[skel-i-tn-s]: Dihaj was confirmed to be the Azerbaijani representative to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on 5 December 2016. The music video to her entry, “Skeletons”, was later revealed on 11 March 2017. Azerbaijan competed in the first half of the first semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest in which she qualified to the final. She was 12th in the running order of the grand final and finished in 14th place including 42 points from televote (11th place) and 78 points from the juries (12th place).

The House That God Has Forgotten Part 60: The comeback kid.

I had this thought when I was on the toilet taking a shit. I have a hard time picturing people like models, bosses, actors and singers sitting on the toilet as I do. Hulking over the bowl… pushing like I am about to deliver a baby. It seems strange to have that thought maybe. Sure, the people I live with I can imagine. (I have even seen my daughter do it at times when she pulls me into a public restaurant toilet to pee). I have heard about it when people I know tell me. And it is obvious when a colleague all of the sudden runs up from what they are doing to the toilet with a sense of urgency.  It is strange to think about this, I am fully aware.

On another note; I have now officially had three bosses in the past 6 months. Talk about high rotation! It is starting to make me wonder if where I work is the last place a boss wants to be. My current boss reassures us that it was something she wanted to do, but still, it could just be something to say to us so we do not feel like we are getting handed off to whomever.

I am back at promenade again. My experience went after two months to a letter in my personnel file and an unveiled warning not to fuck up again. Of course, this makes me paranoid as hell.  I feel like if I make the slightest mistake I am going to be put under investigation again. No pressure! So this next period I put as little promenade passes as I could up there and traded for longer shifts. I do not need to set myself up for failure. Of course, I am not the only one up there, but the shit lands on me ultimately. So it is no fun anymore.

The warden was up there for like an hour after Christmas. Watching us and asking questions. I was impressed. It took only two years, but she was eventually there. She said it would take her “at least a month” to learn how to do it. Something we are forced to learn how to do in a day or less. That says something about the time we have to spend to treat new corrections officers. A week and then they are out there; being expected to do the same things that I do after over 10 years.

I talked to a friend of mine and she went to her boss and told him she did not want to train new people because they make more money than she does. He said he understood. (but still, nothing is ever done about it). I still teach new people, and I do other things (Rights for the child), but I only got a 500kr pay raise this year.

I told my friend that works at another jail in another city that they “just don’t like me” and it is pretty much true, not just paranoia. I write this blog, I am pretty upfront when things are fucked up, and I do not ass kiss so well. I do the same job as some of the people I work with and they get pay raises almost double of what I get.

I have made the conscious decision to just go to work and do my job.  Enjoy the schedule I have to pick my daughter up to and from school and well… just be.

A couple of people are quitting where I work, and new people are coming in. It is the same thing when people leave, they are missed at first, then they become part of the “remember when, but you never met them, they were before your time” and then forgotten forever. There are always new people coming in to take your job.

Of the street.

You are a piece of meat in a meat processing plant. Just rolling down the line, just getting ready to be replaced by the next dead cow.

I often wonder sometimes if the people that are new and coming in, if they came from that bus that The Department of Corrections had parked in shopping malls. I am sure a few are right there at The House That God Has Forgotten. I have the urge sometimes when I see them in the elevator;

“Hey! Did you come from the bus!”

But that is perhaps not so correct to ask a stranger in an elevator. I try instead to study them in the cameras and see if I can guess.

Mind you, I too remember what it was like to be new. All proud to have a stupid uniform and believing the brainwashing of officer training. I never thought that I could convert an inmate to a life without crime, but I took the job way more seriously than I do now. For the most part, we all do our jobs on cruise control. We hand out food, to the gym, to the shower, clicking buttons and opening door and moving elevators.

It’s soul-crushing. I do not think anyone when they were a kid thought that working at The House That God Has Forgotten is what they wanted to do when they grew up. I wanted to be a writer or a journalist or an English teacher at High School (teaching literature) instead I am living the absolute opposite.

I wish that I could tell you that there is something new and exciting at The House That God Has Forgotten. Things blow my mind. Like how the warden did not send an e-mail wishing us Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (That is free so you do not have to worry about budget costs)

I came up with something that the bosses have not figured out. We are so easily bought. If the warden came to every floor before Christmas break and wished us a Merry Christmas and the before New Years did the same thing everyone would be a little happier for a few seconds.

It is that boss coming in one day totally random and spending 100kr on coffee bread and just sitting down and stuffing their face with a pastry and having a cup of coffee. It is that box of chocolates that they could hand deliver.

I was ecstatic when my old boss baked for us at APT, or that my new boss came with muffins at the next one.

Sit and eat lunch with us in the break room one day a week and stop hanging out with the other bosses at lunch all the time. Form a bond, build a team. At least act like you care.

Some of the best bosses I have heard about were the ones that we there and were “tight” with their people. I have never experienced it, and perhaps the air would be awkward the first few times; some people would say “I do not want my boss there” but after a while when they would ask you about how your kid is doing and know them by their name it would make a difference.

Don’t be a guest star, instead be a reoccurring cast member. It’s how you learn to be a leader. You would understand what your people go through every day, you would see who is feeling bad, and you would seem more like a human and we would seem like we were human and being seen as well.

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