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Monday, March 14, 2011

My First Night Locked Up!

You know this saying is so true! I always have been fortunate in life to have good friends. Most I don't see very often but their always a phone call a way if I need them and like you their always there for me. Loved all your sweet comments and of course the funny ones too about the post Droopiness. Who can be droopy with friends like you.

This evening I think I will share with you my first night as a Correctional Officer in a prison here in Texas. In case your wondering No I did not dream of being an Officer when I was a little girl it just happened.

Don't you hate that when you ask a question and the answer is It Just Happened! I do and here I am using it! Truth is it did just happen!

Okay back to the first night! Ninety nine out of a hundred when you start work in law enforcement especially in a prison they are going to assign you to the night shift. The shift that no one wants to work on but if your a New Boot most likely your first year is nights.

I can remember putting on my uniform making sure I did not leave anything off and kissing my hubby and kids goodbye for the night. I worked nine to five and we had to be there thirty minutes early for our shift briefing. The Lieutenant or Sargent would fill us in on what had happened the shift before and then in roll call assign us our place of duty for the night.

Sitting here now typing this I can feel my stomach churn as sometimes it did when waiting to here where I was going to spend the next hours of  work or hell as most of us called it. You could look at your fellow Officers and see the expressions on their faces when the roster was read and their assignment was called out. Some showed relief others showed fear or disappointment.

Me I never gave my Lt. the satisfaction of showing my feelings one way or the other. He was very much against women Officers and from day one he tried his best to get me to quit.

The very first night he put me in C Wing Dorms. Which meant I would spend the next 8 hours with the worse of the worse locked inside their housing area with them. No one else with me but inmates.

Common sense would tell you that you don't assign a New Boot to the worse Dorm on the first night. That is asking for trouble and could easily get someone hurt badly. Not only did he do that to me but I was the first woman ever to work inside a dorm there at night. Of course, I did not know that until months later.

I am now walking down the long dark halls of the prison in procession with my fellow Officers and one by one when you get to where your assigned you drop out of the procession. Something to see your first few times then you take it for granted. Finally we enter C Wing and not many of us are left because C wing was towards the end. In C Wing they housed the hoe squad inmates. These inmates were in there for anything and everything. From drugs to murder.

In front of my grey steel door now and I have a hundred big eyes on me. Of course, to me they were big. To them they could not figure out a woman was entering their private quarters at night. I had no idea it had not been done before my first night.

Up above me there was a boss that worked the cat walk and he was waiting on me to tell him to open the door.  I stood there for what I know must of seem like to that Boss a very long time and he finally said, "Are you going inside?"

I stood there thinking well do I turn around and leave or do I say Charley Wing Boss. It was finally Charley Wing Boss and the loudest click I have ever heard in my life opened those steel bars for me to enter.

Praise God eight hours later another Officer came to that same door and said, "Charley Wing Boss and I walked out of my first night of many locked down with 108 men.

Hope you have a wonderful week! Another time I will tell you about some of my nights locked in with the inmates. Of course, there are stories of Ms. Pearl making an appearance now and then. One time I well remember with that very same Lieutenant.

Love to all,



Tam said...

NO Way No way could I have even showed up for Roll call.
Can not wait til you share the rest of this story and others I hope of your life as a Officer.
I admire you and every Office that ever did it. We visited the musuem in Huntsville for you and others wish I had known your last name I could of found your stone.
Take care

Kim said...

That story just proves what a tough cookie you are. I think I might have pee'd my drawers that first night. More evidence that Maggie Rocks and can handle anything!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Girl, you are truly woman!!!!

Enjoyed the story about your 'first' girl.

God bless and have a marvelous Monday sweetie!!!

Debby said...

Oh my goodness have to be the bravest person I know. How did you ever do that. No wonder you aren't afraid of ghosts sneezing. Your boss was a creep. xo

acorn hollow said...

I would have run screaming, my heart was pounding just reading this! You are one tough chick! There is no amount of money they could have thrown at me to make me do that. I am one big chicken. the curtain fell off the bathroom window last night when I was sleeping you would have thought someone shot at me the way I yelled to wake up my husband.
I am in complete awe of you!

yaya said...

I give you so much credit..that is a job that many people don't even think a woman is or should be doing..but you showed them! My niece is a detective in Chicago and she has some pretty crazy stories from her first days on the streets, to now with her investigations...some scary, some funny as anything! I'm proud of her and of you and all officers who put their lives in danger to keep the really dangerous away from the innocent..that would be me!

Debbie said...

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. Never, could I ever do that! First I am terrified of guns!! You are 1 strong tough cookie! I admire you. I am such a baby!!!

God Bless~
Debbie Jean

Anonymous said...

Well, I gotta tell you sweet Maggie...I could not do what you did. I believe people who work in prisons are born with the ability to do that and not just anyone can. A lot of jobs anyone can do but some take special gifts and abilities and prison guards are one of them in my book. Will be looking forward to hearing more. Hugs

Donna said...

Miss M, you are one spunky gal!! I am in awe of this story because I could not do it! Normally, I think I'm pretty spunky too,...but not in that situation! You are one amazing person and probably affected many in a positive way that they needed. way to go!!!

Darlene said...

I am like so many others, I just couldn't do that!!! How you ever did it is a mystery to me. Darn, you have so many sides to your personality. I just want to know all of them. How I would love to see you in person and have hours to catch up on the whole of your life. You are such an inigma to me. We are so much alike in so many ways. I hope as time goes by, I will just learn more and more about you, but I have to tell you again, being a prison guard is pretty scary to me and it tells me that you are a very strong woman. Other things about you tell me that too.

Julia said...

Maggie, you are not only funny but you are a brave woman. Keep the stories coming.

I'm off to bed and sick with a cold and it's past midnight. Hugs, JB

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

oh Maggie that Lieutenant in charge was a real peach it sounds like..what kind of person does that..I would have been scared to death..I am so glad you kicked butt..I can't wait to hear more stories.;)

Arkansas Patti said...

Not in one million years could I have done that. I don't wear a hat but if I did, it would be off to you. You have guts gal.
I do hope this is part of your book and that we will be getting more of the story.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, Mr Anonymous is a SHMUCK - He obviously doesn't deserve an American woman.

Libbie said...

Oh Maggie you are sooooo brave! I never would have gone in! I would have cried :) I had many emotions going through me as I read your post. Emotions of fear for you & anticipation of what you would do. You have such an interesting life Mags...I admire you more than you will ever know!!!

Sharon said...

I sure do the admire you for showing such guts.
I hate it when you are new on the job and the men act so superior. Way to show them!!!
Can't wait to read more.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

one of my favorite shows to watch is LOCKED-UP RAW...but from the cozy-ness of my bed....this sounds so scary...i couldn't have done it...

way to go.
thanks for stopping by. i have been lazy in blogging...just been busy in the garden...

happy to visit today, my friend

Barb said...

That takes GUTS. Alone?
At least when I was in the lock down unit of the psych ward I had other "Normal" humans and injectable drugs on hand.
You are the gal!!

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Wow! You showed them--what "gumption" you have!

Unknown said...

Knowing you personally, I can say you don't surprise me .. but for the life of me, I'd never be able to do it, nor would I want to. You are full of strength & stamina you.

Happy St. Paddy's Day ~
Hugs, sweet friend ,

Olga said...

OMG! I hope the good Lt. is very proud of himself for striking such a blow for equality of women...oh, wait--that was you.
I knew several female corrections officers, but that was in VT. I'm imagining a Texas facility might be rougher (or maybe I watch too much television). Here's what really blows me away, though--you did something that Arkansas Patti says she would not attempt!!

Anonymous said...

Top O' the Mornin'!!
I decided to reopen my blog after nearly a year of "rest'! Hope you'll stop by & follow me again.....

joanne said...

Hey sweetpea, stop on over and check out my give-away for Spring!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh My Gosh Maggie Sweetie...
Now how could you possibly leave us hanging like this. Gosh dang it, I have to know how the first night went. You just walked out and left me hanging here. Come on now. Get busy and start that typing.

What did the men do?
Were they well behaved?
Did they push Ms Pearl's last button?
How far were you tested?
On the way out did you kick that Lt.s BUTT?

Let me know when the story continues. Without my dashboard, I don't know when anyone posts. I have to read some more of this story.

Oh girl. I love reading your writes. Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

Cherrie said...

I know I could never do that job I would have walked away the very first night!

Sybil said...

I am sure I woudl have died a thousand deaths before going through that door. PLEASE..tell us's a but like stopping in a suspense movie !! sure like to keep us on our toes !! I do love you..
Sybil x

Susan Anderson said...

What an experience! I have to admit that your story makes me pretty mad at your Lt.


Unknown said...

Maggie I swear you ought to write a book. You always have the most interesting blog posts and I've read the one after this one too. I bet it would be so much fun to get together with you and hear all the stories in person! Hugs!

Julia said...

Maggie, to answer your question, my little grandson is doing great. He already is 2 months old as of Thursday the 17th. He is gaining weight and weigh 12 pounds 5 ounces and he's outgrowing his size 3 months clothing.

I hope that you get a good night sleep Maggie. Hugs my dear friend, JB