Tuesday, September 6, 2011


When I looked on the way out they had me scheduled for the control center again. I was happy and nervous. Tuesdays and Thursdays are transfer days.

Those are the days we trade inmates with other camps. Ours transfer out in the morning and theirs transfer in in the evening, right about shift change.

And 9 times out of 10 if count is screwed up bad enough that we have to do one of those "Send everybody back to their housing units and count them again" counts it's on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

I had yet to work up there on a transfer day. But I told myself "It's okay. Stubby will be there and he knows how to do transfers. I can watch and learn some things."

When I got to work I remembered where I was working and what day it was. And again I told myself "It's okay. Stubby will be there and he knows how to do transfers. I can watch and learn some things."

I came in and looked at the chrono and, sure enough, I was in the control center.

I said my little mantra again.

Then, just to be nosy, I looked up at the list to see who had called out.

Just one name on the list.

I'll give you three guesses.

Yup. It was him.


Okay, Rev. Don't panic. Let's see who is up there with me. Sgt Puddle. Excellent. I'm not completely hosed. Big'un.....of course. He's always up there these days. And... Mr Coffee.


I said a few more quite unladylike words right about then. And seriously considered having a sudden case of appendicitis. Or strep throat. Or pink eye. Or even strep eye and a pink appendix.

And right about that time (abut ten minutes before shift change) the transfer bus rolled in.

D'oh! Oh snap.

And silly as* me, I went on up there and started checking my numbers, feeling about as perky as a man walking to the gallows. Oh my. 43 outcounts and 4 sleepers (which screw up count something fierce some days) and 13 on the transfer bus.

To my incredible surprise, Ms Swabbie was already doing the transfers in the computer and she got them done right after I got up there. I didn't get to watch but at that point I didn't care. She had done the hardest part of the number crunching and if she didn't make any mistakes, my count should be good.

Between my ham handedness with the numbers and somebody forgetting to tell me that they had locked up two right before count it was very nearly screwed up. I had to do some fast tap dancing and recalculating and swapping numbers but it finally came out in the end.


The places I am screwing up are simple and boneheaded. I had 2 outcounts from 10 house but I wrote down a 10 instead of a 2. Like a fool. Simple things like that are catching me up.

And to make things worse there was something big going on somewhere that involved several calls to one of the police departments in the next county, a call from the Captain for the head of maintenance and a call to the Major. I never did figure out for sure what was going on with that. But it was just enough extra input to get me flustered, apparently.

We made it through, but it was a close call.

And Stubby, wherever you are, you're a jerk.

You better have been sick and not just fishing or I swear I'll spank you.

On a lighter note, Wednesday will be Neither Rain Nor Snow Day. Maybe I'll get some good news in the mail. It will also be Google Commemoration Day, Salami Day and Grandma Moses Day.

Go wild with the celebrations.


  1. I loved this post...it reminds me of a bit in my all time favourite story (and I don't care if you think less of me for liking this story) Peter Pan; Mr. Darling is trying to justify keeping his last child, Michael, and he's totting up the numbers trying to make it all balance when lovely Mrs. D interrupts; he is so flustered that he decides somehow they will manage and still be able to keep Michael, much to Mrs. D's delight.

    Yup, my all time favourite.

    You came in as a very, very, very tight second. And that, my dear bloggy buddy if pretty darn impressive! Really, no one, to date, has managed to even come in at less than triple digits.

    Just sayin',

    And...without a word of a lie...my word verification for this post is "undie"...and I'm not even going to go there!


  2. I'd be interested to know what happened that involved the police from a neighboring county and calls to the Capt and Major. time to use your investigative skill set, Rev.

  3. Here's my impression of Doug, "Der, it's just counting. Little kids know how to do that."

    Hey Doug, imagine you have a huge aquarium tank filled with 250 venomous snakes all coiled up, inter-twined, and slithering between each other. Now, imagine you have to try to count all these snakes separately, and if you're one number off, you have to face the possibility that one of the deadly snakes might be loose somewhere in the room with you, slithering around on the floor about your feet. This, I imagine, is analogous to the stress of doing a "count"

    Captcha word is "fibider", which is clearly what hillbillies call a defibrillator. "He's havin' a Heart Tack Ma, handing me the fibider!"

  4. WOW - that visual that Bryan just gave was major creepy...is it really like that?

    Man, I'd be seriously stressed if doing a head count was like counting 250 venomous snakes...and then having one loose - I'm picking up my feet as I'm typing and wondering if I just saw something out of the corner of my eye!

    Captcha word - "soregag"; must be referring to my earlier comment - how could I possible think you doing your head count would be a simple "totting up" of the numbers...yikes what a soregag!

  5. Jenny-I like that story too. Let's not tell anyone, okay? I have a rep here, ya know? And I'm flattered I was even considered in the running.

    I have been playing the veri word game off an on for years and sometimes I get really startled by what comes up in that little box.

    Joe- After tonight I don't even want to know. Really. That was enough.

    Bryan- You know... that's just eerily close to what it is really like. I almost needed the fibider myself tonight.

    Jenny- Like I told Bryan, it's a really good description. And i need to be keeping track of some of these words. Soregag is a winner!