[ri-flek-shuhns]: This was released during The Summer of Love (1967) when the Vietnam War was raging. This made it an appropriate choice for the theme song of the TV series China Beach, which was set in Vietnam during the war. The series ran on ABC from 1988-1991.

 

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 33: The summer of love.

So the summer has started and luckily for me I have a week off until I start my last 2 weeks of working before my vacation starts (Yes! I will be gone a whole 4 weeks!). I am working the first week of the second period. It will be fun to see what the faces are of the veterans that have missed our first 4 fun weeks at The House That God Has Forgotten.

On my week off here it is raining. As the old saying in The House That God Has Forgotten;

“It is only nice weather when I am at work,”

Luckily for me I have football! In fact as I am writing this I am eagerly waiting for my favourite team (GO USA!) to destroy England. It is so far the highlight of my week. (It is more exciting for a grown-up than lekland, swimming pools and mini golf – ok it is time with my daughter I should not complain).

So what have I been like as a salty old dog at The House That God Has Forgotten?

Well… I have been a bastard really. I have been doing this too long, working in that building for over 8 long years. I know every corner, every camera shot and every door that opens with what.

So mind you, I have forgotten what it is like to not know which elevator is to what, or how all you have to do is read (It is right there next to the elevator, just look for yourself, it says “promenad”.

I have forgotten how it feels to know what to say when that inmate is on his way out of the elevator.

I have forgotten what it feels like to go through the security check while not acting like a zombie.

So instead I have become a bastard.

I enjoy myself at the pass control. I love watching you veterans come in sleepy eyed…rolling through with last nights’ leftovers.

“Oh he had meatballs” “She had pasta”

That woman that takes her whole life with her in a purse and I always have to stop her.

“No you do not need to have nail scissors in a high security jail”

“but no one has ever stopped me before!”

“Well… I am. Throw them away, or put them back in your locker.”

Anger and frustration later, they find their way in the trash can by the door.

The summer workers make me smile. I watch them go in and out of the metal detector. Over and over again without helping them.

No clues.

“Woops! It’s your name tag.”

“Now it is your watch”

“Key holder?”

“Oh yeah… after all of that…it must be those Fisherman Friends you had in your pocket”

I don’t care if a line is about to form behind the glass door.

Like I said. I am a bastard.

Sitting there looking in the cameras I wait to open the door and when the beep of the microphone goes off I wait for a response.

I get met with silence.

Not with the half tired and unforgiving voice of a veteran who just wants the door to open as they are ready to walk down the hall.

Instead of the golden two words: “ta emot”, I am faced with silence.

I wait. I draw out the conversation to see what they are going to do.

And with their doe like eyes they stare at the camera above.

“Ummm…is there something you want to tell me?” I say with no emotion in my voice.

“When are they going to learn?” I turn to my colleagues and ask with frustration.

“I love it when they just stare at the camera.” They reply back, laughing.

Like I said I am a bastard.

The classic by the elevator;

Picture it. A lost summer worker barely out of high school making almost as much money as I do (probably more knowing Kriminalvården).

He is standing by the elevator.

“9:1-8 to besök” he says with a stammer in his voice.

“Don’t give me that unnecessary info when you are sending some down the elevator.” I say with irritation in my voice “Just tell me what floor please,”

And this is a conversation with the same person every single time on every single day they work.

I turn to my colleagues and I pound my hands on the desk.

“When are they ever going to understand that even if they were to send Jesus Christ down that elevator where they sit has absolutely no interest.”

Like I said.

I am a bastard.

The classic “Enkel 7”

No the building is not 77 floors. We say “enkel 9” because it sounds like 10 in Swedish.

Then I look at me colleagues.

“When did this building get so tall?”

Like I said.

I am a bastard.

The flagging at the elevator “we are waiting for someone from besök”

“Ok… wait then. Stop flagging about it.”

Like I said.

I am a bastard.

I am not saying we have the best summer workers either, mine make mistakes too.

They are afraid to work at promenade.

They pen elevator doors when they are not supposed to.

krock. krock. krock.

I am pretty fast to judge. I see when someone is tore up and cannot handle the job after 5 minutes. Anywhere in The House That God Has Forgotten.

I know about that guy that played ping pong with one guy and then the next day played with his son.

“Yeah your father sits here too, on the 9th floor”

Woops.

I know that girl that makes false promises to the inmates on gemensamhet. The one that tells the info to the ones on restriction that is all wrong.

“But he/she said…” they will use against you.

After 8 years this is nothing new I think as I write this… but it just gets harder. It gets harder for them not to get on my nerves anymore.

Nothing surprises me anymore. Especially not in The House That God Has Forgotten, and sorry… but.. I am a bastard. I will be all summer, I can’t help it. I need a vacation.

 

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