Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do I look like a vampire?

This is going to be a longer post, but I think it's worth the read.

I come in to work today and look at the posted shift roster, and lo and behold.... I'm the only female. I cannot tell you how much I love being the only female on shift *sarcasm*. It never fails, as if some sort of Murphy's law or karmic pay back - every time I am the only female I get into the most odd things. Now don't get me wrong, I work with a great bunch of guys who have my back no matter what, but there is just something about being the only female dealing with all these women inmates. I love my guys, but they just don't get the girl thing. So I grab my stuff and head up to my briefing, all the while looking forward my testosterone filled evening.

It didn't start off too bad (for me). I go about my way, doing my thing, basking in my all around super awesomeness (yes that is a word in my world), as I listen to my control room call out male after male coming in. I actually get a little smug, thinking I'm gonna get off easy for the night. And that is where my night went down hill. Not even five minutes later my control room calls that there is a combative female coming in.

Let me just preface this - I have learned that my definition of combative is a lot different than the patrol guy's definition of combative. To me, combative means all out brawling, spitting, biting kind of gal. Patrol's version of combative is they insulted the officer's haircut. Ok, so maybe I'm harping too hard on the guys, they aren't all that bad. I've just had a whole lot of "combative" females come rolling in who were just fine when I've pulled them out of the car. On a side note - I've noticed that the colder it gets the more officers have "combative" prisoners to bring in the sally port. I'm just sayin'....

Anyhow, that patrol car arrives and I see a hobbled female in the back of the patrol car. I do have to say, I do so love when they wrap them up for me. It's like opening a present! I ask the officer what she has got, and get told "A hoe bag bitch". Ok... this oughta be good. Apparently an off duty FBI Agent basically corralled this drunk woman in a parking lot after he saw her driving well over 100mph through a residential area and almost hit several people. The best part is she had her 3 year old son in the back seat without a safety seat. So apparently I've got a Mother Of The Year candidate in my jail. Fantastic. Apparently she didn't take too kindly to when the officers informed her that her prize for the evening was a free tour of the city jail facility. When the cuffs came out the fight was on and ultimately ended with me visiting with her in my sally port.

I explain to this young lady what is going to happen if she tries to kick me while I'm taking the hobbles off and so far things are good. For people not used to dealing with hobbles - I have to crawl into the back seat of the patrol car to take the hobbles off. It gives me and this young woman a chance to get up close and personal... kinda cozy. However the first thing I notice is this woman stinks. I'm pretty sure she hasn't showered in well over a week and just reeks of body odor. Somewhere in there is an underlying whiff of the .298 alcohol level she eventually blew but mostly it's just the rank smell of BO. And in my all my super awesomeness (see?) - I can't get the belt clip unhooked for the hobbles. I'm pretty sure who ever put the hobble on did it just like you see the cowboys tie off the calves at the rodeo. So here I am, trying my best to ignore this awful smell while fighting with this stupid metal clasp. I'm in the middle of the backseat of a patrol car, and we all know just how roomy those are. I'm mentally calculating if I can continue to hold my breath long enough to get my knife out and just cut the damn thing off before I pass out. Finally after much mental cussing I finally get the clip undone and toss it out the door. I climb out of the car, by now gasping for breath and trying not to gag. Everyone is looking at me like I've lost my mind and I politely inform them that maybe they need to test the aromatherapy coming from the backseat. Ok, so maybe it wasn't so polite and there is a strong possibility it was not worded quite so nicely. Being the great guys I work with, they stick their head in the door and... come out gagging. That's what the jerks get.

So we get this poster child for safe sex out of the car and throw her in the holding tank. The whole time she is screaming that she wants her lawyer and she wants her phone call and we are violating her rights. I'm gonna get right on that. I leave her in the drunk tank and head out to find the nearest bleach bath.

About fifteen minutes later, I'm doing an intake on another female when I hear this "thud...thud...thud...thud.." sound coming from the holding tank. Now I know exactly what this sound is, so it was more of a rhetorical question when I asked what she was doing. One of the patrol guys looks over and says, "Oh she's banging her head on the wall" and continues to write his report. Then suddenly the realization of what he just said hits him and he jumps up and says "Oh shit, she's bleeding real bad". Well super. I basically toss the female I'm patting down to the side, call out a medical code, and go see how bad it is. And yep, she's banging her head on the wall. And yep, she's bleeding. We all go in and she's got two good knots on her forehead, one of which is bleeding pretty good but is only superficial. Luckily I learned a long time ago that head wounds always bleed out much worse than they really are. Why my control room officer didn't catch this on the camera I don't know, but that's another story for another time.

We wrangle this girl up and make the walk over to the rubber room. She is covered in blood, I am covered in blood, there is blood dripping on the floor, it's just great. When I ask her why she was banging her head she tells me she just wanted attention. I explain to her that she definitely got my attention but that I don't believe it was quite the attention she was hoping for. I very nicely explain to this young lady that if she continues this manner of trying to get attention, I was going to place her in a very cozy chair that wouldn't allow her to move, and then she was going to get all the attention she wanted. She states she wouldn't try to hurt herself again, so we leave her in the nice padded rubber room. And as soon as the door closes she starts banging her head on the wall again, spraying blood everywhere.

Ok, now I am done, I have run out of patience. I am covered in this woman's blood and I am done dealing with her damn drama games. The restraint chair comes out, she goes in, the gauze goes on her head, and she goes on five minute welfare checks. Which means one of us poor saps has to physically check on her every five minutes until she comes out of the chair. Yay for us. The whole time she is screaming that I'm trying to kill her. Have I mentioned how much I love drunk females?

I now have to go change uniform shirts, as the one I had is now a pretty red color and knowing my luck I'd get dinged for wearing something not department approved. I get myself cleaned up and changed out and head back to finish my intake on the other female. She's cool, no problems, and life is good. Drama girl is still in her hug me chair screaming. Never a dull night in the jail.

I work on a couple things on the computer and hear the control room call out that another female had come in. Ok, no problem, she walked herself in so it can't be that bad. After about fifteen minutes the officers call that they are ready with their female. I go back to do what I do, and as I come around the corner and see this woman, I see she is drenched in.... blood. WTF? This woman has blood all over her clothes from chest to knees and it is *mostly* dry. Seriously? Just no. She doesn't appear to be in any distress but it's just not every day I have someone come in covered in blood.

So long story short - apparently this woman was at a poker game at some bar enjoying a few adult beverages. Somewhere along the way an argument ensued with a gentleman over which hand beat which, and the argument became a pushing match. The story is, this guy pushes her, she pushes back, he pushes her again, she grabs a glass beer stein and hits him in the forehead with it. So on top of everything, it's not even her blood she is covered in. Lovely. Guy goes to the hospital, she comes to jail.

So now I'm doing a pat down on this blood soaked woman, which I have to say is a first. This woman looked like she had been involved in a massacre. I get the job of running my hands all up in it, and this poor girl is apologizing profusely to me. So I get her patted down and changed out into a jump suit and throw her clothes in the bio wash. At this point I'm thinking that my night really can't get any weirder. And I should know better than to think that.

About this time my control room calls out that an officer is bringing a female into the sally port who may be having a medical emergency. Ok, first of all - Do I look like a flipping doctor? Did you confuse the jail for a hospital? There is two hospitals within ten minutes of the jail; if a prisoner is having a medical emergency don't you think you should take them there? Because bringing them to the jail that has no medical staff makes SO much more sense! The jail officers are going to refuse your prisoner and tell you to get a medical clearance. But hey, we will play your game, I like to see the flashy lights of the ambulance when it pulls in. What can I say, shiny things amuse me.

So they finally get to the jail and I see a young lady sitting up in the backseat of the patrol car, and she sure doesn't seem to be having any sort of medical emergency. I give my Lieutenant the "look" and figure I'll see what's behind door number one.

The two male officers get out and they appeared frazzled. They just stare at me so I tell them they probably should let me know what's going on because I left my crystal ball in my other pants. One of the guys tells me that they called for the medical emergency because this female was bleeding. I peek into the back of the car and I sure don't see any blood, but hey I'll bite. I ask where she is bleeding from and whether I need to request an ambulance. This officer says "She's bleeding from.. ya know...". Ok really? I mean, seriously? We are all adults here guys. The majority of adult women bleed from their "you know" once a month. It's nothing new. I get that it freaks some guys out and that's fine, but it's a natural part of life. Trust me, if it was up to us women it wouldn't have to happen cause it's a huge pain, but we deal with it like the troopers we are.

So now I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt - maybe this woman has a medical condition, recent operation, something that would cause massive bleeding and thus a medical emergency. I pull the woman out of the car and ask her if she is ok and if she needs medical attention.

Nope. She's fine. Apparently she is on her period and needed to change her hygiene product but was a little late on that, so she had started to bleed through. She told the officer that she was on her period and was bleeding through. Apparently a little leakage is now a "medical emergency". I think I'm going to use this excuse next time I want to go home early. Sorry boss, I'm leaking, medical emergency, gotta go. Think it will fly? This poor thing was so embarrassed by what the officers had done, I thought she was going to start crying. Thankfully this is one area I can show a little compassion, because I know it sucks. I take this poor girl to the bathroom, she gets cleaned up, I get her squared away with what she needs, and life is now back to good. She was so happy to see another female after dealing with the two bone heads that arrested her that she asked if she could give me a hug.

I start heading back to talk to the arresting officers and all I hear behind me is my Lieutenant telling me not to make them cry. Ah, he knows me so well.... I ended up giving those two a tongue lashing that I probably won't be proud of tomorrow but I hope I got my point across. I asked why they thought it constituted a medical emergency that this poor woman just needed a tampon, and the one dill weed says, "Well I didn't want to take any chances with that sort of thing. You never know with women". He didn't want to ask anything if she was ok because apparently that stuff "freaks him out". The woman had tried to explain what she needed but he didn't want to hear it. It was quite the one sided conversation and ended with both of them hanging their heads like puppy dogs and apologizing. I wouldn't be surprised if they both sign themselves up for sensitivity training in the morning after I was done with them. It was just ridiculous - it wasted a lot of time for something that could have been handled quickly, it embarrassed this poor woman to no end, and all because they were insensitive, immature jerks. My guys deal with this kind of stuff every day and while they may not understand it they have never acted like this. I have had plenty of male patrol officers come to me and tell me that their female needed something with no problem. This was the first time I have ever had a male officer act like this and I wouldn't be surprised if this female files a complaint. It really irritated me. I get that she is a prisoner but she is still a damn human being and does not deserve to be humiliated for something she cannot control.

So this was just the highlight of my night - There was definitely more stuff mixed in between all of this, but this was the top highlight. I took the longest, hottest shower I could stand when I got home, and I'm pretty sure my one uniform shirt is beyond saving. I feel like a vampire.

I think next time I see I'm the only female on shift I'm gonna have to go home with a "medical emergency".


  1. Why do men find it so weird? I've always wondered that. It is part of what makes us so attractive to them after all.

  2. Wow. My teenage boys wouldn't think to behave that way. They may not like it, but I can send them to the store to *buy* tampons and they won't even whimper. What's with those two?

  3. I work the ER and I so want one of those chairs. If you send me a chair, I'll send you some adult diapers for the next time you get pissed on. Sending someone home in a diaper is so satisfying.