11 August 2011

Something Has Basted My Oatmeal

Hello, old friend. Seems it has been a while since we last had a chat. I have been thinking a lot lately about a great many things. Good things, bad things, things that are generally neutral, and even some things that could potentially lead to my being locked in a mental institution. Of the great many things crossing my mind of late, I have decided to harp upon something, a rant if you will. And what is the thing that has earned a place in my distaste, you might ask. Well if you could find it in your heart to be a bit more patient as I ramble, I might tell you. Or perhaps I already did, depends on how well you are able to pick up context clues. Okay, actually I didn't, but I wanted to make you think I did.

As with anything that becomes a pet peeve, or a nuisance, or a downright annoyance, time is an inevitable factor. Sufficient time has now passed pertaining to my particular source of annoyance that I can no longer bear it in silence, ironic because in actuality that is exactly how I combat the thing that causes me to want to club hippies with a baby seal. For some, this thing might provide entertainment or even be of non-consequence, but some others of you might understand where I'm coming from if you ever had dealings with it. I speak, of course, of the radio.

Yes, the radio. Mankind's gift to musical artists the world over. I do not speak of this one though, I am more concerned with the closed circuit, CB-style walkie-talkie utilized to maintain the security and integrity of a house of incarceration. If you were still using your context clues, you have deduced my mode d'emploi. The reason behind my disdain of this innocuous piece of equipment designed to, in event of crisis, save my life, is fairly simple, and it could be argued that really I am not angry with the radio at all which is only the manner in which my true peeve is received. In fact, I'm certain of that, now that I have thought of that argument. Well done, me. You deserve a star.

I'm sorry, CB-style walkie-talkie, I was never angry with you. I apologize if I have in some way hurt your non-feelings, it's just so difficult to discern where my hatred and loathing should lie when you are the one transmitting the things that bother me the most. Can we still be friends? I would greatly appreciate that, CB, can I call you CB? I would greatly appreciate it, CB, if we could still be friends. I do rather enjoy the comfort of knowing you have been my constant companion these long months, and I know that I can count on you in a pinch. And really it isn't your fault that you transmit such things that stir my anger, you are just doing your designed purpose.

Right, so on to the real irksome matter at hand - unprofessionalism. I realize, of course, that such a subject is a broad and sweeping generalized term that can encompass a great many things, but in this particular case it mainly refers to the unprofessional nature in which people, generally, use the radio at my place of employment. For as noted above, the radio is a tool with which to conduct daily business and, in times of crisis, a failsafe designed to ensure the safety of those within the confines of the double fence. It is not, nor should it be seen as, a toy or a means to snipe at others.

Due to the diversity of people employed within my specific facility, and in general across the company, there are a great many personalities that need to be taken into account and dealt with in as many different ways as those who bear them. Unfortunately, thanks in part to the internet culture, people are no longer adept at dealing with difficult personalities or situations on a personal and discreet manner. Because of the anonymity provided by their home life on the internet, people in a prison setting (at least in my experience so far) utilize the radio as a portable internet forum where they believe they can say what they wish in a manner comparable to how they would speak online.

A perfect example of this was yesterday. There are many other instances that are similar but as this was the most recent, I can remember it verbatim. The early afternoon sun was beating down, as it has done for the past 6 months, and making everyone just that much more miserable. Early afternoon is typically when these types of things happen since those that are working have been here for anywhere from 6 to 14 hours and they are clearly growing edgy. I overheard the following exchange and it pissed me off, mostly because it never should have happened over the radio where everyone could hear:

1: Control, be advised I will be entering perimeter road in my personal vehicle.
Control: ....
1: Did you copy control? I will be entering perimeter road in personal vehicle.
Control: YES! I COPY! I AM ON THE PHONE WITH <other facility> RIGHT NOW....SIR.
1: 10-4, control. I was just advising
1: 10-4. <sarcasm> Just doing my job ma'am. </sarcasm>
Control: 10-4, sir. So was I.

Now, while that may be lost on many people, the face that this conversation took place at all is unprofessional. More to the point, the control officer should never have spoken that way to an officer doing his job and ESPECIALLY not while on the phone to another facility. As I said this is one example. There are countless others where similar arguments over petty things have occurred, but my favorite, almost daily, conversations are usually to do with discussing whether or not to order food and from where. In addition there are also numerous conversations that are just two or more people going back and forth quoting movie or TV show lines...over the radio...at work...while there are administrative staff present.

And while that is not my only contentious point, I believe I will stop there before I happen to get myself into trouble moreso than I already probably have.

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