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Newbie female working in male institution

 

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Hands Brotherlove 2 posts

Heres good advice, dont convey, and dont give BJs

 
Male user AL 2 posts

Another thing I should of mentioned to ya ‘geckokitty’, is even though you’re young to the department, I would suggest that you apply for alot of positions. Don’t let the scenority gig push you away. Back in the days, yup my days, we had this deal that a cop had to be in the system for nearly 10 years before they would even be considered in promoting or going for that elite job that everyone wanted. But times have changed. Right before I retired, there were quite a few youngsters if you will, that were hired on as narcotic officers or on the SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) also called CERT for Correctional….along with the Security Threat Group Team (SGT’s), or even on the Special Transport Team and so on and so on. So if you’re even just a tad interested in any of those positions or even to promote up to say like a Counselor or i.e. Sgt, Lt etc….do not hesitate to do so. Learn as much as you can, and ask questions. As they have told ya, no question is a dumb question. Watch others, learn from the ones that you really believe are doing the job. Yes you’ll come across a few ‘lops’ as we use to label them…in other words, just the ones that barely get the job done, or the 8 to the gaters and really some of that isn’t a full bad thing, but think about it. Do you really want them covering your back in the heat of something, ones that can barely get out from behind the podium or desk, ones that never hardly get up and walk the tiers??? Just be cautious and still yes….respect them too. You don’t need no conflicts with anyone wearing the badge. It aint worth it. Turn the other cheek if it’s not too serious and keep on keeping on. I use to tell everyone that this job isn’t for everyone, yet I recommend it to everyone. You will know very very soon whether or not it is in fact for you. Keep your head up, don’t show fear, just be consistant everyday you’re there. If you’re going to be a hard core cop, be it 5 days a week. Don’t change up 2 and 3 days out of the week, inmates and cops alike recognize that real quick. But as you know, you don’t have to be a softy/push over as well. Be what an officer should be an the rest will follow. What’s great about this line of work is there is never ever a dull day. Every day is different. Take care and all will be fine.

 
Male user AL 2 posts

First, for the newer C/O, as one other stated here….personality of course starts within. Don’t try to be like the next one on the shift or your partner. I know you’ve heard it, but be yourself. Find what works good for you. As others said you also ‘Do Not’ have to cuss like a sailor or trucker. In fact you don’t have to at all. I’ll tell ya a short story here, back in the 80’s while working at Soledad, I had an inmate approach me asking me why I didn’t cuss at all of them like the other cop on the last shift. I asked him did he want me to start cussing like that, of course he said no. He said I was different than the others. I told ‘em well, cussing is just not in my vocab….and it will never be. For the next nearly 16 1/2-17yrs. I never did and always refrained from using in cursing words. Hey it worked for me and yes even all the cops/management recoginized as well. Lot of respect was given and I did the same to them in respect. Inmates also view you different in mostly a good way. Yes others in the field will say…well that isn’t for me or I can not do that or whatever, and that’s fine but I would say if you can refrain you may go a longer way. And just a note here I was a gang investigator for many years and coming from the line to that position still did not change me. I had a great career, lots of respect, great friends in which some still keep in tight contact with me. I miss alot of it, yet the system has changed. I believe I retired at a good time. I do not discourage anyone for joining up in this law enforcement profession, however now a days unless you work in a no tolerance prison, it may be a little tough for newer ones coming on board. Good luck to y’all, God Bless and protect ya and ‘Always, Watch Your Back’!

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

I believe that it really speaks from your personality. There isn’t any wrong or right personality, just how we see life. I see every day I’m not taking a dirt nap asa good day and am diligent to be positive. The place we work makes that tough sometimes as we work among people with chaotic lives and humans generally like order. But we must be dilligent to be positive and each component of our lives God has granted us that we keep orderly helps to maintain the "whole of us. Sorry, I mean if the sum total of all the positive smells better than the crap then I figure it’s a win.

 
Female user Writing Prof 2 posts

I highly recommend reading Ted Conover’s NewJack. It pinpointed this issue beautifully—one day his infant screamed from his crib, and Conover almost snapped seeing/hearing one more yell from “behind bars.” It changed his attitude (and also his job, but…) Having an Inside attitude that does not spill over Outside is difficult. This string of suggestions is wise.

 
Flag1 1 shakeyjake 112 posts

Here they say the truckers swear like C/O’s.

 
Female user Sarge 9 posts

Squeeze, you may have it; it sure doesn’t work here! I don’t know what made our warden think it would work. It isn’t only inmates that swear like truckers; most of the staff does too. Oh well, it was good for a laugh.

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

I love that Sarge, can I use the No Profanity Zone in our Classification office? I love that! I’ll tell you what Geokitty. Earning a coworkers respect goes a long way. I had an experience at OSCI (OREGON) in the late 80’s. I wasn’t new to corrections but I was new to OSCI and there was a Female Sarge there that didn’t like me at all (she thought I was a neadrethal) and coming from another system is tough. But one day she was was telling inmates to tuck in their shirts during hours. (movement between units at the end of every hour). A new inmate went by me saying “who the f%^$%$ does she think she is? I stepped in front of him in the hallway and forced him to back up against the wall or he would run into me (back then 6’4” 310lbs). I stood there and told him that she was the Sargent and from that day forward he will address her as sargent even if she is not in her presance. Sarge saw this and approached us as she didn’t hear what he said to the other inmaTE.. I explained exactly what was said and what i was doing. She saw the look on his face and told him again to tuck in his shirt, he complied. After that she was so different towards me and even brought me a cake on my b-day. (I shared it with the shift). That single and mundane act changed the attitudes of my peers towards me. The trust i earned from that made my ability to fit in there all the difference in the world. All it took was a simple communication with an inmate at the right time. But you have to follow up from there and always DO THE RIGHT THING. Just an experience to share.

 
Female user Sarge 9 posts

Squeeze makes a good point. I don’t swear at the inmates and they don’t swear at me; I won’t allow it. Our institution has been declared a “profanity free zone”, which is a joke. People who grew up using profanity think nothing of it. The F-word has become common everyday language. I wasn’t raised with profanity so don’t use it in my everyday life either.

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

RedWhite hasan excellent point. One thing you must check at the door is your language. If you find yourself using profanity and aggressive vulgar language check youurself each time. This language shouldn’t carry on into your personal life. Better yet, don’t use it at all. I know it may sound petty but it will make a huge difference in your relationship with the inmates and your friends. language is an expression of your mental state and that must remain proffessional and moral. I know it will slip out from time to time but your career will benefit from the control. Don’t lower yourself to their 2 syllable level. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use strong language to communicate your authority but find other strong words to use.ILL. I told you to clean your F(**^^% cell, to I asked you to clean your cell , the consequences of not complying are XYZ. Keerp it real with the inmates and always follow through with the consequences if non-compliance occurs. Tone of voice and your confidence in delivering the request or order will punctuate the needed response. Some on here will probably tell you it is ok to use the profanity and that is ok if it works for them but that is something that you must discover for yourself. I have chosen not to and I was a knuckledragger for a long time in the old days. Yes, a psychiatrist actually called me a knuckledragger during an interview for a deputy position. I told him it offended me and he didn’t do it again. We are Correctional Officers and deserve every bit of respect as anyone else in the criminal justice system, Judges, Police, Prosocuters public defenders. we can no l;onger be treated as an ugly stepchild by our own peers in the CJ system. So we act like proffessionals. Remember to use lotion on the knuckles :-)

 
Male user RedWhite&amp... 1 post

This job will change you. I’ve been working for a few years and to be honest, regardless of your perspective, your positive attitude will become strained by the b.s. On a personal note, I have taken notice of my general attitude when dealing with people outside of an institution, and more times than not, it can become more difficult for you to adapt to your loved-ones and family after you have some time in. Granted, I am extremely thankful for my career in corrections, and I love being a Corrections Officer, but do take care that you ‘leave it at the clock.’ When you leave, try to flip a switch mentally to being your entire self. Bringing back the shit from a hard day at work will do nothing but challenge you; unfortunately, it sometimes is unavoidable.

 
Male user Squeeze 135 posts

Geckokitty, first off you say your non-judgemental. You had better be jmudgemental! It is a normal human reaction to be judgemental. It is why we say " first impressions" make a huge impact on our view of thisd person. After the first intraction you can change your views by what actions the person commits. Actions will betray talk. But that first impression is important. To gain respect is more of the person you are and your actions.It takes time in our business to gain respect and trust. Your integrity is on the line every day. That means if you see or act in a proffessional manner you’ll be good. If not, then your doomed. Sometimes that means going against the tide and against the actions of your co-worker if their actions are unproffessional, inmoral, unethical or just all around wrong. Being on time isn’t enough, plan for those variables to happen and make contingency plans should those occur. Your fellow officers depend on you for backup and support. That trust has to be earned. Your hobbies sound good but you yeally might benefit from some strenous physical activities. No better stress relief than physical exertion, whatever that may involve. Just my cent worth. Good Luck!!

 
Female user geckokitty 1 post

Hello! I’m a fairly new corrections officer. I have been done with academy for almost 2 weeks now. I am a nice, positive, non-judgmental, person, but I will NOT take crap off people. My co-workers haven’t seen this side of me since I always smile and wave or say Good Morning to them. Any tips on how to fit in and gain their respect? I plan on being at work everyday on time, unless I get really sick or car breaks down or something like that. I really want to do well at this job, because it’s a very secure and good paying job. I also like all the opportunities for growth and the ability to go other places inside the institution. So any veterans out there with some solid advice for a newbie? I have several hobbies including meditation and writing to help get my stress out. :)

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