How I Reached for the Stars

Today I want to discuss jobs. I have switched careers and now I work as a nurse.

“I think you’ve got a fever, I’ll need to check that…rectally”

It may surprise you, the faithful Facehookin’ reader, to know that I worked in both the state prison and county jail as none other than a correctional officer before going to nursing school.

“It’s time for your visit, and by that I mean conjugal, and by that I mean sex…I’m not so good at this.”

So you may ask how one would make such a leap from one career field to the other? Well, simply because I can’t be an LOL cat.

Because I’m a fucking human.

I’m grateful everyday I pay my student loan because I love being a nurse. I had my son and decided it was time for a career I wanted to be in for the duration of my working years.

Now you may ask if it was difficult to deal with inmates? No, actually they weren’t usually all that bad. I mean, you just expected some of them to be assholes and some were, no big deal.

Most accurate representation of a correctional facility

However even sporatically dealing with drunks, and crazed idiots on bath salts might have made the place less desirable to work than say, waking in a bathtub full of ice and a note saying one of your kidneys was stolen. So what was something I dreaded more than all of it?

Working  with “Old heads” and Delusions of Grandeur

Okay, so I think at a lot of jobs people that stay at the same place of employment like to brag that they spent overwhelming majority of their adult life there.

“Never free, Never me, So I dub thee unforgiven…”

Which is fine, but these people always wanted to say one name in particular to raise some consequentially impressed eyebrows. Fate Thomas. Fate….Goddamn…..Thomas. Get it? Got it? Good. You better or a fiery vengeance will be wrought upon you and your posterity.  This dude, besides admittedly having a pretty cool name, was the sheriff…um, like a long time ago. Thus being present for the Fate Thomas era made all hearing aware that said employee has been with the agency for decades. There have been other sheriffs, but none with names that command attention, respect, fire. So in service training was two grueling days of classes like;  sexual harassment, workplace safety, mental health, first aide, CPR and the list goes on.

It never failed that at some point during classes some decrepit old bastard would interject, “Back in the Fate Thomas days…” Then some elaborate story would ensue about how county jail thirty years ago was a post apocalyptic battlefield and the inmates were half breed human gorillas capable of murder, murder everywhere. The officers it seems were all….um…

This bad ass….

This bad ass….

Yes. I’m serious.

According to these guys, there were fights and riots. Riots and then fights, um death, fights, riots, riots and fights. And fire. And Fate “Son of a Bitch” Thomas. Every day. These war stories took up time that the instructor needed to tell us not to sexually harass each other anymore and how to perform CPR. Not the Fate Thomas way, which was immediate setting fire to said inmate for dying during a riot.

The man, the legend, Fate…

Actually working with these guys was pretty bad, for one, the had to remind you every day that they were there longer than you have been alive. They had to tell you resolutions to problems that might have been acceptable in the 70’s, you know, like let’s disco all night. Well, maybe not that but, they never really had a current or relevant solution. Only stories, epic stories, comparable to those told by Homer.

Perhaps other reasons I’d rather not use this venue to expound on why that particular place wasn’t my cup of tea. I will say some pretty incredible supervisory titles materialized over the years…

Vice President Chief…Seventh Level Dragon Master…

I always wished Fate would become wrathful with the lack of violence withing the facilities and bring about his powerful spiritual vengeance and then salt the earth…only to fly into the sun and burst, spreading his incredible ashes among us. Or maybe just give me a make-believe position of power.


29 responses to “How I Reached for the Stars

  1. You are back, nice to read you gain

  2. So glad you’re back, Sheena. I actually went back through my subscriptions to make sure I hadn’t accidentally unfollowed you because it was so quiet for so long.

    The Fate Thomas era sounds very, um, grandiose. It would be fun to actually go through the records of the time and see how many actual riots took place.

    March 13, 1971: Ran out of tater tots in cafeteria. Several inmates were upset, wrote letters of disappointment to warden. Many guards feel shunned by prisoners.

    • There was one riot I know of…and that’s about it. Yes, Fate is grandiose for sure. I feel bad I’ve neglected reading and writing. I need a new laptop for sure. This whole tryig to blog at the library and working crazy hours is making it hard. I use my phone…but it’s a pain in the butt! Thanks though, I’m touched I have been missed! 🙂

  3. Love this post as I gave up Carpentry to be a Prison Officer with young offenders but had the same experience with colleagues, so now I’m a carpentry lecturer, same type of colleagues but I get my own way now. Good luck with the nursing 😉

  4. Sheena,

    I heard somewhere that people like to read about work. Work is such a massive part of (most) everyone’s life, why not write about it and read about it? Its nearly always entertaining day to day in ways big and small. I really enjoyed reading this post.

    I love how you say been workin, workin, workin–ya gotta do what you gotta do, and I’m sure being a nurse is very rewarding for you. I’m sure you’re sense of humor is appreciated by most. I hope you have found a workplace where you can be yourself and bring home the big bacon if you know what I mean. 😉

    • Thank you so much. I love my job now, I love being a nurse. It was good for me to switch careers for sure. I do work a lot and physically get burnt but at least I like what I do….but I wouldn’t mind if some new employees came in! 😀

  5. Nurses are my favorite people. Seriously. I proposed to one once.
    Love you’re bringing humor and comfort to people.
    You’re one-of-a-kind, Sheena.

    Hope to see more of you here.

  6. Yain’t sayin’ us old timers is boring, are you, you young smartaleck? Fate Thomas woulda had you for breakfast. BREAKFAST!! With a side of grits.
    Seriously, though, I’m glad you’re back. Nurses are wonderful. Met a bunch of them when my sister died of cancer and and my mom and dad were (he still is) in the nursing home. Some are blah, some are putting in their time, but most are angels on Earth. “Son of a bitch” is a great middle name.

    • I agree, best middle name ever and he would have dipped his bicuits in blood…thank you though. I am fortunate enough to work with a lot of nurses that care. (Nothing worse than a nurse putting in their time!)

  7. I love this post too. It takes courage and perseverence to change careers, especially if they are vastly different. You still have to a live a life whilst doing so. Have also experienced the Fate Thomas syndrome many times, one really hopes that one will leave a positive legacy… either that or avoid giving one’s child power names!

    • Thank you. It was not easy going to school, but worth every minute. I like coming home and feeling good about my day, even if sometimes it can also be stressful.

  8. Great to see you, and congratulations!

    There is a company I left about 3 years ago that still refers to the slot I filled as “The El Guapo Shift”. In a good way!

  9. This is off the post, but may I add how insanely hot you look in your new blog pic? 😛 haha

  10. Congrats and welcome back! Glad you’ve changed careers. So are you a full RN? Or am I just confused.

    Glad you’re no longer working for the tijuana prison! Or I should say Mad Max beyond thunderdome prison.

  11. Hello and thanks for sharing your working uniforms, always good to know what people are wearing these days 🙂

  12. Wow, that’s a big career change and it is so awesome you love your job! I

  13. Good Bless you on your new career!

  14. sheafferhistorian

    Do you have the Sybil Danning outfit from Caged Heat?

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