002 The Day My Life Changed

The Day My Life Changed

A feeling of apprehension sweeps over me briefly when I hear my post assignment for the next eight to ten hours.

That feeling must have found it’s way to my face because the supervising corporal assures me she and the other corporal will be right there if I need help.

Refusing an assigned post means an instant write up. I comply because I feel up for the challenge. I worked on other units alone with no trouble. In fact, I enjoyed it. How different could this unit be?

Change of shift in the morning is always chaotic; making teenagers get out of bed to start the day bright and early in an institution.

What could possibly go awry?

Typically when I arrive, the night shift officer signs out of the log book, and I sign into the legal, living document with an oath, “I, Ofc. Trill...” and I take responsibility of a clean and orderly unit.

That is if nothing was found in the contraband inspection, AND the previous officer has done all that is required of the night shift officer.

Far From Clean And Orderly

When I arrive to the post, I feel like the night shift officer is still trying to wake up. She looks like she slept in her uniform jacket. Her hair is a mess and the lights bother her eyes.

I am dismayed by the condition of the unit. There is trash everywhere, which makes the contraband search difficult.

The search reveals pencils in bedrooms; pencils are contraband because they could be used as weapons.

Bringing Order To A Less Than Desirable Situation

The toilets are not flushed. There is a turd in the toilet (not contraband- but what the heck?) Really?

It’s the turd that sets me off.

I begin to counsel (mom voice) the group of thirteen males (approx. 10-17 years old) about personal hygiene and having self respect by keeping their area tidy.

I tell them no TV until their unit is in order. They are to be seated in the common area when they are finished with their responsibility. With much complaining they all start cleaning. I turn to look for the night shift officer.

She is gone.

I haven’t even relieved her of her post. I have not logged in or taken responsibility for the unit.

She split.


Thanks for your help. I’ll take it from here.


MARCH 2019

Have you ever felt like you were left in the dark to clean up a mess you didn’t make? Tell me about it below.

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