Tuesday, November 29, 2011


There are some people here..... I imagine there are one or two almost anywhere you work... That spend eight hours inside the fence and you never see or hear of them all night long, as if they were never here at all.

I always refer to it as "ghosting". Other people have other phrases. Like "That blankety-blank so and so was supposed to be an extra out here on the yard and I haven't seen him all night! Where the frack did he go?"

Some people are extremely good at ghosting. On our shift after seven or eight o'clock there are numerous empty buildings you could slip inside of if you had the right keys. Bathroom, phone, coffee pot... sometimes even a teevee set if you play your cards right. And if nobody knows you're there, you can sit warm and cozy all night long.

Me, I'm usually not so good at it. I get bored and lonely when left by myself too long. And I feel guilty about not being out there doing something.

But tonight I got fed up and I ghosted. Sort of.

I came in early as usual and Lt Sienna said "Revvy, where do you want to work?" I knew right away we were overstaffed again. At least temporarily.

I smiled and said hopefully "Someplace warm?"

He said "Okey doke! Go work the control center until I need you!"

Sweet! Inside and warm was okay with me, after last night. So I went outside to smoke and wait for shift to start.

But alas, it wasn't to last. Five minutes later he came out and said "I need you to go on outcount. We have an inmate in surgery and I need you to go relieve the day shift guys. You'll probably be back early." It was at the local hospital, not five hundred miles away like some of them so I agreed. He gave me a couple of different people to take with me and I picked Brylcreem. He's a nice enough guy. His hair is so perfect it's a little irritating, but other than that...

So we went and relieved the day shift guys and an hour and a half later brought the inmate back in time to get back inside before count. Got him put up in medical and I put the car away and we went inside to find out where to go next.

We got into Central and Captain Spit was on the phone. Something bad about count.

"I don't know how they done it." He says, "But 30 house seems to be missing a whole wing. They're short 51 offenders somehow." He shakes his head and points at Brylcreem and says "I want you to go help 30 house remember how to count."

He sends me to A-yard to relieve the Watcher and send him up to Central. Something about training hours and his mad computer skills.

Well of course Sgt Uncle Buck aint gonna let his top guy go while count is messed up and we still have to run mainline. So I get to go hang out on the yard for awhile until he can go take care of whatever it is the captain wants.

No big deal. I go out and watch the movements and the line up at medical. For about forty five minutes.

Then Silent Bob comes out to where I'm at and says "You need to go up front and relieve Brother D and have him come in here and see Sgt Buck. He's in the P-car."

Okey dokey. Off I go. And Brother D isn't happy about being relieved. Plus, he hasn't been inside farther than Central in ages and I have to tell him how to find A-dining, where Sgt Uncle Buck is.

I always love being the bearer of bad tidings. And Brother D, aside from being one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, is also one of the people you do not want pissed off at you. He's big and strong and loud and a bit scary when he's pissed off. Fortunately, he's not one to shoot the messenger.

So I stay in the P-car for maybe half an hour then get relieved at the regular time by Bucky who takes his turn in the car and I go back inside. I left my lunchbox in the control center and I decided to stop and eat my dinner before I go back in for my next assignment.

While I'm up there they said "Revvy, you need to stay up here for awhile. We need some relief so we can go smoke now and then." Sgt Loompa nods and says "Yeah. You can stay up here. If they want you, they know where to find you."

So I ghosted the rest of the evening in the control center. Not "actually" ghosting, but as close as I ever get. And there was a coffee pot and a bathroom and while there was no teevee set, there was good company to make up for that one lack. That was enough.

And while I was there Peggy Sue dropped in for another of those great squeezy hugs and she brought me a letter of recommendation for my promotion packet that made me sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. She used words like "poise" and "professionalism" several times. Even "consummate professionalism", which made me blush and say "Aw, shucks!"

I know I already said it, Peggy Sue, but thank you again. I only hope I can live up to that sort of recommendation. And P.S.- Tell your daughter I think she's every bit as cute as her Mom is. (grin, wink)

And since me and Brylcreem started early, we got to burn out early and call it a night at 10:30.

Not too shabby, for a ghost night.

So Wednesday will be Stay At Home Because You're Well Day (I'd like to!), Computer Security Day, National Mousse Day (the food kind, not the hair kind), and the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle.

Don't get your mouse and your mousse confused. That would be a mess!


  1. I was very entertained. Thank you. Brylcreem, eh? I always thought that was a British invention, helpful in maintaining certain types of hair look: the Tony Curtis, the DA or the merely smarmy. Now surely defunct.

  2. Consumate? I thought that was how babies came about! You do that at work? Hahahaha I really hope you get promoted. I would give you a letter of recommendation but the actions you performed in my stories against zombie hordes probably wouldn't pull much wait inside the prison my friend. Sorry. Haha
    Veri word: derhole
    It is the "other" blow hole on whales and dolphins...

  3. Ok, I just seen I wrote "wait" instead of "wieght", so I am correcting that and the new veri word is tatersick....
    no definition required

  4. Some days I wished I could do a little ghosting myself! Or more like outright disappearing to some warm tropical place for a week or two - would that count as ghosting? (copping out is probably more like it, in my case)

    All in all, sounds like another fine day in the corrections world! (or in your case that would be night...since you seem to have the late shift in these last few posts).

    It also sounds like you have a pretty good crew of workmates or in some cases ghost mates...

    Cheers, Jenny

  5. Yeah, we used to have a guy like that. He used to work the same position as me and we'd alternate days. He would disappear for long stretches, which is quite a feat since we only have a small shop and not a giant prison complex. I remember when he was training. I was taking him on the guided tour, and I kept turning around and he was gone. Darnest thing. I think he had a hard time maintaining molecular cohesion in our space-time continuum. I suspect he was a Traveler.

    There's a woman who works shipping who also disappears a lot, but I know where she's at. She's taking wayyy too long on her cigarette break.

  6. P.S: I have too big a mouth to do any "ghosting."

  7. I could never "ghost." I'd feel way too guilty. I love reading your stories just to hear the nicknames you have for the folks you work with! Does anyone ever go by just "Joe" or something?

  8. I told you it was the easiest Letter of Recommendation I've ever written. You already live up to everything I put in there. I have no doubt that you will be an awesome Sergeant! Like I've told you, don't sweat the interview too much. They already know who you are and how you roll. (had to throw in a little "street" for old times sake!) You got this!!!

  9. We say ghosting, too.

    But our definition is different.

    It's applied to us girls when we wear long, flowy skirts and drift by the security cameras.

    When people do YOUR definition of ghosting we call it "avoiding the customers" and we find it personally offensive. But in our line of work, it's unacceptable to be anywhere but on the floor for most of the day.

  10. Good grief! Nine comments!

    Vincent- Actually it's still commercially available. They even have their own website! And his hair is so perfect it still makes me mad.

    TJ- No, I think that's when you can't poop. And even if it didn't go in my packet, I would love to see how that recommendation letter read!

    TJ (again)- Your derhole made my tatersick!

  11. Jenny- I'd like to ghost out for the winter too! And we have a pretty good crew. They won't make you look bad, but they won't miss a chance to make you look foolish!

    Bryan- If you have the right set of keys here you could disappear forever. And that's not necessarily a good thing!

    And Bryan (again)- If you'd quit talking to the voices in your head, they wouldn't find you so easily!

  12. Lolamouse- I felt guilty all night about my ghosting. That's why I don't do it too often. Sometimes people take a bit of offense to my nicknames. The other day Stubby got all huffy with me. "Stubby??? I used to be called Julio! What happened?" hee hee hee... Stubby is funnier than Julio. Deal with it!

    Peggy Sue- You were always one of my biggest fans. And I was always one of yours. I hope some day you get to be my Boss again!

    Chanel- We have a few people here who.... never mind. Not gonna go there. But I do really hate it when you need somebody and they aren't where they're supposed to be. I consider it offensive and dangerous, in my line of work!

  13. You make me jealous for a squeezie hug.