Thursday, February 10, 2005

Authority from a Uniform

A correctional sargeant called me a liar today.

As usual, I went down to an areal where the photos of all the prisoners in the institution were stored to pick up a list of photos for identification purposes. It's been a part of my job description since my employment for the past year. All the officers who work in the area know me.

This morning the sargeant who supervised the area decided that I could no longer go to the area to pick up the photos. I had a couple of plastic laminated sheets in my hands. He decided that it was a security risk. When he asked who gave me the plastic, I told him that my supervisor did. Then I told the sargeant that my boss was on vacation. That's when he called me a liar. In his "sophisticated" mind, he figured since my boss wasn't in the office, there's no way he could have given me the plastic. So he put me in a holding cage while he went to talk to my other supervisor.

I was fuming inside at the disrespectful manner the sargeant displayed. An officer came to me and asked me to relax and that everything was going to be fine. He said that the sargeant was a knucklehead who didn't know hot to talk to people.

After a few minutes, the sargeant called me into his office and explained that it wasn't my fault and that I would not have access to the plastic and photos anymore. I told him to tell me the guidelines so that I would knot what not to do.

The sargeant didn't apologize to me for calling me a liar since the plastic was given to me. He just made up a new procedure without the presence of my boss, who was a lieutenant. A procedure that would be in place for years to come.

I'm the lowest man on the totem pole with a different set of uniforms. No authority here.


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