While I spend evenings and weekends pounding away on one story or another, my day job revolves around helping people who can’t get help through normal channels, which is cool. I love knowing I am making difference in the world. It is also kind of disturbing sometimes, such as when I am dealing with the prison population.
Prison Guard Intel
Recently a prison guard told me I was so good at the job that prisoners had added my name and number to the prison wall. Huh, not exactly where I’d like my name and number to ever show up. I’m curious. Where does that rank in relationship to having your name and number on a bathroom wall? Also a place I tend to not want to be mentioned. On the bright side, prison referrals do not lead to midnight calls from heavy breathers. I’m guessing bathroom-related posting would.
Prison Yard Topic of Discussion
Then last week, a prisoner tells me he learned about me in the prison yard. I can just picture it now. A slip of paper folded in a triangle and passed on the sly from one inmate to the next just like contraband. Whispered comments around the basketball court. “Hey, man, call Francine. She’ll fix you up real fine. That woman’s da bomb.”
Experience with Prison Referral
Yes, the idea that hundreds of people known for breaking the law even knowing of my existence can be disturbing. On the other hand, it is my job to help them, and I must be doing it well or they would not be referring each other my way. I also have to say that my contact with the prisoners is always polite. Unlike many on the outside, they tend to take instruction well and not over steps their bounds. I have yet to have them call me a “lazy-ass white woman.” Nor have any of them threatened to tell my supervisor on me because I gave them advice they didn’t want to hear. Both are bonuses in my book.
Besides, you never can tell when I will need a hit man. Having someone on the inside with criminal connections may come in handy. Yes, let us not delve too deeply on how good they are at being criminals considering they were, ya know, caught.