3/06/2007

You're correct if you think it's a career

I've noticed a hot trend in vocational training: corrections officer. Every time I watch television or pass a billboard, I see a school advertising its state-of-the-art corrections officer program. In as little as 28 weeks, you can be in uniform, making upwards of 30 thousand per year with great benefits, job security, free uniforms, and the opportunity to nightstick the hell out of America's underclass with little-to-no consequence. Sign me up.

That's a big, fat euphemism – corrections officer. Corrections are what you make to a term paper; punishment is what you apply to guys who burn down old folks' homes or beat up people with a steel pipe. I think we should call them punishment technicians. After all, they don't correct. They punish. And once they go to school to learn the trade, they're technicians. That's another word I'm suspicious of – technician. Nobody's a clerk or a fix-it-guy anymore. Everybody's a tech. I saw a want ad in Craig's List for an exterminator technician. Dude, you're squashing bugs, not wiring fiber optic networks.

I wonder what the curriculum is at correctional officer school. What classes need one attend to manage a concrete building chock full of assorted scumbags? Nightsticking 101. Corequisite Lab 102, Shanks and Makeshift Weaponry. Poker, Bridge and Pinochle 201. Cigarette-based Economies. Shitter and Bunk-bed Repair.

Get this. Cadets in law enforcement training, including corrections officers, must be sprayed in the face with mace. I'm not making this up. At least once in every program, you have to stand still while the instructor gives you a shot in the puss with tear gas (no, not the cooter; the face). That's a mild form of chemical warfare! And what for? Aren't you the one with the mace? You should practice spraying the shit, not sucking it in with a light lunch! That's like training for a computer job and the instructor punches you in the stomach. Think fast, Eugene! Slug! What's the training like for librarians? Do they exact a series of paper cuts and promptly soak your fingers in lemon juice? I don't understand the purpose of abusing trainees for no good reason. That would be my first sign that my chosen career was unwise. For example, if I elect to pursue a career in auto mechanics and a few weeks into the training, my instructor wants to smash our hands with a wrench, I'm withdrawing from the program. I'll go be a bar tending technician.

No essay on correction officers would be complete without a crude reference to shower room sexual assaults and prison rapes. Of course they happen. But I doubt it's like they depict in the movies where bribed corrections officers look they other way. In real life, the guards have to intervene. They have to break up the humping and whatnot. Let me stop right there and ask you whether you'd enter a career in which you must frequently dislodge naked men in sexual congress. Maybe instead of a nightstick, they should issue correction officers a crowbar. That way, they could insert the crowbar between hips and butt cheeks and pry the inmates apart. Because they're not going to stop just because a guard is in the vicinity. One surmises that prison shower rapists have no scruples with regard to onlookers. In fact, merely watching may encourage them. Therefore, the officer must intervene physically. This would be a choice time to release a K-9 unit. That's what I'd do. Let the guard dog deal with the prison love. Don't slip on the soap, Fido.

31 comments:

Scottsdale Girl said...

Very well written LBB.

Do you think they spray them in the face to see if they can handle it if THEY are spraying and the wind shifts?

Hammer said...

Actually from talking to some former guards, they seem to be powerless to stop prison sex so they just hand out condoms.

As far as the pepper spray and mace in the face goes, it's to get the officer to understand that using the stuff is no joke and shouldn't be taken lightly, also in case it gets turned on them they need to know how to deal with it.

Personally I'll take liquour pouring technician training any day.

Dave Morris said...

That profession should be an episode on Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs.

ARM said...

Thank you for clarifying that you were talking about the face. You are too funny.

mist1 said...

My friend is an officer. He refused to be maced. He asked if they were going to shoot him next just so that he would know what it would feel like.

Miss Cellania said...

I know two bloggers who are or have been corrections officers. They've got some real stories to tell, but rarely tell them. Seems like the kind of job you'd want to leave at the office, so to speak.

Amandarama said...

A good chunk of the male seniors who are graduating from my English class this year want to study "Criminal Justice". Hmmmm.......

Violet said...

What about sanitation engineers? I mean, there's another euphemism for a job that simply stinks like shit and nobody wants. Guess what! Nobody wants it even if you change the name!

Raggedy said...

Good post!
I don't know who invents the names for jobs.
Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

tornwordo said...

How about Scumbag Handling Agent? I like your chock full of scumbags line. Actually, I think I just dig the word scumbag.

Weary Hag said...

This is a true story. My ex-husband, years ago, had applied and tested for a few city jobs. On the exact same day, he received notification from both the Corrections AND the Sanitation Departments. He weighed it out for about 20 seconds and went with Sanitation saying he'd prefer to handle garbage that doesn't move.

I also knew a Riker's Island correction officer and I asked him what it was he was "correcting" with these prisoners. He said it's not the prisoners they "correct" ... it's the lousy court sentencing. (i.e. when a rapist gets off in a year because of some technicality - some of these officers "correct" that situation every chance they get)
Of course, this was many years ago when it wasn't politically incorrect to bitchslap a bad guy.

Puts a different spin on the term "corrections" though, doesn't it?

NWJR said...

You HAVE to call them "Corrections Officers". We have three prisons in town, and if the paper prints the word "Guard", there are a ton of angry letters, cancelled subscriptions, etc.

They're very touchy.

And they're a nasty breed. I know several, and 90% of them are assholes.

Butchieboy said...

30K a year to watch dudes fuck in a shower? Sign me up.

Lyvvie said...

I thought they were called Screws?! Isn't that part of the job? It kind of made sense to me, with the shower situations and all. I thought "correction officer" was a new name for data entry. Whew, glad I didn't sign up for that job!

Then again I'd look hot in a uniform that came with its own truncheon.

The Kept Woman said...

Mace in the face? Sign my ass up.

As to the prison guards having to intervene...I'm not sure if it's anything like junior high but I happened to know some staff who would casually saunter to a fight IF the kid getting his ass kicked desrved it. I mean, yeah, they got there but you know...it might have taken a couple minutes.

Erik said...

I stumbled across your blog today and really enjoyed your insights and sense of humor. I notice you make reference to diet drinks throughout your blog (in a positive light). As someone who was hospitalized with Aspartame poisoning; I encourage you to research the product, it's origins, it's impact on weight gain & loss and the health concerns associated with it.

As an LMT, I see/feel the effects of diet products every day. No other food/drug is as easily identifiable by just touching the body...even in small quantities.

Just one of the effects is that the musculature locks up as formaldehyde prevents the movement of fluids in the muscles and is a protein coagulator.

You might also look into Monsanto and all of the other wonderful products that they produce to make this a "healthier" world.

Keep up the blogging and give up diet sodas.

Matilda Jane said...

After reading this post, I figured out that 'corrections officer' would be the perfect job for randy male homosexuals. After surviving the mace to the face.... they would totally get free live porn while working at the corrections facility! er.... punishment facility....

Does that make janitors 'lysol technicians'?

jali said...

I'm hooked on LBB - now I want you to turn around.

(only joshing Mrs. Butt)

Oh great One said...

The idea of seperating two big ole men from doing the deed just gives me the shivers! Not the good kind either!

BCOL said...

"Therefore, the officer must intervene physically."

Isn't that what a fire hose or loud airhorn is for? I wouldn't touch the love birds in action. It'd be like taking away a carcass from a wild animal. It's oh so dangerous...

Elaine said...

Poor Fido. Brought in to do the "dislodging."

Watch your back Fido.

Jay said...

NO matter what, it's just not a cool job - not even for "upwards of thirty thousand."

No way man.

Fathairybastard said...

I used to teach college classes at a prison unit in Gatesville. Walking in there weirded me out. Didn't know why, till I realised that the unit looked just like my old middle school in San Antonio, only with razor wire. Probably built by the same contractor.

And the whole thing about calling it "corrections" has to do with the fantacy that these folks are correctable.

Mom of Three said...

I became suspicious of this Newspeak movement years ago when trash men became Sanitation Engineers.

Reminds me of a line in Joe Dirt: "You can church it up all you want, but it's still pronounced Dirt."

Christina_the_wench said...

My guidance counselor must have missed this profession when he was handing out recommendations for my career path. Whew.

Migraine Boy said...

Cigarette-based economies and shower room sexual assaults...good times, good times.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Obviously you do not need to take the class: you are fully qualified as is.

You should also make them provide the tools you need (one crowbar).

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Thanks, LBB...I was hating on my jb there for a minute.

Now I am SO GLAD I work in a windowless office, I think I'll put back those sticky notes and stapler I stole yesterday. ;)

NWJR said...

I think "erik" needs to take off his tinfoil hat.

Bug said...

I almost pursued a career as a CO but then when my uncle told me about the whole mace you in the face thing I figured it wasn't my bag. *chuckle*

phlegmfatale said...

You left off one of the courses of the Correctional Officer training: Kiester History and Appreciation in Human Imagination 101™