Monday, April 30, 2012

It Started Out....

That picture is so cutesy it's almost making me ill.

I'll post it just this once and hope I never have to look at it again.

And I do humbly apologize to you in the meantime.

I don't know what came over me. Really.

So I went in today looking forward to it being a better day. I was going to make a concerted effort not to let anything much get under my skin. Sometimes that works. You never know.

Got into my office and just poured water into the coffee pot when one of the caseworkers pops his head in and says "You better come into the bosses office. There's some fun stuff for you to do." And the way he's smiling I start thinking I might get to bounce somebody.

There's one knucklehead sitting outside and another up against the wall inside the office. And the boss is chewing him up one side and down the other in that quiet measured way that he has.

Apparently there were some shenanigans in the wing the other night in one of the side rooms. As we watch the video playback, a bunch of idiots walk into one of the side rooms. We can see other inmates walking past and as they see what's going on they all speed up and walk away, like they don't want to get caught anywhere near the place.

Presently they all come filing out laughing. Except for the last guy, who is walking slightly bent over and holding onto his nuggetry, obviously in some pain. The last guy on the video is the one sitting out in the hall. The guy who was laughing the loudest and shadow boxing the air afterwards is the guy in the office.

We had a note on him saying he was causing trouble in the wings when the officers were away and threatening people who tried to get him to admit that he was breaking the rules of the treatment program. A real live bad axe street thug, this one was.

The Boss tells him "You were fighting or something. You hit him."

"No Sir." he says "I never laid a hand on that man. There was no altercation. I didn't do anything."

And he keeps it up for about fifteen minutes. Steadily refusing to admit to anything.

Finally the Boss says "That's enough. I'm done. Sgt Rev, put him in cuffs. I'm locking them both up under investigation for a fight. I'll let the investigator sort this one out."

Just as soon as I put the cuffs on his wrists this Billy Bad Axe breaks down and starts crying.


Oh, I do so love it when they cry. (I'm a jacka*s, I know it. And insensitive, to boot)

He weeps and admits that they were horseplaying.

The Boss says "It's too late now. You should have told me twenty minutes ago. I would have just wrote you a violation. Now you're going to the Hive. Maybe you'll think about being honest next time."

So we get them packed off to the Hive for ten days or so, just in time to take the rest of the knuckleheads to chow. Standing out front having a smoke talking to Uncle T and this horn blares. The fire alarm in the chow hall is going off.

Aw... really?

Run inside and start chasing inmates out.

"But Sarge! I'm not done eating!"

"You are now, dummy. Get out now!"

We get the building evacuated and run all over and don't find anything burning or even smoking. In the meantime that alarm is just about to deafen me.

What we do find is a fire alarm station with a broken cover. Right behind the dishwasher in the steam room. Right where offenders walk back and forth to check the machine. And we also found out if you bump it just right, it sets off the alarm.

When we let the workers back in, one of the steam room guys steps up and says "I did it. I backed into it and it went off. Scared me so bad I jumped three feet in the air and ran. I'm sorry. I won't ever do that again, I promise!"

Hey, at least he was honest. We taped the thing back down and had a work order put in to have it moved somewhere else. That was a stupid place to put it in the first instance. Run into a blind corner in order to set off a fire alarm.

What were they thinking? Idiots.

Anyway, the night was uneventful after that. There was a fight, and a good one from what I hear, but it was all the way across camp and didn't involve any of "my" knuckleheads, so I didn't mind. Got to spend some time out chatting with Meany. I hadn't seen him since we pounced that idiot down in the Hive together. What ,maybe a month ago? Seems like forever. Anyway, we ranted and vented to each other for awhile and it seemed like we both felt better afterwards.

So that was good.

All in all, not a bad night. I'll mark it down in the "win" column.

Tuesday I'll be down playing with the wobbleheads. It will be Mother Goose Day and Save The Rhino Day, as well as Batman Day, Lei Day, National Dance Day and (surprise!) National Raisin Rum Ice Cream Day!

Just for you, Jenny.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Out Of Sorts

Not in a good humor tonight. I had a trying evening.

Not even sure if I should write about it, just in case it comes back to bite me in the hind end.

Just to be on the safe side, I'll just check the calendar and go to bed.

Monday is going to be National Honesty Day, Beltane, Bugs Bunny Day, Walpurgis Night and National Raisin Day.

Good luck with that.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

If you haven't noticed, I have a pretty strange sense of humor.

No... really. I do! (grin)

Some of the things we laugh about inside the fence would make people outside the fence turn green and run away. It's a defense mechanism. Some people get hard and calloused on the outside. Some of us just reflect it back in rather poor juvenile humor.

It helps chase the bugs away.

There's a select few people that I really "click" with when it comes to humor. Vinnie, Watcher, KP, Uncle T... a few others but those are the usual suspects. And now I can add Tilt to that list as well. The past few months working with him only a few days a week I've discovered that he's another one of those that has that same twisted streak and we will actually feed off of each others jokes and make them both worse and better at the same time.

Which is really good for us, but not so good for anyone around us. Miz Slim doesn't get our sense of humor at all. Lots of times she just says "Oh, Lord!" and walks away shaking her head.

Tonight Tilt left a note on my desk that said "HIMWFO- What does it mean?"

Completely perplexed, I wrote "Hairs In My White Flying Orange?"

That wasn't it, of course. Something about the letters in the days of the week that are only used once. Where he comes up with this snit I'll never know.

So all night long we were trying to come up with sentences starting with those letters like some weird acronym. Like:

Hey, Is Mister Whipple Freaking Out?

Honey, Is My Wig Falling Off?

Here! Is My Wife Flying Over?

Then we started mixing up the letters and it got much worse from there.

Old Man Farts Incite Womens Hormones.

Is My Horny Friend Working Over?

Believe it or not we did that for a good portion of the night. He'd go do a wing walk and come back, stick his head in my office and say "He Is Waxing My Family's Oscar." and walk away. Then I of course would have to come up with something else the next time I saw him.

We got our job done, but we had a lot of giggles in between.

It was a good night.

So Sunday is going to be National Shrimp Scampi Day, National Dance Day, Peace Rose Day, Pinhole Photography Day and Zipper Day.

Let's uhh.... keep those up, shall we?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Speak Into The Microphone, Please!

It was looking like it was going to turn into another nothing boring night in 25 house. Not much to do other than annoy Tilt and fiddle with paperwork on the 'puter.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm just saying. We actually do prefer the boring nights.

I'd gone over to Central to print some stuff out because Sore bollixed up our printer in the house. Printed my stuff and chatted awhile with Lt Wyatt and was headed back to the house. I decided rather than have the control center pop the gate I'd walk around, just for the exercise.

Got about halfway to the house when an excited radio call came over.

"Garble garble by 28 house!!!"

I didn't know what was happening, but someone sounded excited. Snap! I turned around and ran back the way I had come.

Now if you were paying attention to the numbers, you'd assume that 25 house and 28 house were fairly close to each other.

Well, they're not. 28 is halfway across the dang camp. Snap drat it!

Trot back through Central and Lt Wyatt asks "Was that a 10-49 or a 10-5?"

"Not a clue, man. I'll let you know."

Trot out onto B-yard and off in the distance I see a bunch of officers running past 28 and down the dog run towards 30. I think "Where the snap are they going?"

Then I refocus my eyes and I see Uncle Scary on the pickle ball court putting cuffs on one inmate while another one sat on the ground. So I run that way, still wondering where everyone else went.

St Francis had been heading towards the dog run with everyone else when he saw Uncle Scary dealing with those two so he changed directions. He tries to 10-6 the fight on the radio but all that comes out (because he was running and excited) was "10-49 on the pickle ball court!"

The control center picks up on that and calls it, thinking there is another fight on the yard at the same time.

Oh no no no..... I stop. Key my mike. Take a breath. Then say "10-6 the 10-49 on B-yard."

They get the whole transmission that time. Then they start asking "Was there more than one fight?"

Nope. Just the one. But when people get excited they forget that it takes a second for the mike to key up. So if you just babble something, the first part of your sentence doesn't go out.

The rest of the yard crew only heard "By 28 house!" and started running that way. And when they didn't see anything there, they just kept on going, thinking it was behind the house. It was a good thing St Francis was farther away and saw what was really happening or Uncle Scary might have gotten in a jam.

Stop and breathe, people!

Let them beat each other up for the five seconds it takes to make a clear concise radio broadcast. They'll get tired. Trust me.

Save getting excited for when one of us is in trouble. Okay?

Saturday is going to be Great Poetry Reading Day and Kiss-Your-Mate Day as well as Biological Clock Day, Eeyore's Birthday, Penguin Day, Save The Frogs Day and National Blueberry Pie Day.

Save the freaking frogs!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keeping The Tempo

It was a hairy crazy busy as snap day. Got sent down to the Hive for my utility day.

Not only did I have an excellent crew but we had some other stuff going on so they actually sent extra officers down there to help. Something I haven't seen in the Hive in a good long time.

I kept up the boards and the lockup sheets and the count breakdown and made the files and the guys did all the rest.

We had six transfers off the bus, two sleepovers and five or six lockups from other places in the camp. Thirteen or fourteen altogether. Quite the busy day.

And despite all of that my guys managed to knock out both med passes and catch up on almost half of the nurses sick calls that didn't get done during the day. And get in a round of rec at the end of the night.

All I had to do (really) was just wave the baton and keep them in tempo and they did all of the real work. It was awesome.

The only real hiccup was when some idiot got stupid coming back from rec. The guys caught him with a small amount of tobacco and he tried to bull his way out of getting a violation.

What he almost ended up with was a movement team. They would have thumped him good and he would have spent most of the night with nothing in his cell but his boxers.

Luckily for him he wised up and all he got was a violation. I wanted to give him two, but Capt Wheelie nixed that. Ah, well.

It all worked out and we all got to go home in one piece at the end of the night which is all that really matters.

But my crew was really awesome. I'd work with them any night.

Ah one and a-two.......!

So here's the weekend lineup:
Wednesday is going to be National Zucchini Bread Day, Hairstylist Appreciation Day, Secretaries Day, Hug A Plumber Day and Malaria Awareness Day.

Thursday will be Richter Scale Day and National Pretzel Day as well as Hug An Australian Day and Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Friday is going to be Tell A Story Day, Arbor Day, Babe Ruth Day, Morse Code Day and National Prime Rib Day. Sweeeeet!

Prime rib....... droool.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Ya Gonna Freaking Call?

Me, apparently. Without any fancy proton pack or anything.

I've been telling people this place is haunted for years and they all laughed at me like I was cracked in the head.

Tonight Guns walks down to my office and says "Sarge, I don't know what's going on down there, but there's a door rattling like crazy! I don't know what's in there and I don't have a key but someone might be locked in there or something! I don't know!"

"Really..." One eyebrow raised, I follow him down to his wing, thinking maybe he's messing with my head or something.

Right around the corner from his office is F South, which is only used for storage. The inmates use one room as a weight room, but otherwise the wing is empty. The very first door on the left is marked "Housekeeping", except someone scraped off the "H" and replaced it with an "M".

Up to that point, I had never opened that door. Neither had Guns.

When we step up to it, there's a group of interested and slightly frightened inmates standing around and the door is rattling back and forth in it's frame like someone or something is trying to get out. It's a heavy steel door like all of the rest of them and it would take something more than just a breeze to rattle it that hard.

Guns bangs on the door and says "What are you doing in there?" The door stops for a second and then starts rattling again.

I'm thinking it's a critter. Maybe a skunk or a possum or something. I'm really hoping it's not a skunk. Especially since we're on the second floor. It would be a real pain to chase a skunk all the way down the stairs.

As I try to stick my key in the door it rattles so hard I almost drop my keys and the inmates all make this nervous laugh and move back a few steps. One of them says "I'm out of here." and he and a couple others take off for the other wing. The lock pops open and I put my foot up and kick the door open wide and we see.......

Absolutely nothing.

There's nothing in there but a plastic chair and a coat rack on the wall. Okey dokey.

Guns and I step inside and look around. Nothing. No open windows. No air vents. No strings or wires that someone could be pulling. No critters. No drafts.

On the plus side, there were no specters, spooks or apparitions, either. No full torso free roaming vapors. No Gozer or Stay-Puft Marshmallow man. Not even Slimer.

As we step back out and I pull the door shut, it rattles so hard it pulls the door right out of my hand and swings open again. One of the few remaining inmates says "He wants out, Sarge!" I grabbed the door and slammed it shut, jamming my key in the lock and locking it again.

I said "He's beat. He aint going nowhere."

And as I walked away the door started rattling again. It did that for a little while and then quit and we haven't heard it since.

I briefly thought about reporting it. Just briefly. Didn't want to end up in front of the Major trying to explain that my house is haunted. I doubt he'd understand.

Tuesday is going to be National Pigs In A Blanket Day (Yum!), Genocide Remembrance Day and Teach Your Children To Save Day .

Don't teach them to save pigs in a blanket, though.
That might get messy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm A Dirty Rotten Basticule

Since all of that stupid snap went down over the bad count (almost two weeks ago) I've gotten some pressure to do something about it, since I was the supervisor that night.

It took me a little bit of time to get things written out correctly. Time and a lot of advice from several different people who all had different ideas about the subject.

So what I did was write up entries to go into their files, stating what went wrong and what they should have done differently and saying "Don't do that again." I wrote four of them and handed out the first two this evening. Tangina took hers and read it and signed it saying "Okay. Whatever." That was about how I expected her to react. I figured she was going to be the easiest of the group.

Just to be on the safe side I got Sgt Major to come down and be a witness. I was glad I did.

The other officer I gave an entry to got extremely agitated and sat there with a clenched fist the entire time and proceeded to argue with me vehemently. Denied any responsibility, denied any wrongdoing and denied my right to make accusations like that.

What the snap ever.

Finally I just said "Sign it or not, I don't care. It's going into your file either way." Right before it was signed the officer wrote something along the lines of "This is all a lie."

Okey dokey. So I guess I've made an enemy. Ah, well.

Tomorrow and the next day I get to catch the last two and give them their entries. And I am going to be damn sure I have witnesses for them as well. They are both known to respond rather rashly to criticism.

What a wonderful job I have. What the snap was I thinking?

Monday morning is going to dawn as Read Me Day and World Laboratory Animal Day, as well as Movie Theater Day, Talk Like Shakespeare Day and National Cherry Cheesecake Day.

"Prithee and forsooth!" he cried. "Some cherry cheesecake would indeed be a delight upon my palate!"

Well, Snap

Well, I had something in mind to post about tonight.  But just as I was about to settle in and type there was a discrete knock at the door.  One of the kids had a bad day and decided (since he saw my light on) that he would stop by and vent to the old man for a few minutes.

An hour later I shooed him out the door, my mind wonderfully blank.  Whatever it was I was going to write about vanished into the ether like promises before election day.

Ah, well. 

So I'm going to bed instead and I'll try again tomorrow.

Sunday is going to be National Jelly Bean Day, Earth Day and Girl Scout Leader Day.

Go nuts with it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Going Nowhere Fast

Hmm.  Not sure if I care for this new format for Blogger or not.  It's going to take some getting used to.

But we seem to be stuck with it, so I guess I'll just have to hang.

So anyway.  I've been carrying around this fate envelope full of paperwork for several weeks now.  A couple of good entries for the guys who had my back when we got in that use of force a couple of weeks ago.  And a few entries for my new people that I supervise.  Just saying "Hey, I guess I'm your supervisor.  Sorry about your luck."  That sort of thing.

Every couple of days I run into somebody and I have them sign something and go stick it in their personnel file and make my envelope a bit smaller.

And every couple of days I get an email from the Personnel office saying "Hey, you need to do this and that for this new person as soon as possible."  So I print out a few more things and go in search of that person.  And until I find them my pile gets bigger.

Tonight I was down to the last few things and I was determined to get rid of as much of it as I could.  Ran over to Central and asked Lt Wyatt where my people were.  Everybody I had on my list was off that night except for one guy who quit.

"He quit? Really?  When?"

"Last week.  Left to join the Marines."

"No snit.  Why didn't anyone tell me?"

"We're telling you now.  You didn't ask before."

"Okey dokey, then."  (rip shred tear toss)

Hey, at least I  got rid of one piece of paper.  That's always nice.

Tomorrow night I'll head out again, envelope in hand, looking for my people again.  Like the freaking Headless Horseman or the Lost Dutchman.  Doomed to walk the yard for eternity, trying to give file entries on people who will never come to work again...  Always walking, papers in hand... The ghostly voice crying out "Where are my people?......"

Damn, that's depressing.  **sigh**

So.  Saturday is going to be Kindergarten Day, Record Store Day (Do they still have those?), Husband Appreciation Day, Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day and National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day.

Go buy your husband a record.  But no chocolate for the dog, please!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Wow. I just saw the typo under that picture. Ah, well. Snap with it. Too tired to deal with it now anyway.

The paperwork is still piling up from that little ordeal with the bad count last week. I am still writing memo's and having to write counseling entries on everyone involved. It just keeps getting better. I'll be stunned if I don't get jacked over that one myself.

And I got an email from the Personnel Office that I have to do probationary pre-ratings on two new officers ASAP. So more paperwork.

I went up to Central to get rid of some of my paperwork and ended up with twice as much as I had left with.

Hey dummy! Welcome to the world of supervision!

To top it all off, some of the new policies that have come down from on high are looking like we are going to be working more and more double shifts. There are alot of really really unhappy CO's out there right now. And I imagine that the bean counters up in the Capital won't be real happy when all of that overtime starts racking up.

Should be interesting to see how this goes.

In the mean time, I'm going to try and catch up on my sleep. Still out of sorts from pulling that double the other night.

Just shows me that I'm not 17 anymore, that's for sure.

Here's the weekend lineup....
Wednesday: International Jugglers Day, Adult Autism Day, National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day and National Animal Crackers Day.

Thursday: Garlic Day, National Hanging Out Day, High Five Day and National Amaretto Day.

Friday: Look Alike Day, DNA Day, National Day of Silence and National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day.

Go hang out with some garlic in your pajamas. High five!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just A Little...

Agh. Worked a double last night.

As a bonus, they left me in 10 house where I'd been.


Just crawled back out of bed an hour ago and I have to be back at work (in 10 house) in.......

Snap! Two hours.

I'll probably not post until tomorrow night, if you don't mind.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Found In My Printer

Those of you who know me, know that I am not by nature a religious person. It's the way I was raised and the way I think and that's not likely to change any time soon.

Heck, I even spell it "Gawd" so I won't be accused of paying lip service to any one sect.

I got issues. I know this.

But I found this thing laying in my printer at work and decided to make it my blog post for this evening. It was kind of touching. So just bear with me.

When God Created Correction Officers

When the Lord was creating Correction Officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when and angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "have you read the specs on this order? A Correction Officer has to be able to run five miles through galleries in the dark, scale walls, enter cells the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle or dirty his uniform."

"While on duty; he has to be able to sit in a cage or at a desk all day, run to red alerts, frisk yards for contraband, and testify in court the next day."

"He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "six pairs of hands....NO WAY."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, It's the three pairs of eyes and Officer has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" Asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, "do you have any weapons on you?" (when he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) Another pair here in the side of his head for his partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look at a bleeding victim and say, "you'll be all right," when he knows it isn't so.

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound felon into his cell without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the Correction Officer very slowly, "can it think?" she asked.

"You bet." said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite department violations in it's sleep; detain; investigate; search and lock up a gang member in the yard in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate he legality of the policy and still it keeps it's sense of humor."

"This Officer also had phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in blood; coax a confession from an evasive inmate; deal with an inmate's family, and then be able to read it in the daily paper how Correction Officers aren't sensitive to the rights of convicted felons."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Correction Officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put to much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for the bottled-up emotions; for fallen comrades; for commitment of that funny piece of cloth called the American flag; for justice."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," he said.

Author Unknown

Anyway, I kind of liked that. Just thought I'd share it with you.

Sunday is going to be Rubber Eraser Day, Income Tax Day (Booooooo.....!), Take A Wild Guess Day, That Sucks Day, McDonald's Day and National Glazed Spiral Ham Day.

Fortunately, glazed spiral ham does not suck.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thrown Under The Bus

Geez. I had thought that putting up with Annoying (who is now re-dubbed "Percy", thanks to Bryan) was the worst thing that came out of the other night.

Wow. Was I wrong.

When I came in this evening I kept hearing rumors about someone getting pulled out of that house. Lt Beez called me twice to say "What happened down there last night?"

"Snap if I know. I was at home last night. What did happen?" He wasn't sure either.

All I know is that when I was there we had a bad count. We recounted, it was right, count cleared and I went home, end of story.

Or so I thought.

When I went over to central later Lt Wyatt handed me a memo written by one of the other officers down there the other night. Apparently after I took Snack with me to recount A-wing, there was a big fight about who was going to count with who and a certain officer threw a temper tantrum, kicking things and punching the cabinets and saying how much he hated counting with that other officer because that officer was an "idiot."

Let's see, you are having a temper tantrum like a two year old and calling someone else an idiot? I think someone needs a full length mirror.

The officer (note how I am avoiding any names or gender identifiers here?) who wrote the memo stated that they were "scared to be around" that other officer and "afraid of retaliation."

And then the kicker. The one sentence that threw me right under the bus.

The last sentence read:
"I told Sgt Rev about what that officer did. He said nothing and just went home."

Which is total, unadulterated bullsnap. If I had been told any of that, I would have stayed there and it would have been dealt with. Or at least documented and reported.

So what was basically said was that I was a lousy supervisor and that I didn't care about my people if they have problems. And anybody who reads that memo that doesn't know me is going to agree.

Thanks alot, ya ffffff......argensnapple.....

So to cover my own backside I had to write my own memo of the events and basically call that officer a bold faced liar. And to make matters worse now, instead of being able to deal with an officer that seems to be a problem, the waters are muddied enough by that lie that the whole thing is probably just going to be made to go away.

I hope.

Or don't hope.

That problem officer has caused enough turmoil and is a danger to all of us and needs to be gone, in my opinion.

I just hope I can roll out of the way of the tires fast enough when they come by.

We'll see, I guess.

So.... Saturday is going to be National Pecan Day, Dictionary Day and International Moment of Laughter Day.

I barely survived Friday the 13th. How about you?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Passive/Agressive Bullsnap

I didn't really want to go into detail about why I was so aggravated the other night. Partly because I was tired and partly because I was so aggravated.

Don't blog angry. It's hard on your keyboard.

But I've managed to calm down and get some sleep, so I'm better now.

The Guy Who Is So Annoying He Doesn't Get A Nickname (shortened to merely "annoying" for ease of use) gets under my skin every time I have to work around him.

He's short, heavy, weak in body and personality, and he wants to be the Big Dog so bad that he can taste it. He tries to assert what authority he can on everyone around him and nobody takes him seriously. And when he tries to flex his muscles (figuratively speaking, anyway) he goes about it all wrong.

When speaking to offenders, he talks down to them like they are all two years old, in the same condescending voice you would use towards someone else's misbehaving toddler or perhaps a puppy. And when speaking to them face to face he does dumb things like jamming his hands into his pockets, letting them know through body language that he is making himself vulnerable.

And in dealing with other staff, he tries to be aggressive in all of the wrong ways. He tells fellow CO's "Go do this or that" and then gets all offended when they tell him to go stuff himself full of baloney. And when he has a supervisor in the house he will bombard whoever it is with the smallest stupidest questions. Ones he should have decided for himself.

He must have called me twenty times the other night.

"Sarge, I can't find this offender. I don't think he's in the house. Should I call for him out on the yard?"

"Sarge, the laundry workers tell me it's time to call for laundry now. Do you think I should?"

"Sarge, is it okay if I get my hair cut? Snack will watch the bubble for me. Is that okay?"

It wouldn't have surprised me if he called and asked "Sarge is it okay if I poop, or should I wait until I get home?"

I would have told him to wait. But that's just me.

And all the while he's bombarding me with these questions he's trying to order the wing officers around like he's actually in charge. And getting pissed off because they are ignoring him.

I've decided to start answering all of his questions with the same question in response. "Well, what do you think you should do?" And then critiquing his responses. Throw that passive/aggressive bullsnap right back in his face and make him decide for himself.

And I'm going to tell him to stay off the dang loudspeaker system unless it's really necessary. No point in letting him annoy the whole neighborhood.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Brain Hurts

I had a feeling that I should have called in sick today.

I really wanted to, but by the time I decided it was too late so I just went ahead and went to work.

Bad move. They stuck me in 30 house with The Kid, Tangina, Snack and The Guy Who's So Annoying He Doesn't Get A Nickname.

If it wasn't for Snack, I would have just turned around and left. But I couldn't just abandon him like a puppy on the side of the highway so I stayed.

And now my brain hurts. I think it's got a blister.

And I believe that's all I want to say about tonight.

Except that I'm glad it's over.

Wednesday is going to be Eight-Track Tape Day, Barbershop Quartet Day (Noooo.......), International "Louie Louie" Day and National Cheese Fondue Day.

Thursday will be Look Up At The Sky Day, Licorice Day, Tax Freedom Day and Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.

Friday is going to be Blame Somebody Else Day, Thomas Jefferson Day, Scrabble Day and National Peach Cobbler Day.

Can we blame Thomas Jefferson for Eight-Track tapes?

Monday, April 9, 2012


"You ever have one of those moments where you lean back too far in a chair and almost fall but catch yourself at the last moment? I feel like that all the time."
-Steven Wright

And that was kind of how I felt today. Things just kept catching me off guard.

Maybe I'm not getting enough sleep.

Came in today and Lt Sienna says "Hey Rev! You're an FTO (Field Training Officer), right? I'm sending you an OJT to train this evening!"

Really? Okay.

My OJT wanted to go through central to get her boots shined so I followed to make sure she knew where 10 house was. When I got there Lt Chipmunk catches me and says "Hey! Would you go out and relieve Sgt Earl on the yard so he can leave? Just til Uncle T shows up later."

Really? Okay.

So I go out to the yard and relieve and no sooner than I do that than the control center calls over the radio and says "Return all inmates to their housing units immediately and prepare for count!"

Really? Okay.

The OJT (who turned out to be a fairly nice lady and smart as well) shows up and says "So, what's going on?" I shrugged.

"I have absolutely no idea. Looks like we are having an emergency count."

That's why they made me an FTO, you know. I got all the answers.

Sgt Uncle T gets there and he takes the yard over and I take my OJT in tow and head for the house just as count clears. We have just enough time to drop our stuff before we head over to feed the little knuckleheads chow.

Right before the last of them get over to the chow hall, Bolly calls me on the radio and tells me to call him on the phone. He says he has one in the house in handcuffs.

Really? Okay.

By this time I'm getting kind of tired of that. You might have guessed. The knucklehead starts running his mouth as soon as I walk in the door.

"Hey! Sarge or Lieutenant or Captain or whoever you are...."

I look down at my shirt. The badge very clearly says "Sergeant" and there are two very shiny brass Sergeants stripes on my collar. I'm thinking "Now here's a Nobel Prize winner!"


"Is he allowed to call me stupid and then tell me to shut up whenever he wants to?"

"Yup. Pretty much."

"Man! I been locked up five years. He can't talk to me like that."

"Yeah." I said. "I'm pretty sure he can." He keeps on mouthing and I walk away.

Bolly tells me he called them to line up for chow and when he walked into the wing this young idiot was still laying on his bunk. Bolly said "I told you to line up! Are you deaf or stupid or what?"

The idiot started running his mouth and seconds later he was in cuffs.

So I call Lt Wyatt and tell him we're locking one up. By this time the rest of the house is coming back from chow. Lt Wyatt says "We are fixing to have another count at the usual time. So hold him there until it clears."

Really? Okay.


So I have to run upstairs and help count and then back downstairs to read the violation to this idiot before they take him to the Hive.

And he is still running his mouth. By this time I am getting just irritated enough that I am ready to escort him personally. And that wouldn't have been a fun walk for him by that point. It's at least a quarter of a mile between 10 house and the Hive and lots and lots of concrete between here and there....

But I took a deep breath and said "Yeah, whatever. Here's your violation." Then I had Miz Pieces escort him out with the OJT following to observe.

And I was done with him.

Luckily the rest of the evening went as planned and I wasn't caught by surprise anymore.

That was starting to really get under my skin.

And that poor OJT barely even saw me at all tonight. I got to spend a few minutes checking her off on some of the stuff she learned from Tibia and Bolly and Meatball and signed her book.

She probably thinks we're all nuts.

Tuesday is going to be Golfers Day, One day Without Shoes Day, Safety Pin Day and National Cinnamon Croissant Day.

I wouldn't try golfing without shoes if I were you. That might sting a bit.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

It's All Interpretation

It's funny how one person can look at one thing and think one thought and another can look and see something completely different.

It's all about the interpretation.

We use that alot in our line of work. And it usually works well.

For example this evening I heard that a padlock had gone missing off of an inmates footlocker. If one of us finds an unsecured locker we take the lock down to the control room and lock it to the door. That way the offender has to come down there to get it back and we get the chance to chew their butt for leaving it open.

But none of us had taken it this time. Someone else saw it open and hid it just to be funny.

Unfortunately, the inmates second favorite weapon after the prison made shank is a lock in a sock. That is something that will get you all sorts of unwanted attention. And maybe 3-8 more years in prison.

We don't play around when locks go missing.

Femur was outside and I went out and said "Find that lock. Now. Tell them in no uncertain terms that if we have to go find it, we will consider it a weapon." He just smiled and said "Yeah. That should work!"

Amazingly enough, just a minute or two after that announcement was made, the missing lock mysteriously reappeared.

And I saw a few out of the wing looking at me during their next smoke break. One of them muttered to the guy next to him "Sarge don't play!"

Damn skippy. Not when it comes to getting my head knocked in. Or anybody else's for that matter. I only got one head and even if it aint so pretty, I'm kind of stuck with it.

It's all in the interpretation, pal.

Monday is going to be Winston Churchill Day and Name Yourself Day as well as Dyngus Day, Appomattox Day, Jenkins Ear Day and Chinese Almond Cookie Day.

Reporter: What do you call that hairstyle?
George Harrison: I call it "Arthur."

Name your dyngus!

Writers Cramp

So I finally have the list of all of the people that I supposedly supervise on our shift. Since I am not full time in any one house, I am considered a "utility" Sergeant and therefore I get a share of the utility officers to supervise.

Of course the problem with that is that my two houses are almost always staffed with the regular officers, none of which belong to me.

All except Tilt, who works 25 house on my two days but is 30 house on my days off. He's mine. So all of the rest of my officers are utilities and I almost never see them.

And I am supposed to put entries into their files at least once every quarter. So I started printing them out the other night. Just a generic "Hey I'm your supervisor now" kind of thing with a "Keep up the good work" for good measure. And I decided to go ahead and put entries in for the people I only get to see two days each week in 10 and 25 as well. Just a kind of "Thanks for being there and doing your job" sort of entry.

Let's see.... Sixteen who belong to me. Four at 25 house. Eight at 10 house. Plus four more for the guys who backed me up down in the Hive the other night.

Good grief! Thirty two file entries! Oh my head....

Printed them all out and decided it would be nice if I signed them. What the snap was I thinking? Two copies of each. One for them and one for their file. Sixty four times I flipped a page and wrote "Thanks! COII Rev" on the bottom.

By the time I got to the last one I wanted to sign it "You evil swine! My hand is killing me!"

And now I am carrying around a packet of paper half an inch thick in my lunchbox until I can track them all down and get them to sign one to put in their files.

I'm willing to bet that next quarter I won't be quite as ambitious.

Tomorrow is Easter. And I'm sure it's a few other things as well. Like All Is Ours Day, Buddha Day and National Empanada Day.

I'll take that over chocolate bunnies any day!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Was That Really Necessary?

When I got to.... Wait. Let me back up.

When I first got to work Sgt Bumble Bee had the chrono and he look up at me and said "The Hive." I rolled my eyes and snorted and said "Aw, really?" When I went downstairs and then came back up Lt Wyatt called me over and said "Change of plans. You were down there last time. I'll send Sgt Moon tonight instead."

He was probably thinking Moon would cause him less paperwork.

But it was cool. I got to go to my house.

So when I got there Sgt Loompa had some papers printed out for me to look at. New stuff that had just come out. One of which was the new policy on security cameras. I'd planned on giving it a glance when I got some free time.

On one of his breaks Tilt came in and picked up the policy and was flipping through it and at one point he snorted and said "This is ridiculous. Look at this!" He pointed to a short paragraph.

It said "Using the security cameras to sexually excite or gratify yourself or another is strictly forbidden and will be considered sexual harassment."

Or something along those lines.

And I thought "Eww......"

I remember some of the stuff I have seen on those security cameras. I work in a prison, remember? Nast-O-Rama!

Tilt and I had a long discussion on why they thought that this paragraph should even be included in policy. We came to the inevitable conclusion that someone somewhere must have done something really stupid or yucky or both at one point or another to make that necessary.

Then there was that slow sigh and shake of the head......

There are idiots everywhere, it seems.

Later on I was going to make a point about that in a discussion and I went back to read that certain paragraph and I noticed a glaring typo that almost made me bite my tongue off. But I did cackle aloud.

I corrected it when I first quoted it above. It actually said:

"Using the security cameras to sexually excite or gratify yourself or amother is strictly forbidden and will be considered sexual harassment."

That, of course, made Tilt and I laugh so hard we almost fell over. And the inevitable jokes ensued.

So it's okay to excite a father, then? How about a priest? What if her kids are adopted? Does that count as a mother?

Tasteless, I know. But we are prone to juvenile entertainment. And I think Miz Slim And Miz Contrary were ready to slap us both by the time the night was over.

You gotta have fun sometimes or you'll go crazy. Especially in this place. And we take our fun where we can find it.

Saturday is going to be No Housework Day, International Beaver Day (not going there..), International Pillow Fight Day, National Beer Day, Tangible Karma Day (what the....?) and Coffee Cake Day.

Mmmm.... My Mom used to make the best coffee cake.... Baking doesn't count as housework, does it?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Was A Little Worried

I was a bit worried over that use of force on Tuesday. Because it got a bit botched as far as communications went and because he had to go out for stitches I figured it would have come under extra close scrutiny.

And when that happens everyone who sees the tapes gets that "Back seat driver" thing going and they tend to over-analyze and criticize each and every part of what happened. That's when fingers start getting pointed and it just gets ugly from there. And there are a few of our higher ups who are famous for doing that sort of thing.

Not that I think we did anything wrong. What we did was totally justified and covered by policy. My guys functioned well as a team.... Even after I spattered them with pepper spray and then made them wrestle a lunatic.

But then, it didn't go perfectly, either. I take the blame since I was the supervisor. If there is really any blame to take.

For one thing, we should have tackled him while he was still down on the bunk instead of letting him get to his feet. That was a bad move on my part.

I was actually kind of flabbergasted that he stood up like that. It was just about the last thing I had expected. That made me hesitate.

And once I realized that my 10-5 call didn't go out, I should have tried again to call for assistance. Maybe one of those "ASAP" calls that always make everyone nervous.

And I definitely should have chewed on Porcupine a little bit for not calling for help when he saw us struggling with him. That's his job! But I'm just too nice, sometimes. Dammit.

See? I back seat drive myself. I don't need any outside help.

But anyway, I called Lt Sienna and he said it went through just fine. No kicked back reports, no questions. That took a load of worry off of my mind.

I could just see getting pulled into the Wardens office and hearing "Why did you bash that mans head into the heater vent?"

I didn't. But... **sigh**

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Brought The Rain

Tonight we had both attitude and pepper spray and we made generous use of both.

Old school style.

I was scheduled to be in 9 house this evening, but I got pulled down to the Hive instead. Joy.

My crew was getting things done and I didn't have much to do other than the usual paperwork and I was looking forward to kind of a boring Friday night. My Friday, anyway. And in the beginning, that's what it was.

Until a little after six when I got a radio call from Slick to come to C-wing. He and Jabber are outside a cell and say that the offender inside is "unresponsive." Meany came in with me and we try shouting through the chuck hole and Slick says they kicked the hell out of the door trying to get him to respond and nothing. Sure enough, the inmate is laying on the bunk, seemingly unconscious.

So I get on the radio and call a Code 16 (medical emergency) for unresponsive. Then we open the door and go in. I get out my flashlight and shine it in his face and I see his eyes move. Slick says "He's smiling."

**sigh** Oh, snap.

I tell him several times to sit up and put cuffs on so the nurse can look at him when he comes in. He raises his head and babbles some nonsense and lay his head back down again. I tell him again and I can see him tense up and I say "Sit up and cuff up, now. If you move funny I will spray you. Roll over now!" And by this time I had my spray in my hand.

This idiot jumps up off of the bunk and says "Bring it on, Motherfuc*er!" and balls up his fists like he's going to swing.

Okey dokey. I raise the can and give him a blast full in the face. The fool opens his mouth like it's water so I obliged and a good portion of the spray shot right into his mouth.

Well, unfortunately when it went into his mouth it shot all over the place, including all over me, Slick and Meany. I think Meany got it right in the face.

We grabbed hold of him as he was about to swing at us and took him into the corner and tried to get cuffs on him. I'll give him this, he is strong and wiry.

I tried to call a 10-5 (officer needs assistance) on the radio but apparently it didn't go out so nobody heard me and nobody responded. Such lovely equipment we have here.

At any rate we got cuffs on him and took him down to the floor. And since he was still fighting and thrashing around, he banged his face on the heater vent on the way down and cut his forehead open. We get leg irons on him and finally the Lt shows up and sees Jabber outside the cell coughing and says "What's going on? Was it a fight?" He replies "No. It was a 10-5. Didn't you hear it?" He hadn't.

By this time the fight has gone out of the guy and he crying "Oh lord help me! I'm dying! Help me!" And by the time the nurse gets there, thinking it's just an unresponsive call and expecting to find him unconscious, she is a little appalled when she finds a cell full of pepper spray and an inmate covered in blood.

They end up taking him out to the Emergency Room to get about twenty stitches in his head while we go up to Central to do the paperwork. Three of us were spattered in blood and pepper spray. Lt Wyatt has us take off our shirts and he sends them up to medical to get them washed while we washed off the best we can and do the paperwork.

Luckily between the new Warden and the new Major our Use of Force paperwork is much easier to do now. They don't want every little detail. They just want the facts of what happened, short and sweet. Once we got a basic timeline of events down, it went smooth as silk.

It was a night just like the Good/Bad Old Days. Back when we used to do that sort of thing two or three times a week. I looked back in my files and I hadn't sprayed anybody in over two years, almost three. Seems like forever ago.

But it sure brought back some memories.

Especially when I got home and got in the shower and all of that pepper spray washed back out of my hair and set me on fire all over again. My arms and forehead and the back of my neck are burning like crazy right now.

Yeah. I don't miss that part so much.

But maybe that knucklehead will lay down and behave himself for a few days at least. If he does, it will be worth it.

If not.... Well, there are still a few of us who remember what "Old School" means. And if we have to, we can do it all over again.


Wednesday is going to be Tell-A-Lie Day (Don't do it! It's a trick!), Square Root Day, Vitamin C Day and National Cordon Bleu Day.

Thursday will be Go For Broke Day, National Deep Dish Pizza Day, National Have Fun At Work Day (that would have been totally ironic today) and National Caramel Day.

And Friday will be Sorry Charlie Day, National Walk To Work Day (seven miles? Umm.. no), Tartan Day, Teflon Day and National Coffee Cake Day.

Feel the burn! Hoo-ahh!

Monday, April 2, 2012

For Goodness Snakes...

So there I was, just sitting up in my office, enjoying the fact that they had finally turned off the heat and turned on the AC. The house was very slowly cooling off enough that I wasn't sweating when I was just sitting still.

All at once I heard Miz Pieces on the radio calling for the Lieutenant. She was on 30 yard and since Sgt Moon is out on Sundays and Mondays, I had 30 house and the yard as well to watch over. I was a bit disgruntled that she hadn't called me first.

Then I heard her say on the radio "Come take a look at this snake!"

Uh-oh. I got up and hustled down that way to find her standing next to an offender who was holding a small snake between two fingers. It was grey and black, kind of mottled and about six inches long.

I don't know all that much about snakes. We have signed a nonaggression pact, for the most part. They don't bite me and I don't kill them unless they are in my house. We're cool like that.

Everybody was saying it was a baby copperhead. They guy was holding it firmly but carefully so it wouldn't bite him. And several of the guys (including Miz Pieces) remarked as how the babies were more venomous than full grown ones.

Sgt Uncle T showed up with Lt ET and Lt Wyatt and they all agreed that it was probably a copperhead. They had the inmate poke it in an evidence tube and take it off to show the Captain, who hopefully knew for sure.

In the meantime the offenders and Miz Pieces and I started combing the area for more of them. It was found out where they train the dogs and we didn't want any of the dogs bit. We poked around in the leaves and alongside the concrete slabs with sticks but didn't find any more.

Added later:
While we were looking for more, Miz Pieces was getting the willies about the snake. I pointed to the sidewalk where she was standing and said "They could be coming from that crack in the sidewalk there."

She squeaked and jumped off into the grass.

"Or here in the grass. Maybe from that hole under the tree there."

She moved away from the tree and said "Quit!"

I pointed up the hill and said "Or there could be a whole nest of them up there under your yard shack."

She danced around in a little circle and shivered and said "Stop it Sarge! I have to live in that shack! And my lunch box is in there!"

Hee hee hee! I'm such an evil basticule sometimes.

Captain Wheelie took the critter to Sgt Archer, who is quite wise about these things. He declared it wasn't a copperhead, but actually a black snake, also known as the Texas Rat Snake. He said it was non-poisonous and they eat mice so leave them alone.

I went back and told the offenders, who didn't believe me. So I went back in my office and looked it up on the Department of Conservation website to make sure. And yes, it was a baby black snake. Copperheads have yellow tails, especially the young ones, are are more of a sandy pinkish color where this one was grey.

And I also dispelled the rumor about the babies being more poisonous than adults. Pure fantasy. Another tidbit I picked up was that there hadn't been a reported death of a human by a copperhead in this state in almost a hundred years. When i left they all looked at me like I was some sort of snake guru.

The internet is a wonderful thing, even if it is rife with rogue Canadians. (grin)

So lesson learned. Leave the snakes alone. Maybe they will eat some of the mice. Goodness knows we have enough of those.

So Tuesday is going to be Tweed Day and Don't Go To Work Unless It's Fun Day. It will also be Pony Express Day, World Party Day and National Chocolate Mousse Day.

I guess I'll have to go to work and make it fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Internet Security

These days there are so many people on the internet. You have to be really careful about how much personal information you put out there for other people to see.

We've been inundated with tales of hackers and phishers and rogue Nigerians looking to scam you out of your hard earned shekels. I rarely if ever put my real name on anything on the internet anymore. I have a handful of different email handles and addys to use if I prefer to be more circumspect about my identity.

Not like I have anything worth stealing, mind you. Anyone who robbed me would spend more on soap getting their hands clean again afterwards.

But with all the news about cyber stalkers and the like, nobody ever told me to watch out for the Canadians! Who'da thunk it?

The other day these arrived in my mailbox:
They were from frequent flyer Jenny Pearson who writes the Pearson Report and who is currently co-hosting the A to Z Blog Challenge. I was supposed to take part in that challenge myself, but bailed on it mostly because I'm a lazy weasel.

Besides, when I tried to come up with topics for all of the letters, most of them were dirty and involved words I don't use here.

That's my lame excuse and I'm sticking to it!

I'd kind of worried about my sister giving all of those random people my name and address but the postcards were so much fun I decided to relax and roll with it. And I still have five more of those to scan in and post. And another one in a language I don't even recognize.

So go check out Jenny's blog and read the challenge posts! I'm sure it will be good reading.

And I'll go back to what I do best. Once I figure out exactly what that might be.

Monday is going to be My Dad's Birthday (happy birthday Dad!), National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, International Children's Book Day, Tater Day and World Autism Day.

Mmmm... Peanut butter and jelly...

They Are Catching On To My Ways

I do like to have fun at work when I can. Even and especially working in a prison. If you can't keep a sense of humor here, then you need to go somewhere else or this place will drive you crazy.

One of the things I like to do is to make ridiculously impossible demands of the inmates now and then just to make them go "What?" Like telling a worker to repaint the sidewalks or catching someone doing something small that's wrong and saying "Give me five million pushups and I'll let you off."

I just like to see the look on their face while they try to figure out if I'm kidding or not.

At one point during the evening I walked into the house and saw that the floor was wet. About halfway down the hall an inmate was busily mopping the tile. I stopped and said "Hey! You're getting the floor all wet! What's the deal?"

He looked at me and blinked a few times and his mouth came open. Finally he managed to say "I gotta mop the floors, Sarge."

I gave him my best frown and said "Well, get some paper towels and dry this off when you're done! I don't like all this wetness!"

His eyes got a little wider and he said "Ummm...... No?"

I couldn't take it any more and I laughed. Miz Slim came up and said "I think they're on to you, Sarge!"

I've been around enough now to know that a good amount of time I'm not serious when I say crazy snit like that. Dang it.

But I still love seeing that momentary "deer in the headlights" look. That cracks me up.

So... what freaking day is this? Ah. Sunday. April 1st. And we all know what that day is.

April Fools Day. A perfect day for me. Aside from that it's also One Cent Day, International Tatting Day, International Tongue Twister Day, Sorry Charlie Day and National Sourdough Bread Day.

Please be a fool responsibly!