Teaser number ten from my prison officer book that I have been writing. It’s been a while since my last teaser. This has been a difficult chapter to write. Not emotionally, I just found it difficult to explain they way the meal times were managed and carried out.
* Serving the breakfast, lunch or evening meals was just like they used to do it at school. One long line of offenders queuing towards the serving hatches. There would be six offenders serving from the hatches, each with a large serving spoon in their hands. As the offenders passed the hatch, offender Spence would look at his clipboard with everyone’s name on and shout out their meal choice.
“Smith : Chicken pie, mash and beans, custard”.
“Gower : Chicken pie, mash, no beans, jelly”.
“Laverty : Veggie Pie, mash, beans, custard”.
I would watch the tray of beans get lower and lower. I would pray that they would be enough to go around the whole wing. My heart would be pounding in my chest worrying about the lack of beans in the tray running out. This would go on until everyone got their meal. I dreaded anybody disputing their meal choices.
There would be no way to check whether they were bullshitting or not. It would be just as easy to wait until everyone had been served and then let them take whatever was left. Nine times out of ten there would have to be a compromise and everyone left happy.
But on the rare occasion that someone went away empty handed, I couldn’t give a shit. There was nothing I could do about it. By the time serving had finished, the kitchen would be shut so it was either take what was left or go hungry. I gave them an option if they didn’t take it, tough shit…I had done my job.
Once the meals were served, the shutters were down and all the kitchen tools were accounted for, I was done. It was always a relief to get the meal served without incident. Getting through a morning working with the cleaners and the kitchen staff made the rest of the day an absolute breeze to be honest. There was no other role that I found more stressful than cleaners. I would rather stand up for 3 hours in the visitors hall than worry about meals, supplies and semen in the rice.
*Please forgive and spelling of grammar mistakes in any of my teasers on this web site. These teasers are very much in their 1st draft states.