Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger #FriFreebits

Welcome to Friday Freebits where authors share six paragraphs from published or works-in-progress.

If you'd like to be part of the group, it's easy...just contact me at and let me know which Friday you'd like to blog on your on blog and be linked with me.

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 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.

Jamie Hill
Roseanne Dowell
Tricia McGill
Juliet Waldron
Sydell Voeller
Taryn Raye
Kathy Fischer-Brown
Rhobin Lee Courtright
Yolanda Ashton


BWL Publishing Inc. said...

LOL! Pepper spray, guns! This is not the Ginger I thought I knew! Great stuff gf. ~ Jamie

Rhobin said...

OMG! Ginger, I knew you had had this job, but wow! What low wages, perhaps they should have hired zombies, already dead don't need a living wage and can't be re-killed.

As for medical field -- yeah, I'd be right there puking whenever any patient did.

Tricia McGill said...

Oh Ginger, you never cease to amaze me. No wonder you have such a wonderful sense of humor. What a horrendous job. My working life was so boring when put alongside yours.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! My mouth dropped open over the pepper spray! I didn't know they made you experience it!

I agree too about the medical field- I could never stomach that! Blergh- Parenting gave me enough experience with doctoring boo-boos and cleaning up tummy troubles. I have a lot of respect for those who can handle it though and give them props. It can't be easy!

Margaret Tanner said...

Without training, Ginger, that would have been a scary job in the prison.



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