Getting surprised while working in a prison is rarely a good thing. Even being caught unawares or nonplussed can be extremely bad.
As you can well imagine.
We often get lulled into complacency by the "business as usual" routine of the place. Especially if things have been going well and smoothly for awhile. We forget that things can go bad very quickly and all it takes is one slip-up to make everyone have a very long evening.
I'm not sure what exactly happened this afternoon. Whether someone saw something or someone or if somebody left a gate open of if a piece of clothing got blown into the fence by the stupidly high winds we had today.
But about 3:30, just as soon as I got to my house and got a pot of coffee brewing they called on the radio and said "The yards are closed. Return all workers to their housing units and prepare for a name and number count."
Aw...... snap. The only reason they do that is if they think there is a chance that somebody escaped. Empty out the chow halls and main production. Close down rec and education. Bring the entire camp to a stop and make sure that we can account for every single inmate that we are supposed to have. Somewhere around 2800 of them, I believe.
Chase them all off of the yard. Chase them into the house and tell them to get ready for count.
What? I said get ready for count, fool! I didn't stutter!
We counted our house and had everybody we were supposed to have, fortunately. Then it was time to sit back and bite our nails and hope that everyone else knew how to count. This was definitely not a time to have a math error!
Fortunately whatever had happened didn't seem to actually involve an escape. It seemed that we had all of our little desperadoes safely tucked away where they were supposed to be.
Whew! I've never been here during an actual escape and the couple of attempts that we have had always happened on my day off.
Let's just keep it that way, shall we?
While I'm here I just want to hand out props to Coupe, for catching a problem and nipping it in the bud.
We have a good sized population of Spanish speaking inmates. Many of them speak only halting English and some of them speak it much better than they let on. I don't speak more than a few words of it myself so I rarely know what they are saying.
Coupe however, speaks fluent Spanish from his days down in Central America doing something that he won't talk about. Our very own version of G. Gordon Liddy.
At any rate, he overheard one of the inmates from my house call another officer an "old drunk" in Spanish down at the chow hall this evening. And he waited until he got back from chow to address the problem.
I didn't know about it until I heard them down the hall speaking in rapid Spanish. They weren't shouting, but Coupe sounded perturbed and the inmate sounded apologetic. Rather than get into the middle of it, I decided to wait and see what happened. I figured if they got to the "Ricky Ricardo" tone of voice then I'd step in and see if I could lend a hand or a decision.
But they never got there so I let it run it's course. Coupe dressed him down for insulting an officer and gave him some extra duty to work off to pay his penance.
He'd been upbraided for speaking Spanish to the offenders before. Probably by someone who couldn't understand it either. Me, I figured if he could get his point across to the offender clearly and forcefully by speaking Spanish then I didn't care if he was speaking Latin or sign language. As long as there was no problem afterwards and I didn't have to get involved, then it was a good thing. I was fine with it.
And I wish we had more Spanish speaking officers. I wish I had a talent for languages. But aside from knowing a few colorful insults, I got nothing.
So anyway, good job Coupe. You handled that well and didn't make me do any work. Points for you!
This is what... Tuesday? Yeah. My new Friday. Wheee! It's taking awhile to get used to that.
So here's the midweek weekend lineup:
Wednesday: National Crown Roast Of Pork Day, National Be Heard Day, National Math Day and Cereal Day.
Thursday: Be Nasty Day, International Women's Day, Nametag Day and National Peanut Cluster Day.
Friday: Panic Day, Barbie Day, Get Over It Day and National Crabmeat Day.
Remember! Don't eat cereal and drive!
At least, not at the same time...
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