Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'm Not 21 Anymore

Back in my younger days, about the time this country of ours was founded, I could stay up all day and night and not miss a beat.

Of course, I won't go into detail about what I was doing back then while staying up all night. Needless to say it was a lot more fun that what I did Friday night.

Since there are so few Sergeants the list for overtime is short and tends to rotate quickly at certain times of the year. They'd called me last Friday and said I was #2 again, even though I'd worked over only two weeks before that. So I sat and trembled with fear all week every time the phone rang.

On Friday I knew I had to be getting close again so I decided to take the horns by the bull and do it on my time, rather than theirs. So I called up and volunteered, knowing if I stayed over it would give me two days to recover.

And I got my wish......... Sort of, anyway.

I got what I asked for.

Lt Pennybags (who looks just like the Monopoly Man), that strange little gnome who runs the books on midnight shift, called me up.

Lt P: "You volunteered to stay over, right?"
Me: "Yup."
Lt P: "Okay. We need a yard sergeant."
Me: "A'ight then. Which yard do I get?"
Lt P: "Both of them."
Me: "Okey....... Dokey."

Having pretty much no idea what went on during midnight shift as far as the yards went, I wandered back and forth, writing down names of my officers and who was what and asking lots of questions.

We had an inmate in the dry cell. That meant that we had to supply someone to watch him in rotating shifts every hour. And they kept pulling from my yards. Since I only had two officers on each yard, that meant I was short most of the time.

So instead of being a lazy joik and sitting on my butt saying "Get it done" I did half of the A-yard inner perimeter check and then went over and did half of the B-yard IP to give my guys a hand. They were startled but grateful. Apparently that doesn't happen too often. From what I hear most of the midnights yard sergeants sit up in central and drink coffee with the Lieutenants or nap in a chair somewhere.

On midnights we count at 1:30am. The first time, anyway. And I had to go help count 1 house. Right about the time we were going to count two things happened. One, another camp showed up with an inmate that they were dropping off at our medical. Why, since they were only twenty miles up the road, they decided to bring him up at 1:15 in the morning we have no idea. So that delayed our count. And two, we had some guy in 1 house yelling that he had a medical emergency at 1:25.

I went up with some grumpy know it all new guy to check out the situation. The offender was pale and panting and shaking saying he was having an anxiety attack. Not knowing what else to do, I called a Code 16 (medical emergency) and stated "difficulty breathing".

Lt Beez came trotting in and took charge of the situation in his usual "I know more than you so I'm taking charge" kind of way which was fine with me. It was good to give a Lieutenant something to do rather than sit and think of mischief to get into.

It turned into a great big deal with them taking the guy to medical and then locking him up "under investigation", suspecting that he might have been intoxicated. That pissed the guy off and he swore he was going to sue us all. He claimed he had a good attorney (that always cracks me up) and that we would be left with nothing by the time he was through with us.

Hey, I got nothing now. What are you going to take from me?

At any rate, between him and the delivery we ended up counting almost an hour late, which threw everything off for the rest of the night.

And they kept me busy running back and forth all night long. At least I got some exercise. I learned a few things about the way midnights functions.

It's a whole other world. Believe me. How they manage to function with so few people is a complete mystery. You learn to juggle, I guess.

Apparently I didn't screw anything up too badly. I didn't even get any nasty looks.

And now I have to spend all day today trying to do all the stuff I was going to spend all weekend doing.


Monday is going to be Play God Day (Sweet!), Balloon Ascension Day, National Clean Off Your Desk Day (I'd have to rent a dumpster!), National Static Electricity Day (shocking, eh?), Panama's Martyr Day (Noriega?), National Apricot Day and Aviation In America Day.

Take the day off and celebrate!


  1. He couldn't have had too good a lawyer if he ended up as a guest in your fine establishment.

    (Taking the "horns by the bull"? Nice! ;D )

  2. I love it when people threaten to sue! I think it's the "grown up" way of saying "I'm telling my mommy on you!"

  3. Bryan- That threat always makes me laugh. It was all I could do to keep from laughing in his face.

    Lolamouse- I've had a few of them call Mommy on me before, too! Grow up, people!