Crazy Cow Country Farm

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“Honey, I’m in jail”

April 2nd, 2010 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I’ve had many jobs during my adult life – far too many.  I’ve spent days, weeks, and months in training learning new job duties and filled out hundreds of forms.  But nothing, nothing, could have prepared me for what arrived the other day from the Federal Government.

Good gravy they require a LOT of paperwork for new hires.  Like seriously, a lot.

Two school folders arrived, each loaded thickly on both sides with stacks of paperwork and one thing immediately caught my eye – a fingerprint form.  I looked at Jen and said, “Oh goodness, is there an ink pad anywhere in there?”  She pulled everything out and told me there was no ink pad to be found.  “Well surely I can just go buy one,” I thought.  But I was wrong.

Jen sat down with me and for the next hour, yes hour, she scanned the forms and then handed them to me with a brief explanation.  Then I reviewed the form and filled it out while she moved on to the next one.  The very last form we found had a statement that was printed in bold and even highlighted in neon yellow informing me to call my local police station to have them fingerprint me. 

And this is where I admit just how clueless I really am.

It’s not an act.  You can’t fake this level, trust me.

I called Joe.  Joe is the police office for Goessel.  Joe is the only police officer for Goessel.  Joe has two police cars – one he drives and the other he sets up at various locations in the less-than-one-mile-long town.  Believe it or not, this works and you always see people hit the brakes before realizing, “Eh, that’s just where Joe parked the decoy car.” 

Anyway, yes, I figured Joe carried some ink pads in the car or in his home office or the secret booking station where he takes hardened criminals.  Joe laughed.  Not only do we not have hardened criminals around these parts, but even if we did, Joe would take them into Newton for processing, or some other area town. 

So I headed into the Newton Police Station and asked them to “book me”.  How cute is that?  Yeah, not so cute.  The woman looked at me like I was nuts and told me I had to head over to the Detention Center.  “You mean the jail?” I asked.  “Yes,” she replied.

“Goodness, you mean you guys don’t just do this right next to your desks like on the TV shows?” I asked, blinking my eyes with innocence.

“No, it’s not like on the TV shows.  You need to go over to the jail,” she said.  Then she gave me directions for parking and sent me on my way.

Surely, I thought, I don’t actually have to go in the jail.  I’m an employee, not a criminal so I’m sure I’ll just go to someone’s office and they can do it right there.  I headed for the jail.

There’s not a lot of options for visitors at the jail, let me tell you.  You walk in, you either go to the restroom, the Captain’s Office, or “the floor” after checking in with The Controller {doesn’t that sound important?}.  I walked up to The Controller which was a small room behind darkened bullet-proof glass and knocked.  A very important and non-humorous-looking woman with a gun came over to see what I needed. 

“Hi!  I’m a new employee at the Census Bureau and they told me I could come by here to be fingerprinted?  Is there someone who can meet me over there in the office to help me with that?” I asked her.

“No,” she said.  That was it, just no.

“Oh.  OK.  Is there a time when someone could maybe help me with that?” I tried again.

“Not sure,” she replied.  This woman was just too helpful.

“Alrighty then.  Do you know where a station is in Wichita that I could go to?”  I was getting nowhere and starting to sweat.

“No.  They’d charge you for it down there,” she said.

“Oh that’s ok, I don’t mind,” I said and was already backing to the door.

“Hang on.  I’ll see if I can grab someone from the floor,” she mumbled through the microphone.

A few minutes later the locked doors opened and an officer motioned me to follow him.  Let me be clear here – to follow him into the inner part of the jail.  I wasn’t being processed or anything but still,  I really started to feel lightheaded, like passing out lightheaded.  I mean he walked me right into the center part with all the cells around us and the inmates staring right at me just a few feet and one locked door away.  Now, I knew in my head that these weren’t murderers or anything, but still, I was totally freaking out and the officer could tell.

“You look a little nervous.  Got a guilty conscious?”

“Nope.  Not at all,” I said.  And then I proceeded to tell him all about my new job and my farm and my horses and my kids and my old job and my deepest thoughts and I swear to God the man was probably about to stick me into one of those cells just to shut me up.  I don’t think he got another word in edgewise other than, “I’m going to roll your finger now.”  Which was just great because my hands were shaking like leaves and I’m sure that really made him wonder about me.  I really sealed the deal when I said, “I didn’t know I was going to actually come to the jail!  I should have brought my camera so I could post it on my blog.”

Way to go Loopy.  Way to go.

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