Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not the Mama

   Do y'all remember that old tv show with the dinosaurs and the little one would bang on another one's head yelling, "Not the mama, not the mama"? Well, I really wanted to do that recently. I've stated before that I don't have children. I don't have babies or infants or toddlers or preteens or teens or grown kids. I don't have natural born or adopted or step children. I don't have ANY, unless you consider Charlie, my miniature long-haired chihuahua, to be my "child". I don't get startled or turn suddenly in public places when I hear a small, annoying voice call out "Mommmmaaaaa". I know they're not calling to me.
   Well, last night I stopped to see a "client" at his new residence. He was sitting on the porch with another gentleman. As I exited my vehicle, the client approached me in the front yard. He greeted me with, "Hey, whassup mama?" What? Who? Who are you talking to? Is there someone behind me? I asked him what he'd said. I thought maybe I didn't hear him correctly or maybe he didn't recognize me (in my uniform shirt and gun and badge) or maybe I'm crazy and made it up in my head. Well, he repeated it, so I asked him why on earth he called me mama. He said "Oh, I call all pretty ladies mama". So, I reminded him of my name and my title and what he should call me.
   During this brief exchange all I could think was "I'm not your mama". If I was your mama, you wouldn't be having this conversation with me. Seriously, do you think I would give birth to, then raise a drug dealing, drunk, violent felon? Okay, I know that even good parents can end up with bad seed children, so let me expound on how I know that wouldn't be me. I don't have kids because I'm a fan of violence. I like corporal punishment. I like discipline. I like for children to be children and adults to be adults. I don't want kids, because those screaming brats in restaurants and the Walmart make me almost understand shaking kids til their heads pop off. I don't want to have children, love them, then go to jail for slapping them silly. No, if I was his mama, he would have been raised with a fear that would have kept him out of jail. I know that fear, because my daddy ingrained it in me. By the way, I've never been to jail.
   Besides, what does it mean he thinks of his real mama, if he refers to every hot chick he sees by her "name"? Ummm...Freudian much?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

That Outfit Is Criminal

     You've all seen them. They're on television, movie screens, magazine covers, at schools, in stores, and walking down the street. Yes, I'm talking about those unfortunate individuals who have starved themselves to the point where their pants simply won't stay on their waist. I don't know what causes this phenomenon, but I have a few guesses. Maybe their nutritional education is so low that they don't know how to eat in order to maintain a healthy weight. Maybe their funds are so limited that they can't actually buy clothes, thus leaving them no choice but to accept hand-me-downs from their morbidly obese relatives. Maybe they are too poor to actually afford food and are slowly and painfully dwindling away physically. Maybe they had large amounts of money once, so they spent it all on gastric bypass surgery, but then had no money left to buy a new wardrobe once they'd reached their goal weight. Maybe they are confused by the American fashion sizing system and erroneously believe that the number listed on the tag inside a pair of pants is supposed to be representative of their beverage choice, thereby resulting in a multitude of skinny young males dressed in size 40 jeans.
     Well, I had occasion to discuss this with a young man today. As he entered my office, he was dressed in oversize, long, denim shorts, plaid boxers (I know his underwear choice because I could see most of them protruding from the "waistband" of his shorts), house slippers, and an undershirt (a "wife-beater" which may have been white when first purchased). I commented to another employee that it breaks my heart to see so many young individuals who can't afford clothing that actually fits. The client overheard my statement, pulled up his shorts (without tightening the accompanying belt), then looked at me and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't know they was showing". Well, I wasn't in the best of moods, so his response didn't sit well with me.
     Naturally, I was obliged to respond to his denial of knowledge about his attire. {Warning: this is where the ridiculous run-on sentences begin} I tried to clarify that it was not possible that he did not know his underwear were showing or that his pants were sagging below his rear end or that his belt wasn't tight enough to keep his pants where they were meant to be worn. I emphasized that his wardrobe choice and personal appearance were conscious decisions and that he intentionally put on pants that were too big with the desire that his underwear could and would be seen by everyone who crossed his path. I then informed him that his "shirt" wasn't a shirt, but was actually an undershirt, by definition, meant to be worn under a shirt. I finished by communicating to him that not only did he look absurd, but that he was breaking the law. Oh yes, my city actually got it right. It is illegal in this city to wear pants below the waist, revealing your underwear. Of course, if you're feeling especially sexy, feel free. Okay, not free...the fine ranges from $100 to $250.

Monday, October 18, 2010

There are these things called clocks.

   So today was a pretty busy day. I knew it was going to be busy. I had prepared myself to drown in paperwork. I had five new cases report today for intake. The process is lengthy and involves lots of carpal tunnel inducing typing. I knew last week that I was going to have these cases report, so I had made appointments accordingly. Each new intake can consume anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour, depending on how much they feel like talking. Foolishly I had made my appointments based on my ability to adhere to a schedule. I, of course, am not lacking a clock or the ability to read one. I scheduled each case to report on the hour, one hour after another.
   Naturally, my very first appointment was late. He was late by twenty-five minutes. Obviously, this had the potential to blow my entire day's line-up. So, I asked him why he was late. I expected one of any of the standard answers: "I overslept." "I had a flat tire." "I missed the bus." "I forgot what time I was supposed to be here." What I got was none of these. Instead, he responded, "I WAS here at eight." Of course, I tried to explain that 8:25 is not the same as 8:00. I should have known that would be too much to understand. This time he was adamant when he said, "But I got here at 8:25." Okay, I tried again by agreeing with him (positive reinforcement is supposed to work on children and imbeciles, right?). While I agreed that he had arrived at 8:25, which was, in fact, 25 minutes late, he simply looked at me in wonder and asked "What's the difference?" Oh, I don't know, maybe about twenty-five minutes??
   By the way, another appointment was two hours early and my last appointment was almost forty minutes late. In the past, I've considered getting each of my clients a calendar so they'd know which day of the month to report. Apparently that needs to be a package deal with a clock. Of course, it would need to be digital, because I really don't need the headache of explaining the Mickey Mouse hands on an analog clock.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Exactly how many kids do you have?

   Often times, the court orders my clients to pay restitution to the victims of their crimes. If they don't pay, they have to stand in front of the judge and try to give some semblance of a decent reason. If they can't provide a reasonable explanation, they get the opportunity for the state to provide them with new clothes, new jewelry, a chef, laundry workers, personal security, and a chauffeur...all in a gated community.
   So, a young lady had not been making payments. I returned her to the court for her "excuse session". This was what came out of her mouth, "Uh, Mr. Judge, I ain't paid all my restitution 'cause I been on two probations for like four years and I got fees and stuff to pay in both cases and I got like nine kids and it's hard on me."
   Okay, let's review that. Our state is not run by evil monsters, so no matter how many "probations" she might have been serving at once, she would only be ordered to pay one fee. I'm a smoker (no, I don't want to hear your crap about it, either), so I know how much cigarettes cost. MANY of my clients brands, like Marlboro, Newport, and Kool. The cost of smoking one pack a day for a month, is approximately $120.00 more than the monthly supervision fee my clients are supposed to pay. Next, she committed a crime AND got caught, so the natural progression of things means she has to pay fees, fines, court costs, and repay the victim. Crime ain't cheap. Finally, "I got like nine kids"...did y'all catch that? How do you have "like nine kids"? You either have nine or you don't. Maybe you have eight or ten, but unless I missed some major lessons in Biology, you can't have near any number of kids. I'm currently not a parent, but I don't run around telling people I "got like one kid" or any other number, for that matter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Felons & Job Security

   Most of my friends don't live in my world of drugs, guns, and violence. I've been engulfed in that world for over twelve years. I regularly get caught in conversations about all the stupid crap I hear. There was a time I would get amazed by the things that come out of other people's mouths. Rarely does that happen anymore, but I can recognize when something is so absurd that it's comical. About a year ago, I started quoting some of these conversations on another page. I figured I could give my friends a laugh and laugh off some of the stress of my days. Eventually folks started telling me I should write a book, so I figured I try my hand at blogging first. Please pardon me while I learn what the heck I'm doing.
   I've heard everything from "Marijuana ain't a drug, 'cause it's a plant", to "Somebody been puttin' coke in my coke, so I didn't know I was gettin' high." There are always the standard liars, but the ones that'll really get ya are the ones who have no idea how stupid they sound. It's also fun to see random things in the areas where I work. Either our country's mental health issues are seriously underreported or long term drug addiction can result in the most comical behavior I've ever witnessed.
   Okay, I'm going to warn you now. I'm a bit cynical. I deal with people who make poor choices on a consistent basis. I don't dislike any race, religion, gender, or age, but I gotta tell you, I HATE STUPID. With that said, I have no idea how I managed to get into a profession overflowing with it. So, be sure to step away occassionally, so your face doesn't get stuck in that "WTH" expression.
   Here's a taste of what I deal with:
During the course of my job, I have to visit homes. I have to verify residences and employment and girlfriends and baby mommas and school and treatment. Basically, I have to "get all up in their Cheerios". While arguing with a client about his actual residence (as opposed to the address he provided me), he said "just because you've never seen me there, even at 10:30pm & my mom says I don't live there & I don't answer my phone when you call & then turn it off...none of that means I'm lying about where I live!" Okay, how is any sane, logical person supposed to respond to that?