Monday, November 14, 2011

It Wasn't Funny The First Time!

When I left Friday they had me scheduled to work 30 yard. Okay. Small shack. Lots of walking. Huge inner perimeter check. Ah, what the snap. No big deal.

Checked the weather this morning and they said 60% chance of rain all day.

Lovely. Okay. I brought my raincoat.

Got to work and they said we would be under a tornado watch until 10:00pm.

Niiice. Great. Just freaking great.

Then Lt Chipmunk (who was on the books) said "Hey Rev! Would you work the control center tonight? Vinnie called out!"

What? Stay inside and dry and warm all night and out of the any potential tornadoes? Well, yeah. I mean if you really need me to, I guess I could do that.

Sgt Puddle was finally back from being marooned on a desert island for ten years (seemingly, anyway) and Miz Twang was going to be up there, too. Heck yeah! I went on up and started to check the numbers and get things ready.

Miz Twang came in sounding all sickly and squeaky like she'd swallowed a toy saxophone and it stuck in her throat so I knew she wouldn't want to be on the phones and the radio all night long. My immediate reaction was to take her home on a mission of mercy and feed her chicken soup and pop her in a hot bath until she felt better. But if I did that I'd need to bring The Watcher along too since he was in the same state.

Since my bathtub isn't big enough for both of them the best I could do was to take the desk and the counts and the radios and take the burden off the best I could.

I really need a bigger bathtub.

Anyway, since it was a Monday and no transfers I figured it would be a pretty easy day.

Yeah. Well, that didn't work out so much.

Right after shift change some caseworker on her way home called and said she saw a guy walking down the road wearing gray pants who kinda looked like he might be an inmate.

Really? Okay. Close the yards. Close the wings. Stop all movement and call for a count half an hour earlier than usual.

That threw everyone into a tizzy. We had inmates scattered everywhere all over the camp. And of course my phone immediately started ringing. "What's going on? Did you just call count? Why?" To which I replied "We are counting. Yes, I did. And because I was told to."

That was all I had time to say because all the rest of the lines were lighting up.

We got two miscounts. Only two. One house on one side was down one and a house on the other side was up one.

Oh snap. Did they move somebody and not tell the control center? Snap, I hope not! Count 'em again, please!

Finally got that one cleared up and went back to normal operations. Of course it threw our whole routine off and we had to improvise but we got all the feeding done in time to make a recreation movement at 6:00pm.

I thought we were going to be safe after that. Then the phone rang again.

Some Sergeant from another prison down the road called and said she saw a guy wearing gray pants walking down the road. And when she turned back to look he took off and disappeared.

Really? Again? This aint funny anymore.

Start calling people again. Hold all movement. Clear the yards. Count them in place.

Count them in medical? Yes.

Count them in the library? Yes.

Count them in A and B rec? Yes.

Count them in A-visit during their AA and NA meetings? Yes.

My count sheet didn't have places for all of those places so I had to improvise with white out and drawing extra lines. When I was done it looked like something Arlo Guthrie would put in one of his songs.

And of course the phone rang nonstop with the same questions. They got pretty much the same answers as before.

I think the top of my head was steaming by the time I got done adding all of those numbers up and I think at one point I was holding about twenty different writing utensils in one hand at the same time while holding the phone to my ear with my shoulder and running the adding machine with the other hand.

I really do suspect that being out in that tiny shack in a tornado would have made for an easier night.

Luckily for all of us and my sanity that count cleared. And we didn't have any more silliness. The 10:00pm count was on time and without any errors.

If it wasn't for Miz Twang and Sgt Puddle helping out on the phones and The Watcher braving the elements to bring me some much needed coffee I don't think I would have made it at all. You guys are truly the best. Even if you're a little croupy and squeaky at times.

I'm scheduled to be on 30 yard again tomorrow. And I don't think the weather outlook has changed any.

In the meantime I need to restock my supply of Tylenol and tums in my lunchbox, I believe.

Tuesday is going to be National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, National Raisin Bran Cereal Day, America Recycles Day, I love To Write Day and National Bundt Cake day.

When is National Lucky Charms Day, anyway?


  1. gotta stop being the nice guy and stick to the plan - but that wouldn't be any fun though, would it, and your post would have been wanting in the drama and action department, so I guess, from this side of the screen it was the right call!

    And boy, you must really be tight with your work mates if you're thinking of upgrading that tub of yours! (that bit made me laugh as I'm a visualizer)

    Anyway, hope tomorrow is just as exciting!

    Cheers, Jenny


  2. A bigger tub could be fun-maybe a hot tub? Of course, then you'd never want to go in to work at all! Can I clean out my fridge by eating everything in it?

  3. Oh, I see, you're the guy who's always inviting people over to take a bath (There's one on every job.)

    In other news, who was the mystery man on the road with the grey pants? Ever find out? Or did you just clear the fact that it wasn't one of your guys, and then figured it was out of your hand? You must be curious though. Sounds creepy.

    You know who it could be, hmmm?

  4. I always hate it when we have something going ok at the house and the phone rings off the hook with everyone wanting to know what is going on haha. Then I have to fight the urge to call them when it happens somewhere else hahaha.

  5. Must have been the Spaghetti Monster.

    I once covered a story concerning a possible jailbreak. Report over the police scanner said twenty people in jail clothes were running around the town's middle school. When I got out there (ahead of the police) I saw it was the middle school track team. They had new white and black jerseys. A little old lady saw them and figured they were escaped criminals.

    I bet the county jail was frantically doing counts much as you were. Of course, I doubt if there were twenty prisoners to count.

    I wonder if the guy from the other prison was messing with you. Any inter-prison rivalries there?

  6. Jenny- I'm just a simple humanitarian who likes to help out his friends. Good thing you can't see me rolling my eyes over here.

    Lolamouse- I could see a hot tub getting me into a lot of trouble. And just don't eat that green thing in the butter dish on the bottom shelf. It went bad last year.

    Bryan- What can I say? I like ummm... cleanliness... yeah...

    We never did find out who the mystery man or men was or were. We weren't missing anybody and nobody else seemed to be missing anybody. Above that, who cares if wears gray pants near a prison? he's just an idiot, obviously.

    FlyinMonkey- I hung up on the Major once in the Hive when things were going nuts. He was like the fiftieth person to call that night. Luckily he didn't take it personally.

    CheesyDoug- I'm sure they would think about it, like we would, but know better. I'm sure you would get instantly fired for something stupid like that.

  7. It seems to me that someone should have detained the mystery man in the grey pants in the first place. Perhaps the local sheriff's office or the state police/highway patrol.
    Would have saved a lot of bs.