Jan. 18, 2023

$4.68 fr 39 hours of work

by Kelly Jones (author's profile)


"Behind bars, possessions represented a risk. There were so few of them, but each thing you owned was a thing you could lose - a thing the guards would take away." -Keri Blakinger, 'Corrections in Ink'

Wed. 12-07-22
6:03 AM

Dear Readers,

Howdy! I'm sitting here in the kitchen at work listening to Donna Summer sing " Dim All the Lights" on C3PO.

Perhaps you noticed that I wrote the time above as 6:03 AM? Yes, there have been many changes recently, not least on the work front. As I recall, I had, previously written about my thought on making a change. Well, it was finally decided when I signed my pay sheet for the month of October.

On Nov. 4 I signed my October pay sheet and discovered that I would be paid a grand total of $4.68 for 39 hours of work on the PM shift.

Fuck. That.

It was lower than normal 'cause we were out for part of that month (that must have been when they were remodeling). However, I was told that even if I had worked the full month, I would only have made $9-something. Again, fuck that. I can make $5 or more (in stamps) in one night at the Library, and I missed two shifts each week working the PM shift.

Most guys work in the kitchen 'cause it gives you an opportunity to steal food to sell back on the unit, but I'm not really into all that. I'll take back something for myself or my latest "Boo," but I hate the hassle of trying to hide a bunch of stuff in my clothes to haul back to the unit - plus, once I get there, I hate to deal with walking around and trying to sell stuff.

So... I talked to the staff in charge and made the switch to the AM shift on Nov. 18. I was told by the AM supervisor that the only opening they had was in "Pots & Pans," which is a tough job, but I agreed just so I could make the switch and then I'd work on moving elsewhere.

Pots & Pans is where they wash all the big pots and pans (duh) that they use in the kitchen. It can get very busy. On one of my early days I dropped a bunch of baking sheets on my fingers and ended up with a big, nasty cut on my finger. Now that it's mostly healed, I can see that I probably should have gone to Medical and gotten stitches 'cause I'm probably gonna have a big scar, but instead I just put a bandaid on it and ke[t working. C'est la vie.

After a week or two in Pots & Pans, I learned one of my Mortal Enemies was coming back to work there as the #1. This is the guy from B-South who kept spreading shit about me on the compound (Adam).

As soon as he came back to work I was all "Get me the fuck out of here!" and on Nov. 30 I was switched again. I've been floating a bit (position-wise), but for the most part I'm back to wiping tables and socializing. On the three days we work together I've been helping out my friend, "Grandpa," in the Bakery when I'm not wiping tables, and I've been trying to convince him to get me put on as his assistant 'cause it pays better.

We'll see what happens. Another option is to be put back in the Dishroom. Plus, there've been rumors about the compound opening back up, and if I could spend all day back in the Library I'll quit altogether and go back to typing all day. Moving to AM has opened up more Library time for me and the purpose of all this was to make more money. I would definitely use it.

Wed. 12/14/22 8:46 AM

Hey y'all! I'm back in the Kitchen listening to Bobby Brown sing "Humpin' Around" on C3PO.

We just finished serving breakfast and now I have a long wait until lunch starts - yet we're required to sit in here till then, and as I've previously mentioned, we're technically not supposed to bring a book - or anything - here to pass the time. Yeah right.

I'm actually glad I'm not working in the Dishroom on Pots & Pans right now 'cause the dish machine is broken so they're having to wash everything by hand (with Pots & Pans helping). I haven't investigated, ('cause sometimes ignorance really is bliss), but I was told that they're just spraying off the trays and such with water, then swishing them around in soapy water, the disinfectant, and that's it. Not much actual wiping. <appropriate weird-faced emoji goes here>

In more kitchen-related news... the Food Service Administrator here is an incompetent jerk who doesn't want to do anything for inmates (e.g. - he wants to cut out all holiday meals). Well, he also doesn't know how to do his job. We've been serving pancakes and French toast and haven't had syrup for many, many weeks. Who likes pancakes with no syrup?

Also, until this week, they had nothing but chicken to serve us. No pork, no beef, just chicken—which was usually shredded. Try eating various combinations of shredded chicken every day and see how fast you get sick of it.

Today the "#1" in the Bakery ended up going to the Hole (Grandpa is off today + tomorrow). Normally that would be great news and a possible opportunity for me to move there. But... my ex, Daffy Doug, the pathological liar who ripped me off in 2019 (and finally paid in 2021 on Dec. 20), switched from the PM shift to Art this past Mon., and he works in the Bakery. No thanks. I've had more than my fill of him.

I'm probably gonna jump around a bit date-wise regarding recent weeks, but a lot has happened and I'm way behind on writing.

As I recall, I last wrote on Oct. 15 and we were locked down 'cause the power went out. Well, they let us out of our cells on the 16th, but kept us locked in our units and continued to serve us box meals.

This thing with the power going out has happened several times in recent months. I don't know what the heck they've done, but it seems clear that staff here changed or "fixed" something power-related and so we've had nothing but problems ever since. Each time the power goes out, we get locked down.

Fri. Dec. 16, 2022 8:27 A

Back in the Kitchen as Pebbles sings "Girlfriend (Extended Version)" on C3PO.

You can tell I'm tired 'cause I completely changed the way I write the date. People say the "AM" shift is better 'cause you have your whole day free after lunch is over, but I'm so tired after work that all I want to do is lay in bed and be left alone.

In other recent news, you may recall that I had a physical altercation with my cellie in Cell 6. I hate that disgusting snake. Well, a totally handsome, beefy hunk of a man was living in Cell 54 with a Native and a new trannie, and he didn't like being there (he suspected the trannie of stealing some stamps of his).

So, since we were both sick of our cellies, and since he's my latest "prospect" whom I totally crush on, I agreed to trade with him. (I'm weak when it comes to hunky men).

Which means... Club 54 is now open! (Dare I call it Studio 54??) I was actually seen dancing in there by some young black guys on the unit and they were gawking like crazy, and I'm sure they got a big laugh out of it.

Anyway, I moved there on Nov. 4. The Native guy is nice, but he moved in specifically with the intention of hooking up with Stevie, the trannie, who, like most prison trannies, was hooking up with other guys and using them for whatever she could get out of them.

I didn't have any major problems. Stevie kept taking my Q-tips without asking and tried to use me for coffee and such while she spent her money on entertainment for herself, but I cut that out pretty quick.

The worst part about Stevie is this bitch would not shut the fuck up! She walked in the door either talking or singing, and it didn't matter if you were taking a nap or trying to get to sleep at night 'cause you had to get up at 4 AM. One time I was trying to nap before the 4 PM "Count" and she started telling Wolf (the Native) Whitney Houston's life story when he didn't ask anything about her—for an hour.

Another time they rented a movie on one of their tables and started watching after the 9:30 P Count. She talked in a normal tone of voice until midnight while watching the movie, then kept getting up and eating Doritos until 3 A—and I had to get up at 4 AM. Disrespectful self-absorbed bitch.

This week, Couns. Kelly forced one of us to move to Cell 12 (where I originally was in this unit) and Stevie volunteered. It's been so peaceful.

However, this happened on Wed., the 14th, and the very next day he moves in some new black guy who just got here. Wolf and I were so pissed. We knew our stuff would end up stolen and there would be so many problems and much more disrespect—much worse than just talking. So why the fuck did one of us "have" to move out? Fortunately, the black dude got a "head's up" from the other guys that he would be living with a Big Fag, so he promptly moved to 87, another 4-man.

We're really dreading whoever they put in next.

Since I mentioned tablets, they finally started selling tablets here on Nov. 7th. They are very limited—you can rent movies or play games and not much else. No mail so far and certainly no Facetime like they have in many state prisons. They cost about $120. I don't have one 'cause I can't afford it. Having them in the unit has quieted things down a bit, and I am sure grateful for that.

Of course the blacks tried to claim all the charging stations for themselves and left only two for the white guys. Staff had to get involved and cut off all the tags they put on "their" chargers. Typical.

Tues. 12/20/22 5:47 A

Howdy! I'm back at work as Depecke Mode sings "Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Approach)" on C3PO.

I just volunteered to work on Christmas. <burp> I have mixed feelings about it. It's ingrained in me to not work on holidays (any excuse, right?), and it's also my normal day off. However, they're fairly lenient on holidays and allow us to take a little extra back to the unit, and that's why I agreed.

Prior to last week my usual days off were Mon. and Tues., and I was off those days last week. Then, when I came in on Wed., they asked if I'd be willing to change my days off to Sat. + Sun. 'cause they already have plenty of guys working then. I readily agreed—especially after they told me it would start that same week. So, I ended up having four days off last week!

It was wonderful! I especially like having Sun. off 'cause now I have a whole day when I don't have to work. Otherwise, if I wasn't working in the Kitchen, I was working in the Library (which is open Mon-Sat).

The dish machine is still broken, so they're still doing stuff by hand. I was asked to help spray off trays in the Dishroom for breakfast. Yesterday, the Dishroom, Pots + Pans, and "Grandpa" in the Bakery all asked for my help. (Ain't it a bitch being a good worker?) I ended up in the Bakery before breakfast, then switched to wiping tables during the meal 'cause the Dining Room was also shorthanded.

Regarding the dish machine, according to Inamte.com, the Asst. Food Service Administrator, Edwards, pissed off the Facilities staff member who was supposed to fix it, and so the Facilities guy broke the machine even worse and refused to fix it. Further rumor has it that the dish machine won't be fixed until Jan. 5.

Typical petty BOP staff.

Last week Edwards was in the Dining Room during lunch and accused me of picking up some stamps off a table and putting them in my pocket, then told this to my current boss and my former PM boss. When I showed him that all I had was a small salt + pepper packet (the kind you get in spork packages from fast food restaurants), he accused me of stealing (they give those to the common-fare (religious) meal inmates).

I insisted that he search my pocket. No stamps. And he neither apologized nor told the bosses he was wrong.


Well, I've left out a few weeks that have happened in the past couple months, but this is getting long so I'll save 'em till next time.

I hope everyone has a prosperous and healthy 2023, and that your holiday season was wonderful!

Love + Blessings,


Replies (2) Replies feed

EndSolitary Posted 1 year, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 1 year, 5 months ago   Favorite
Hey Kelly!

Thanks for writing! I worked on the transcription for your post. Your writing is wonderful and moving. Hope to hear more from you soon.


Kelly Jones Posted 1 year, 4 months ago.   Favorite
(scanned reply – view as blog post)

We will print and mail your reply by . Guidelines

Other posts by this author


Get notifications when new letters or replies are posted!

Posts by Kelly Jones: RSS email me
Comments on “$4.68 fr 39 hours of work”: RSS email me
Featured posts: RSS email me
All Between the Bars posts: RSS