Friday, January 18, 2008

Shhss!!! Library at work...

Yesterday the Chain came in, new inmates from other institutions, rotating because of... custody level, security or preference -- they get to move. Shackled in chains, on a bus that rattles with its own ills as well as those chains, with tiny windows that you can't pop out in an emergency nor look out as you are locked in until you arrive somewhere new and less confined. Rumor among the inmates is that there are two of the vehicles, the regular one to your next facility and the special that never unloads -- the really bad guys get on it and it only stops for refueling along the way and to load another guy somewhere else (no one ever gets off and they are never heard from again!).

When the Chain comes in and unlocks and unloads the institution is at peril, periods of transition are always the best time for attack, escape or insurrection and so security must be higher. After processing and the departure of the Chain bus things will go back to normal, well, a prison normal. In the library suddenly five to ten extra men will show up outside of the movement period and from the wrong units, their explanation: I wanted to get something to read.

Male voices are loud, deep and carry well - some of the inmates have trouble making anyone believe them unless the volume is overwhelming. So inmates from the chain are quickly establishing their rights, priviliges and collecting debts or establishing threat levels they can survive with (pecking order). Old buddies from county lockup two years ago, old buddies from criminal enterprises, old school buddies and of course the old drinking buddies.... re-establishing the connections, telling the stories and asking the questions. The noise level builds as the TRUTH is always LOUDER than fiction... unfortunately, I have good inmate library clerks, which along with their other duties show off their positive customer service skills by getting just as loud or better and shouting across the library to get information to that table in the corner. Lovely and lively here, sigh.

I am a guy, I understand and I listen for the mellow in the bass booming broadly by... situtation normal, no threats nor fears funded here, the Library is at work and the beeps of the computers scanning barcodes count the time. Still the noisiest Library in the planet, have to be first at something.


mamaworecombatboots said...

What could be better than a library, if you are in jail?

WmEarl said...

A house (room) to oneself with lots to read and cablevision... but still it isn't a good life.