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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jail Video

Thanks to the ever evolving, growing, changing, upgrading world of technology, I now have the ability to "visit" my clients via video from our office.  (Ok, so I have had that ability for a few months now).  Though we are still encouraged, required actually, to visit our clients in person, the video helps in situations like when you get a change in an offer that you have relayed to your client and you don't want to drive to the jail to tell them about the addition or deletion of one provision.  It is helpful in situations where you find out there is a treatment bed available for them and you just need a phone number of a family member that would be willing to bring a bag of toiletries by the office before we send you to the facility.  It is a very helpful tool that makes it possible to see the 5 clients who just sent you a letter asking you to come see them "real quick" because they have A question to ask you.  I'm sorry, but the jail staff is slow and I LOVE the video.

However...

I have had two problems with the video and they both stem from the same issue.  Not only can I see my client, but they can see me.  And so can the people in their pod.  See, we speak on the phone and it's supposed to be confidential (you have to call the jail to be connected and call for the line to be disconnected) and we look at each other through what is essentially a computer monitor.  If someone is playing cards at the table behind my client they can look up and see..."Hey, that's Ms. PD!"

          Problem #1: I received a...a-hem...'love' letter from someone that saw
          me when I was chatting with a client.  This person apparently asked
          my client for my name and decided to request that I become their
         pen pal.  Not for all of the chocolate milk in the world honey.  I would
         have posted a translated copy of the letter here for you, Dear Reader,
         to review; but after everyone in my office cracked their sides laughing
         at the letter I handed it over to my supervisor without thinking.  Don't
         worry, I will think of you next time ;-)

          Problem #2: As I am speaking with a client today, I notice a line
          forming.  Initially I thought all of the ladies in the pod were just
          playing cards but then when two more ladies sat down, with their
          backs to the first two ladies, facing me, looking right at the screen, I
          realized-they're ALL waiting to talk to me.

Under normal circumstances, I would welcome the opportunity to help someone that needs me.  But today I could feel my chest tighten as I looked at the ladies in that pod waiting to bombard me with their questions, requests and concerns.  It seems the number of people that need help keeps multiplying, while the number of people available to help is being subtracted. 

So I made a resolution today, I will no longer be using the jail video.  It will be a huge pain in the you-know-what to drive over to the jail just to get a phone number from a client, but at least then I won't have to worry about getting random love letters from the jail.

Sigh...off to the jail tomorrow.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't consent and don't confess.

~LT