Stayin’ Alive

[steyn uh-lahyv]: The soundtrack was an unqualified success, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and becoming the best-selling album ever until it was dethroned by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It remained the best-selling soundtrack of all time until it was surpassed by the soundtrack to The Bodyguard.

 

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 13: How To Be A Prison Guard

I sometimes feel like I am running a pirate radio channel. For those of you that don’t know what one is. I will give you a little definition:  A pirate radio channel is a radio broadcast that is done without a licence. Kind of like The Pirate Bay, but with the radio.

Teenagers sitting in their bedrooms in the middle of the night, or demonstrators about what they think is right and wrong with the world.

Since I feel lately like a troublemaker, the title is fitting. Anyone can have a blog, I guess what matters is what you do with it. I like to sit here and think long and hard about what I want to discuss (this is why I keep begging you to give me topics but none of you do) and a lot of times I just listen to what is the “hot topic” of the day.

Yesterday it was recruitment.

You see people that enter The House That God Has Forgotten like to leave. It seems to be a big problem not only there, but everywhere in the corrections system (hence why they pay new people much more money than we will ever make).

That is just one of the reasons.

Then they have this great new idea of making the course to being a corrections officer 2 years long with a lot of on the on the job training. I don’t know, these people will be put to work as full fledged guards anyway.

It will be a rotation like factory car parts. Just people running up through the bands of countless machines to become washed and shiny to do the same job I have now, with a much shorter education of being a prisoner guard.

Oh but I have over 9 years experience. Yes, but they will still think they know more and are better than me.

They want it to look more attractive with 2 years training. “It will look like the police” they think in their heads. The problem is that police have to take student loans have higher physical standards and actually have to learn a whole new job.

Here we will have people that have already worked, but serve a function with a paper education that they got paid a larger salary for doing.

Going to school is not cheap either, it costs a bit of cash to put them through the whole course without the extra on the job training.

I think about how many quit after 2 years without the training.

The House That God Has Forgotten will eat them up alive.

Then there is the language issue.

Trust me I am not a hater. I destroy the Swedish language. I speak will horrible grammar and I forget the last three letters of the alphabet. Don’t even get me started on writing.

This is probably why I write this blog in English.

In Swedish, this blog would be horrible. You would not have a clue about what I am saying and it would sound just awful. Thank God everyone here understands English.

A lot of people have a hard time understanding Swedish. I don’t know if being a prison guard is the right place for them to get better. I think that you have to be able to at least understand and be able to be understood. It is hard not to.

A colleague brought a good point today. Understand nuance is important. If an inmate says to you at night while you lock him in for the night:

“We might see each other tomorrow” it can be a big red flag that perhaps this person has the notion of hurting himself over night. If someone does not understand the language they could just see it as them saying “see you tomorrow” and them closing the door without getting the point.

That goodbye that they said the night before could have been the frightening wake up for their colleagues. A nightmare. Someone who has killed themselves.

Something that has not happened in The House That God Has Forgotten.

I give that credit not to the fancy new new rooms, but to the staff that is able to understand those that they lock behind those doors all day and in the evenings.

The doors that keep people from freedom.

The doors of The House That God Has Forgotten.

It is not just the inmates being misunderstood, but it can be the simple things of being able to talk on the radio. To be able to speak in a group and understand the dynamics of security that are needed in such an environment.

On all honestly. I know I could get away without needing to take a Swedish course. But in my free time I do study Swedish at a high school lever. I take the exams, I write the papers. I try to make the best and correct the I have with the language.

So maybe it should be a requirement for people even like me to study the language better, or at least something I should get extra pay for. It goes all to the fact that I have to go out of my way for personal development instead of receiving it from the department of corrections.

The biggest buzz was the fact that The House That God Has Forgotten is now going to hire people that do not have Swedish citizenship.

I will let you in on a secret. When I first joined up, I did not have it either. I could have gotten it, but I didn’t because I was lazy, I wonder for how many people it would be that reason and not just “fresh off the boat”.

This whole thing that people can work at The House That God Has Forgotten who can be kicked out of the country can be a bit true and not.

If you have a temporary visa maybe it is not a good idea because you can perhaps get “relocated”, but I myself have no problem with people who have a permeant visa. They can work in Sweden for the rest of their lives, just like anyone.

Of course this is important with a language test.

I have seen a forum once where a bunch of people talk about how they are only hanging out at the American embassy to meet people. They were completely dependent on English no matter how long they have live here.

Their news comes from this English news site,

I am afraid sometimes that people are too dependent in their own little world to be able to work in a job that deals with the rest of the world.

We all might have inmates from the whole world, but we live inside The House That God Has Forgotten in federal system owned by the state.

Like I said, it should be allowed for people with permeant permission to be here,  but they also should be integrated to some degree.

When I first joined The House That God Has Forgotten my road to employment was this:

We all got put into a room and told about the job. And before hand we had to write on a paper something about wanting the job (or like this, I cannot remember).

We had a 10 minute interview (where I with such an attitude) told the interviewer that I will have their job within 2 years (ha ha… they became the warden for Swedens biggest jail and I work at a control center). If you did not make it there.

You were finished, thank you.

If we made it that far they sent us to an interview with a physiologist. If you did not make it there.

You were finished, thank you.

If we past those tests we got called to school. And people actually failed school and were asked to not come back.

You were finished, thank you.

We had on the job training at school. The House That God Has Forgotten was not built yet, so they sent us all over Stockholm. (I got sent to a maximum security prison). If you did not make it there.

You were finished, thank you.

I ended up at the job I have now because of a total coincidence. They needed people at the prison who could work in the guard central that were finished with their education. I got put there.

When The House That God Has Forgotten wanted people to take the job in the guard central it was because they asked people if they were interested.

Me and a colleague called and asked if we should apply.

Next thing you know we were taking a test to see if we could handle stress, and meeting a physiologist (again).  If you did not pass the test.

You were finished, thank you. Time to hit the floor.

It was so hard to get in there, of all the people that applied, we did not even have enough to fill a whole group for the job.  It was hard.

Back in the day… it took a lot to get the job we were having. Language tests, on the job training, 2 interviews, a trip to the physiologist, and not failing school.

Today you can walk off the street and have a 40 minute to one hour interview (and trust me, I have been doing those interviews before) and get the same job I have and make a ton of more money than I do.

Maybe that is why I am bitter, but I don’t blame you that got hired without this process. I am just asking to bring this process back.

Spend the money and give us the quality we deserve in The House That God Has Forgotten. I am sure most of you would have passed it anyway if you had been here awhile. We have good quality, but we need better now than ever.

I mean after all in the beginning of The House That God Has Forgotten we were all just looking to stay alive.

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