Monday, March 22, 2010

A Day In The Life

I know it’s not Friday, but here is a little story for you.

I have been working for well over a year and still there are days when I feel like I am not really getting any better. Some days I feel like I am never going to be good at this. Then yesterday I realized I must be doing something right.

At the penitentiary I work at, inmates must walk through a metal detector when entering and leaving the housing unit. It’s usually quite the battle. I swear they are trying to set it off. They carry things in their pockets that no regular person would carry just to make it beep. They carry nail clippers, batteries, foil tuna pouches, and other junk for no reason. They make all kinds of excuses.

“It’s just my watch.”

“It’s my radio.”

“The metal detector must be broken.”

Anyway, because of this battle I spend a lot of time telling people to go back. At the medium security institutions, it’s not nearly the problem. They are more compliant. But in the penitentiary it’s a constant struggle.

Yesterday I worked 16 hours. The first 8 hours in one housing unit, and then I switched to another for the second 8. Approximately 200 inmates were under my supervision throughout the day. (Around 100 in a housing unit.) And I noticed that throughout the day, the majority of the inmates went through that metal detector without a word. They even went back if they didn’t make it without having to be told.

I was impressed. Doing that is a sign of respect where I work. Apparently I am doing something right.

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