. Lt Strong said "Go do the mail run, then go to 25 house. You'll have an easy night over there."

Well, the first part of that plan went well. I fiddle-fargled around until the mail was ready and loaded it up in the little golf cart and took my time driving around delivering the mail. Of course getting to use a cart that had both good acceleration and good brakes at the same time was so novel I couldn't but have fun cruising around on it. I'd haul my buns down the walk screaming "Get the frack out of the way!" and watch the inmates scatter.

25 house is usually a fairly fun place to work. Except for the inmates, anyway. But 25 is often referred to as the "Estrogen House" because of the mostly female staff there. If you are a guy, you can easily find yourself outnumbered in that house. It's mostly a fun place to work but it's also a real good place to keep your pie hole firmly shut.

I'm sure you married guys will know exactly what I mean.

The house usually runs with four or sometimes even five wing officers, a bubble officer and a Sergeant. Tonight when I got there Sgt Homer said "It was nice working with you!" and left. They had pulled him to the Hive to cover down there. That only left four of us in the house. One bubble and three wing.

Tilt had E-wing, up on the 4th floor. It's the smallest wing, only having 36 inmates but it's kind of isolated and the stairs are pretty steep so they always put one up there. I told him "If you have trouble with any of them, push them down the stairs first. That way I won't have to run up so many dang steps!"

I had C and D winds on the 2nd floor. 59 inmates in one wing and 60 in the other.

Ruger was in charge of A and B wings on the first floor with 60 apiece. He's a good cat. Been a CO for years and if you need to know anything about hunting, fishing, boats or guns, he's your man.

Ms Drawl was in the bubble. Ruger had just bid into the house a few months ago but Ms Drawl had been there forever and she knew the place like the back of her hand. She's a funny woman. Imagine Ellie May Clampett with that gawd awful drawl of hers. Give her Granny's temper and a laugh like Woody Woodpecker. That's her. Entertaining as heck. Just don't piss her off.

Since policy requires that we have two officers at each count, it went like this: I went up and helped Tilt count E-wing. Then he came down and helped me count C and D. Ruger went and counted A and B, then traded places in the bubble with Ms Drawl and she went and counted them again. It was a pain in the butt.

Things went along pretty smooth there for awhile until about an hour after the yards opened. I heard a call on the radio for Sgt Uncle Buck to send two officers to 3 house. That was an odd and sort of off call so I decided to walk down to the gate by the big yard just in case something kicked off. I thought if nothing else I could step out and help watch the yard.

Then out of the blue they call and close the yards. At about 7:00 pm. All of the inmates are pissed off and asking me questions. All I could say was "I aint got a clue, pal." We got the yards clear and everyone back inside and they called a name and number count, like somebody might be missing.

Oh snap, I hate it when they do that! But count cleared and they ended up locking a couple of them up from here and there. And even though we had almost an hour of sunlight left, they kept the yards closed.

Don't know why they did that, either. It's a mystery. Or maybe the Captain was tired of riding around on the cart and wanted to go inside for the rest of the night. I don't know.

We did our little count dance for the third time at 10 pm as usual and then we all went home.

For a night when I didn't really do all that much, I'm pooped. Of course I did have to trot up and down the stairs quite a bit. maybe that was it.

So let's look at the weekend. Saturday will be International Panic Day. I belive I'll stay at home for that one. Sunday is World Sauntering Day. No moseying allowed! And Monday will be Ice Cream Soda Day. I'll bring the straws!


  1. Finally a reason to look forward to Monday!

    Sounds like a busy night. I imagine the last place you want to be understaffed is in a prison. Unless, say, you have a job being lowered down into an outhouse pit, and the guy that's supposed to reel you back up goes home sick. (Lawd, I apologize. I was trying to think of other jobs where it would be worse to be understaffed, and I was drawing a blank. That was the best I could come up with. Sad.)

  2. After reading this...I have the strange, overwhelming desire to watch the old episodes of The Beverly Hill Billies...

  3. It never fails, when we get enough staff to run every housing unit and have left overs, everyone gets the idea that it is ok to call in the next day because we have enough folks.....folks is crazy haha. By the way I have my mom reading your blog now and she loves it!

    My security word was STSAX....thought it was jibberish so I spelled it backwards and got XASTS which apparently is a symbol for the flower known as the "rough cocklebur"....hee hee hee

  4. Bryan- Being short of people at the prison is alot like being left down in an outhouse pit. You don't get back out til the next shift arrives eight hours later. A very apt analogy.

    Chanel- I was singing the theme song all night.

    "Come and listen to my story
    'Bout a man named Rev
    A poor CO
    Couldn't rhyme nothing with Rev
    Then one day he was workin' in the Hive
    And he was just glad he made it out alive.
    Walkin' that is.
    On his own feet. Out the door."

    FlyinMonkey- Welcome back, amigo! Wouldn't it be nice if everybody showed up for work like they needed the job? Yeah.

    Hi Mom! Your boy is a nut, by the way. But you probably know that already.

    Rough cocklebur... Didn't we have those for chow the other night?

  5. What is ice cream soda. Is that like a root beer float? Or just cream soda with ice?

  6. Doug- I believe they actually started before there were actual sodas or colas. Just ice cream and soda water. But it's pretty much ice cream in any type of soda you prefer. Like a root beer float.

  7. Ok, I celebrated, but I made mine a Coke float (I own a few shares of Coca-Cola stock, have to help those divident payments).