Tuesday a.m., brought me home safely and allowed me to catch about two hours of sleep before heading out to my job interview. On my way to the bedroom, I glanced over at the library, and watched two comical-looking characters emerge from the building. Both were dressed in bright red outfits. Now, I've explored the penchant for bright colors among the males down here (they will wear colors and plaids which most women will stay away from) in previous blogs but what is the likelihood of two men wearing the same identical outfit...in the same place? A third man continued sweeping with barely a glance at the "red" men. Then it clicked. Inmates. Trustees. Work-release. Whatever. The county is using them to perform maintenance, etc. The third man? A guard. Do. Jesus!
So what's up with the interview, you ask? You'll recall that I took every state test available when I moved to the "Big Rip". Passed each with flying colors and expected "immediate" placement. Very few interviews...all with penal institutions (of which this area has plenty). Then a drought. Some registers were discontinued and a hiring freeze took effect. Three years later, within a space of two months, I've received three notices for interviews. One, I declined (oh, how secure we become when we have a job); one, I lost the notice for; and the third? At the big prison in Henning. Now, this might just work. 17 miles instead of 30, one way? Oh, yeah!
Laid out the outfit. Past experience has shown that they just don't dress for interviews in this neck of the woods so the trick is to look casually professional. NOT matronly. Boys and girls...that outfit wasn't working by any stretch of the imagination. Neither did the second choice. Now, I'm old. No question. But can't I be old and stylish?
Found my way to the prison. My second foray off of Rt. 51. Down an endless country road. Never fear. I've left myself plenty of time to get lost and found again. Arrived early. Completed my paperwork and...waited. Not 5 minutes or 10. More like 45. I'm ready to leave. I have to work overnight and I need some sleep. Around the corner comes a former co-worker at the Ripley store. She's worked there for over 20 years. The warden is the husband of another former co-worker. Finally got my turn at bat with the panel. Think it went well...I know that I aced the typing test which evaluated spelling, use of grammar, and format of business correspondence. Was there any doubt?
Back down the country road--the prison and Fort Pillow are in the same area but sight-seeing will have to wait for another day. I have to get some sleep. Stopped at the realtors' office to learn that Maureen's husband is back in the hospital with heart problems. The cancer treatments have been ineffective. Pray for them, please. They are such a lovely couple. Learned that those little bungalows doting the perimeter of the prison's area were (and maybe still are) used to house the families of those working at the prison. And it seems like someone, in everybody's family, has worked there at one time or the other.
And while I'm out and about, I might as well do the early voting thing. Know nothing about very few of the candidates. But...I did my patriotic best. And what did I see while I was meandering through town? More trustees doing odd jobs. Surrounded by inmates.
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).
Forgive me for being sacrilegious. But there is an analogy. See, I've lost track of the days while working this shift...I don't know whether I'm on day 2 or night 2 or what. What I do know is that I am going to be mighty weary because I didn't get hours of full, uninterrupted sleep during the day. So I have another bottle of "5 Hour Energy Drink" in my bag and prayers on the lips.
Be safe. Be Blessed.