WORKING IN A STRESSFUL AND THREATENING CONDITION
There are those who must have to perform a job which government is compelled to offer. And for those at the forefront, it is never a breeze. It is watching pain, looking over frustration, overseeing danger, anticipating violence, living under deception, performing under threats, and most of all, understanding hatred on a daily basis. And they are expected to be above the rim so to speak.
Soldiers can go to war for days or months on end. Teachers can be patient in tutoring for a semester or more. Agriculturists can compliment nature and modify growth patterns in plantation. Artists can create a figure as surreal as it can be. But for this select group, the prison custodial officers, they are there not only to test the limits of their resolve, not only to stretch the edge of their fortitude, not only to contain the conservatism of power, not only to invoke the mystery of forbearance but most of all to sustain an objective consideration in a forsaken area in the full stretch of their entire career.
In war, the enemies are known. The same can be said about educators, scientists and artists, they know their subject. But in the prison service, it is the other way around. The prison officers are minutely understood and defined by their subjects. It is not surprising to note that there is treachery in every corner. Deception is the order of the day. As a matter of fact, deception carries every intention daily. Not that a prison officer must stand idly or vigilantly to await sham and dishonesty to materialize but he is already walking through the thick foliage of such attribute. He is like a gliding performer in a trapeze or someone walking on a tightrope. He cannot afford to be iron handed because it is a prohibited act against human rights. He cannot be tolerant or else he becomes indulgent to a fault. He is suppose to be the emblem of discipline, a figure of justice and the beacon of neutrality—attributes which even Olympians could barely cope up. He must therefore enforce everything beginning in his mind.
You may greet them or hate them because that is where they are coming from. And just like any government officer, they are subject to rules. Simply put, they live and work in a world full of rules. In other profession, practitioners dictate the rules. In the prison service, rules dictate the pace of everything.
In other professions, winning is everything. In the prison service, there are no winners, only survivors. In other persuasions, medals and trophies are products to be proud of. In the prison service, it is retirement clearance. But on the whole, those who went through and came out of prison work are the most fulfilled. They knew what wisdom is all about and they have ingrained it all throughout the span of their vocation. Life for them, while not an easy affair, is a complete adventure in succor and an absolute lesson in empathy.