We Built This City

[wee bilt th is sit ee]: In 2004, Blender magazine named this the worst song of all time, saying it is “a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the ’80s,” and lamenting “the sheer dumbness of the lyrics.” The article got of lot of attention when it was touted in USA Today.

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 12: We Have Way Too Much To Do.

So I am going to reflect on the music a little before I start writing.

How could such a great band fall to such a tragic end. This really has to be the absolute worse song in the world. I can look at the video a million times in sheer fascination that the group that sang the song above also sand this song:

Perhaps not your type of music, but it always makes me feel like something from one of those Vietnam films where soldiers are off in the jungle fighting. To go from this to that just scares me.

And isn’t that what we are doing? Going from this to that? A very well experienced colleague said something that made me laugh:

“It’s not what the prison system (kriminalvården) can do for you. It is what you can do for the prison system (kriminalvården)”

The big topic today where I work is that during the morning meeting we had that our boss is “investigating” the idea of us taking care of the reception desk at the jail.

Us answering phones. Connecting lawyers to their clients. Taking in visitors to the jail and the probation office (Frivården). Let’s add on top of that:

Security checks for staff and visitors.

Opening doors and handling the thousands of flags and alarms that go through the system.

Working the elevators (I am not going to say how many, but logically if you work there you know there are more than 1).

Running promenade that I talked about here.

and finally taking in all of the goods that come in and out of the jail (that food to the kitchen and those carts filled with clothing and come back new are not in some magical portal that does it all by it’s self).

So it is a lot of work. Reception duties is not something we signed up for. We are outer security. Not customer service representatives.

If you were to ask me. If you gave me a job however, where all I did all day was answer the telephone I would take it in a snap. You could then call me the “phone queen” of The House That God Has Forgotten.

BUT… what about you people out there in the corridors knee deep in thermos and paper food boxes?

Two people working the floor like robots moving your asses to shuffle people around from place to place?

I remember once I worked on a restriction floor for a day and on this floor we ran hard. Back and forth up and down, without the resources we needed. Instead we had the mantra playing over and over in our head;

“We have to finish everything in the morning because in the afternoon we have promenade”

24 people that need their toothpaste and toilet paper, their showers, the trips to the gym (which is a running machine and something else I think), visits from the nurses where you cannot take another person out of their room at the same time… well you get my point.

The oh wait! A priest comes by and wants to talk to someone in the middle of it all.

That is not including that we do not have the staff to break isolation because we are busy sending people off to visit their families, lawyers or police with their lawyers.

The like I said earlier… don’t forget the promenade.

There are a million things more I could say about running around on any floor at The House That God Has Forgotten.

If you are not on the restriction floor you are on the group floor where all you hear is noise, and countless questions.

I the other day went with a colleague on a group floor and we literally got stopped 5 times between the door and the elevator we were headed to.

The logic behind all of this is to have an administrator pass that is there to help tie up the loose slack on the floor.

But how can someone be two places at once, and send a fax to the district attorney, get the mail and pick up the medicine?

Yet without the resources that expect we (or in other words you guys) to get the job done.

And this is our fatal mistake. With low resources and poorly staffed floors we go above and beyond. So much so that our worth ethic causes the old syndrome “they will find a way”, or “we will see what happens”

15 minutes before you get to leave and you are asked to stay an hour later.

I get you do not want to fuck your colleagues over. No one wants to do that, but when is it too much?

I personally think that they need to staff us more. Just like I said, we need to about our leadership, we need to do the same about how we are treated at work. We need to bang our fists on the tables, or at least close our eyes and think this every once and awhile…

“Why am I making it look so easy?”

It’s not is it?

This is where I draw my critique to the unions in The House That God Has Forgotten. They spend a lot of times in meetings too. (trust me, I have more union leadership in my group than any other).

I understand that they have a lot of work to do. Probably about more things that we know or understand, but why is everything so… so…

Swedish.

I can hear the wolves howling in the background in the Valentuna night as I write this.

When you watch these films about unions I think of places like France where they cannot shut their mouth about having rights.

I want my union to pound their fists on the tables and do the things that I am talking about.

Raise my pay because I keep getting added more and more work.

Stop giving me more work and give me resources to give good performance for the already tough job I do have.

Demand results from leadership.

Demand the rights I have for my own personal advancement.

Keep my wages competitive with new employees.

Plus more! I want more. I want a lot more. Not just a cute little tag holder (which is very handy).

Maybe I should start my own union. We can call it, “We Built The House That God Has Forgotten”

 

 

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