Friday, April 25, 2014
Friday Freebits with Ginger #FriFreebits
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I'm sharing tidbits from a book that is being re-worked and hopefully republished: Life is a Bowl of Toilets and I Feel Flush. My six paragraphs come from the chapter, Take This Job and Shove It.
For some reason, I always felt I belonged in the medical field. Each time I visit a doctor, and believe me, after chalking up the cast incident I discussed in another chapter, there were too many trips to count. I always have this same eerie sensation that I've been a nurse or doctor in a previous life. If I could stand the sight of blood or vomit, I might have tried to get into the profession, but I think my beside manner might be a little lacking. I'm pretty sure throwing up along with a patient isn't an option that'd be welcome, but that's just a hunch. I've never had any medical person share that little kidney-shaped tray they give you in the hospital when you feel nauseous. I decided to stick with what I knew...or thought I knew I could handle.
After retirement at an early age, I expected to sit home, write and be discovered by Oprah for her book club. Surely she could get me on the NY Best Seller's list in a hot minute. Well, unfortunately, I didn't even get a response when I sent her a copy of my first "toilet" book How rude. Now she's calling me and those who didn't vote for Obama, racists. I think the ship sailed and I didn't get a ticket.
While my writing dream didn't come true, Hubby and I made a leap of faith and left California for the southern charm of Tennessee. We researched everything but employment and wages. The town we elected to call home had just experienced a major business exodus to Mexico and with more businesses closed than open, I found myself having to search for a job while my husband found something lucrative...which in Tennessee pays more than $10.00 an hour.
Imagine my surprise when the employment agency sent me to the local jail to interview as a Correctional Officer. Where they kidding? I was almost sixty at the time, had no training whatsoever in the field and have a bad knee. I assumed I was wasting my time, but went out of curiosity. In California, you have to attend an academy to even apply, so I was stunned when they called before I could even reach home and left a message on my answering machine, offering me the job. Yes...I accepted the outrageous $7.55 per hour to work along inmates incarcerated for everything from larceny to homicide. I supposed I qualified because I was breathing, could walk, and was willing to give a career change a try.
Every other job I'd had in the past had no equipment requirement except maybe a good writing pen. Now I found myself wearing a utility belt with handcuffs, an empty holster--had to leave a gun I'd never shot in my locker--carried pepper spray, flashlight, and a glove case. Yes, I bought them myself and I didn't have a clue what most of the things were for. Of course, in order to be certified to carry the gun, I had to actually shoot it on a range with others watching. I was a nervous wreck. Hadn't even held the dumb thing let alone hit a target. I stunned myself and everyone else with a score of 83 our of 100 on my very first attempt.
Oh, the best part of all...in order to carry pepper spray, I had to attend a special class. What I wasn't told was that I would have to "experience" the spray firsthand. After the textbook instruction, we all assembled in the Sallie Port (term I learned) and stood in line to wait for the torture. We had a choice of being sprayed or swabbed. I elected the swab, thinking of something the size of a q-tip would be used, but I swear it was a mop. I guess I'm lucky I didn't have to be shot to experience a gun.
More to come next week, but hop on over to my friends' blogs and see what they've offered up this week.
Rhobin Lee Courtright