I was pretty proud of myself early on in the day today. This marked the very first time that I handled the 4:30 count all by myself and got it right and cleared without a single screwup.
And I had additional things to account for. All last week education was out, but now they are back in session and I had over a hundred inmates in there from different houses. Laundry had over a hundred in there from different houses. And the maintenance guys had eight offenders from three different houses out working on a broken water pipe outside of Central.
I wasn't sure where to put them, so I just stuck them in a normally blank column on my count sheet and hoped for the best.
I actually got everything added up early and it all looked good. I was startled and pleased with myself. And it was a good thing it was right because Sgt Puddle left to go take care of something right after I called count so if something was wrong I was going to have to take care of it myself.
Testing me, you see. He's tricky like that.
When it all went well and count cleared I wanted to whoop and do nip-ups in the control center. But there isn't room for that sort of thing and whooping is frowned on up there. So I just sat quietly at my desk and clapped my hands and said "Yay!"
Things went pretty well after that. Only got fumblemouthed a couple of times and nothing too embarrassing. I was starting to feel like I knew what I was doing.
Like I said, things went well. Until a little after nine.
9:06, to be exact.
"10-49! 10-49! 10 house!!!" (that's a fight, by the way)
I said "Yeek!" and started to rise up out of my chair to hit the door and run. I got about halfway up and realized that I could not go. Oh snap!
And not only could I not go, I had to remain calm and coherent enough to relay that call over the radio. Take a deep breath. Push the button and lean into the mike.
"Raccoon Station to all radio units! 10-49 10-49 housing unit 10!"
And even worse than not being able to run to assist I had to sit there and wait for them to get control of the situation and then report that to everybody else over the radio.
That was an extremely long two minutes. That may not seem like a long time to you, but think about if you knew a friend or loved one was going into a possibly dangerous situation and all you could do was sit in a chair and hope they were all right for two minutes.
Two...... Long....... Freaking........ Minutes.......
That took forever.
I've got to tell you that really sucked just sitting there. I couldn't have told you without looking who was down there tonight. It might have been somebody I didn't really like. There's a few of those here. It could have been a close friend. That didn't really matter.
What did matter that some of ours were going into danger and I couldn't do anything about it other than to listen to the radio and report what I heard and hope they were all right.
I've got to tell you, that was bloody difficult. And by the time they called a 10-6 (no further help needed) I reached for the mike button and my hands were shaking from the adrenaline dump. I had to stop and take another deep breath before I could call it over the radio.
If there was much of that going on, I wouldn't be able to stay up there in the fishbowl. I wouldn't be able to take it. Even if I am old and fat and smoke too much and can't run very far, let me out so I can respond. That just eats me up inside when someone needs help and I can't go. If the situation had gotten out of hand I might have just burst into flames.
Those adrenaline rushes make me want to thump somebody. Insert Inmate A into Concrete B, then fold along the dotted lines. Trying to sit dispassionately behind a radio.....
I just don't know about that. I get a little excited.
We'll see how it goes, I guess. I'm up there again tomorrow. Transfer day with no Stubby again.
Tuesday is Defy Superstition Day (knock on wood), as well as International Chocolate Day.
I wonder if I can find a chocolate rabbits foot for luck?
"Don't Quit Your Day Job" - By Jerry Zezima Stamford Advocate When my kids were young and had already fallen into the expensive habit of eating every day, I came to a sad realization: ...
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