Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If

..that transfer coordinator doesn't come her rear back to work, I'm going to Winston-Salem, putting her in my backseat and driving her to prison myself so she can take her job back.

TODAY:

abunchofstuffthatdidn'tquiteregisterinmyfoggybrain, but we got through it, anyway.  Spoke to the DA's office, a sheriff's department, a clerk of court, 200 DOC employees (seemed like it), put the release packets together, called inmates in to sign the release forms, and did the shippers list.  Around 2:00, the system went down.  The shippers list doesn't close until 3:30.  So at 3:30, I was on the phone with another unit asking them to please let me come over and run the final list and the trip tickets for bus day.  And they said yes!  So off to the hospital I went, ID in hand, and to the sergeant's office to do what I could.  Only problem is, the rpm's on my computer wouldn't print the list on my printer at our unit because the system was down and the printer in that office didn't have rpm's.  Shoot.  However, Medical Records welcomed me with open arms, let me log in and do my thing.  By 4:15, I was on the way back, list and tickets in hand.  And when I arrived there...

the most amazing thing was happening.  My supervisor, one of the case managers and the records room lady were pulling the field jackets from the partial list I had run earlier in the day.  I was floored.  NOBODY has ever done that for me before - not medical, not medical records...

I ran 14 copies of the list and the dental hygienist stapled them.  I only had to stay 20 minutes overtime...

and tomorrow, Deborah wants me to sit in on the disciplinary hearings so I can see how they're done.."Just in case you have to do it one day."  Aha.  I feel a position upgrade coming on.

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Some things never change

I told a friend last night I just don't feel like journaling anymore...that usually unlocks a boatload of entries, because tonight, if I don't get this down and out, someone will be scraping me off of the walls and ceilings tomorrow morning.  I guess this really is my safety valve.

It was a rough day.  The last few weeks have been rough, in fact, but I'm not feeling so much sorry for myself as feeling powerless.  So God, if you're trying to drive the point home, you've done it...I am defeated - for now.  But somehow, you always allow me to get back up again.  Truth known, I don't know if I want to get back up this time.  Seems easier to stay down where there isn't so far to fall.

This is the first time I've had to drag out the relaxation music, but tonight it's Canon - Variations on, and a version someone who was once dear to my heart sent over the internet, and Steven Cravis...First Light, Dancing Spirits...acoustic piano solos, and the daughter-in-law, angel that she is, has gone off in search of Blackberry merlot.

It was a helluva day at work.  I've been filling in for the transfer coordinator, had all of 3 days - half days, at that, training.  My little minor mistakes popped up today, all of them at once.  My mistakes are mine..and I own them; they came at a bad time, though, on top of a weekend that was far from easy and a Monday I wasn't sure I would make it through. 

It's just all so overwhelming.  Steve, Daddy, Mama...new job. My daughter on bedrest because of her high risk pregnancy.  Too many losses this year.  There were gains, yet they don't seem to measure up to those losses at the moment.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself, and if I were, just a little bit, that wouldnt be such a bad thing.  The fact is, though, I'm not.  I'm just...feeling.  Whether I want to, or not.  I wish I could go back to uncomfortably numb.  It wasn't the best place to be, but there, it didn't matter if everything was crashing and burning.  I didn't feel it.

I wish I could go back to a time when everyone was well and happy, and if our situations weren't quite ideal, they were liveable.  I would give anything for a Saturday night when Dad, Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, sang along with Fats Domino, Dad's leg propped up on the table, and just one more chorus, boys, and I'll be done for the night.  God, I'm so much like him.  He had Fats, I have whatever soothes me.  Pachelbel, Winston, Janis Joplin..Blackberry Merlot.

I don't know what to do, anymore.  It's all too heavy.  And sometimes I let myself sink and wallow in everything that has happened or is about to happen, and I feel bad about doing that because...I'm not the only one going through this.  And it isn't happening TO me, it's happening around me.  My job right now is to watch what I don't want to see.  And then there are people who are going through worse.

I don't know anymore what I'm supposed to do.  Maybe tomorrow I'll wake to brand new strength and will be able to shrug off the mistakes and will find it easier to accept the losses that were and the ones that are coming.  And like the friend who wrote to me last night, maybe I'll be able to reach pass my own pain and offer a hand to someone else who needs one to hold.  I hope so.

 

Friday, June 13, 2008

swamped

Busy day today...filling in for the transfer coordinator and getting the first taste of what it's like to be directly involved with paroling inmates.  Contacting the officers who are to pick them up, getting an ETA to pass on to operations.  The first arrives for one inmate, turns out he's a friend of my brother's.  We chat until our CO brings the (ex) inmate in to sign his papers and get his transition folder.  I witness the signatures and get some of my own, turn over the transition folder to the newly free man.  He gives me the willies, staring hard at me with no particular expression on his face.  And they set this man free.  Hard to imagine.

James, the maintenance guy, stops me in the hall.  He's a friend of Mike's, too, and he has made it his business to check up on sis every time he comes to the facility.  Always has a kind word and a weird little grin on his face.  Today he asks me about Daddy.  I tell him Dad is in pain.  He makes a sorrowful face.  I quickly ask him how he's doing, he says fine, and walks away, taking the inmate helper in green clothes with him. 

The second PPO arrives for the second inmate. He isn't as thorough as the first PPO...they and the inmate are out of there in less than 10 minutes.  On my way back to the office, Dr. E from the hospital comes through the lobby.  We chat for a minute.  It's only the second time I've seen one of the doctors since leaving the hospital.  It was good to see him.

Working on the releases for the weekend...I have to break the news to this rotation that the one who is being released Sunday will have to be driven 70 miles to a shelter.  He doesn't want to go there, but that's where he's going because none of his family want him to live with them.  He insists on a bus ticket and to be let off at the court house in his home county, but it's too late, since he agreed days before to the shelter.

The system is back up, finally, and I backlog the 47 who transferred in on regular and special buses.  Chilly calls, asking about records and extending an invitation for Vinnie's Famous Nurse's Station Cinnamon Coffee.  No time.  There's work to do.  And the work is good...and the people are good, and I'm where I want to be.

Busy.  I like it.  It's a different world than the one I go home to.