Carolynn got another kitten. Seriously, though we have maxed out our limit on pets. Chris and Sherri had kittens and somehow one of them came to live with us. Her name is Two Face. IBK (the kitten Carolynn got for Christmas) thinks we brought home this kitten just for her. Betty, our old garage cat could care less.
We bought her a bunch of toys which she and IBK chase all around and it is cute. As soon as she is old enough she has an appointment with the vet to be fixed.
On a previous occasion I told you about nick names inmates have given me. They think they are so cool with their stupid nick names. Here are a few I have come across…
Mind you, these are real names that real grown men actually call each other.
Richy Rich Tone Odiddy Swerv Lump Poppa Cornflake Jimbo Rabbit Fast Eddie Smiley Big Bird Wolf Scrappy Dreamer
Most of them are gang related. None of them are particularly original or interesting. It is sort of crazy to hear a huge scary looking guy yelling for Big Bird or Cornflake. Of course they all think they are going to be the next 50Cent, Eminem, or Ice Cube. Boy are they wrong.
When I started my job 18 months ago, I bought my very first pair of work boots. The first week I wore them, I was in so much pain. First, I had never had such a physical job before. Second, the boots were new and stiff. I got such blisters. But in a few weeks, the boots and I were working just fine. I loved them. They were comfortable and they didn’t set off the metal detector. I loved that. I didn’t have to stop and take them off when trying to get to work.
A few weeks after I started, I was issued two new pairs of work boots. They were not the same as the ones I already had. Some other officers recommended these other boots. They swore they were more comfortable and better. They were getting them too. So I took two pairs of those. I let myself be talked out of getting more pairs like the ones I already had.
I wore the new boots. I knew I would have to break them in. But they hurt so much. No blisters, but I couldn’t move my feet. They were higher on the ankle that my old boots. They had this composite safety toe thing going on that made me feel like I was kicking a wall all day. And they set off the metal detector. By the end of the day my toes were so swollen and my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk. I gave them a few more tries but the pain was unbearable. I ended up giving the pair I wore those few times to the Salvation Army. The other pair is still in the box and has never been worn. I stuck with my old ones.
Now it has been 18 months and those old boots have seen better days. They are scuffed and scratched. They are split at the seams and have holes. The soles are worn way down. But they are still so comfortable on my feet.
Sunday begins a new quarter at work and a new assignment. My old beat up boots will look really bad with my nice uniforms and my tie, which are now going to be required four days a week. I bought a new pair a while ago and took some time breaking them in. They are okay. They don’t hurt or give me blisters. They do set off the metal detector though.
I guess it is time to give my old boots the retirement they deserve. Good -bye old friends. I never thought I would make it this long and I couldn’t have done it without you.
Visitors can not come in passed 2:00PM on designated visiting days. Visiting ends at 3:00PM anyway. People generally stop coming before that. Most of the time there is no problem.
Most of the time.
It was a busy day in the visiting room one afternoon. I was escorting visitors to the visiting room. It was 1:50PM when some visitors showed up. The front lobby officer and I processed them in. By the time we were done and the visitors were ready to go in, it was just passed 2:00PM. Just as I was escorting them back to the visiting room, a young girl walked in. She was wearing a low cut tank top. The front lobby officer informed her that we were done with visitors for the day and also, she wouldn’t be allowed to wear that inside. The girl left. I escorted the visitors back to the visiting room.
When I arrived in the visiting room, there were a few visitors that were ready to leave, so I escorted them out. As I walked back to the front lobby, I noticed the front lobby officer was looking rather annoyed. As the visitors left, I noticed some people sitting in the waiting room. Visiting was closed. It was 2:15PM by then. What were those people doing? Then I noticed one of those people was the young girl who came in before, as well as an older woman and a young boy.
I ask the other officer there what was going on. She said that she told these people that visiting was closed but they refused to leave. I decided to try and talk to them. I walked over to them and very politely informed them that visiting was closed at 2:00PM.
The woman says no. She tells me she got there at 1:30 PM and that she has been waiting for 45 minutes and the bitch front lobby girl refused to let her in.
I say no, that is not true. I was here.
She flips out. She starts screaming at us. She calls us racists. The front lobby officer and I are both white and the visitors are black. I tell her that is uncalled for. I ask her to leave. She still will not. She is calling us names. She is shouting that she makes more money than we do. She is just belligerent. I escort her out.
She returns the following morning. We don’t want to let her in. We do not want her to disrupt the visiting room. We tell the lieutenant. He comes out and talks to her and informs her that her previous behavior was unacceptable. That we are going to let her in, but if one rule is broken, her visit will be over. I escort her back. She is apologetic. She had already apologized to the front lobby officer. The lieutenant went out and spoke to the inmate as well. There were no more problems.
I know that people come to visit friends and family, but they should also remember that they are entering a federal prison and there are rules. They are in place for your safety and the security of those inmates we are charged with. We are not trying to punish visitors. We are doing our jobs. We do not punish inmates. The incarceration is their punishment. We keep them safe while they serve their time.
There are a lot of birds that hang around the prison.
Crows and ravens. Cactus wrens. A lot of pigeons.
But recently there has been a new bird living on the compound of the penitentiary.
No one seems to know where it came from. It had been caught in the razor wire, but when it fell, some inmates rescued it. It is young. It still has down in some areas. It can’t fly yet. It has been living in a rarely used area of the prison. Inmates have been tending to it. They bring it pouches of tuna and mackerel. Someone gave it a summer sausage. It tried to eat it whole, but it eventually gave up and used its beak to break it up. They give it milk cartons filled of water.
I find it quite interesting that the inmate that has been supervising the bird care and recruiting the others to help is a two time murderer, a rapist and bank robber. Of course, that was a long time ago. Now he is just an old man in a prison.
The little gull is doing better now. Soon he will be mended and able to fly back to where he belongs. Good bye little bird. Thanks for bringing a moment of humanity to this penitentiary. We needed that.