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!
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