LETTER TO MY FRIENDS
My dear colleagues,
Greetings. A few weeks from now, I will be bowing out from the prison service. It was a wonderful experience to work in the prison community. Prison service is indeed a worthy vocation but of course, it is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those seeking to accumulate goods and consequently, save their families from economic challenges. It is not for those who wanted instant recognition. It is not for those who wanted to be endowed with respect and adulation. It is sacrifice and more.
Prison service is strictly speaking only for those who are generous; only for those who are kind-hearted; only for those with time to share; only for those patient to understand; only for those who value humanity.
I never had a dull moment in the prison service. During my first month, I had no idea if I have a relative in the organization, thus had neither connection nor anyone to run to for succor, hence I was literally assigned in the penitentiary’s dreaded corner—-the hospital ward for the insane, Ward 4. For three months, I was hobnobbing, rubbing elbows with the criminally insane. I realized that the textbook definition of these psychos was not correct if my education on psychology would be reckoned. I virtually changed my scientific orientation, took a lot of notes and became effective in dealing with mental cases later. I became matured overnight.
Months later, I would be back at my former office at the Reception and Diagnostic Center where I was given a clerical function—-to arrange reports and put paper clips on it. It would be my job for two months. I tried to solicit assistance from my co-workers, asking them to teach me how they conduct their tasks until finally, after another three months I learned how to receive a newly admitted prisoner, how to compute for their sentence, how to give them prison numbers, how to orient, quarantine and initially classify. In less than a year, I know how anyone in RDC works. I can perform any task should there be anyone who would absent and fill up their performance.
From there, my Calvary would begin. While I was promoted from one post to another, I would also respond to charges filed by anonymous complainants. I would be subject to the foulest charges until I felt that I must resign. Half of my job was attending administrative hearings for my cases already. After I have observed my 15th year in the prison service, I would have accumulated 15 administrative cases also.
In my 20th year, I had 20 administrative charges and two cases in court. To sustain my peace of mind, I also published 4 books and wrote pamphlets and edited newsletters. My career was spent mostly in the freezer. According to the prison leadership, I was never a team player. It was a correct estimation. I never kowtow with irregularities; I never wanted to have my name, my signature in documents that rob government finances. I was a pain in the neck. But I never raised an issue. I never even went to the extent of whistleblowing. I was just floating along the fringes and writing notes which would later would be my materials for my books.
It would be a rocking period but at the same time an exciting one. While my superiors in the prison service would suspect me for my projections, I would accumulate and receive recognition from schools where I would enroll for graduate studies. In between attending court and administrative hearings for various charges brought against me, I would receive one diploma after another. I would complete my masteral course on public administration, complete my legal education, and attend graduate studies on diplomacy and top management. Not bad an equation.
I never even thought of reaching the age of retirement. I thought that I would trip along the way and be penalized. I thought that I would be dismissed from the service early on. Worst, I thought that I might end up in the calaboose.
I was mistaken. I am about to reach the age of retirement and is working on my clearances. I have succeeded in winning all my cases in the organization and that includes court cases too. My record is lily clean. I am treading the path towards the exit door. I may have been badly bruised as a consequence of organizational trappings and mistreatment, but here I am standing still, standing proud to have walked through a period with a stable career however bumpy and aiming for another sight, another career, another period to reinvent another persona.
If this is a movie, a part 2 is in the offing.