Sunday, January 24, 2016

Going to Pot

One of the things you have to get used to if you work at a jail is waiting for someone in a remote control center to unlock doors and open sliders for you. I find it's a good exercise in patience. Inner zen and all that.

I've also discovered it's a good exercise in humility.

Here's why: The restroom is on the other side of an often closed slider, which means that when I use the restroom, people in the remote control center know it. They know when I'm done with the restroom and need to get back to the other side of the slider. Sometimes it opens before I even have a chance to press the button, which means they've had their eyes on the video monitor, waiting for me.

For the first few years I didn't think much of it. The people in the control center were strangers to me.

Then one day I met a deputy newly assigned to the main hall where I call inmates out to meet with them.

"I already know you," she said, "But I don't know your name or what exactly you do."

I told her then asked, "You already know me?"

"I've worked in the control center so I've seen you around."

"Oh," I said, my face reddening a little. "So, um, then you know how often I use the restroom?"

I drink a lot.

She laughed, "I might!"

"Oh," I said, laughing along because what else could I do? "Nice to meet you?"

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