February 9, 2015

Barista in Federal Prison!!! (and other news)

So I finished my first week in my new job at Taft Federal Prison Camp – barista! Well, actually it is Beverage Bar Manager in the kitchen for breakfast and lunch. And even that title makes it sound more glamorous than it really is. The extent of my barista activities is mixing instant coffee with boiling water in a cafeteria style coffee dispenser. A guy can dream, right? Actually the job is not bad at all. The toughest part though is that my shift runs from 4am to noon! I don’t think I have ever had a job where I had to get up at 3:30!

I try going to bed early but no one else does so it’s still pretty noisy – at least until 9:15pm or so. So I am sleep deprived (read zombie). All job assignments last 4 months here but I understand that after 30 days I can get a different kitchen job than doesn’t start at 4. Fingers crossed! Everyone here has a job and inmates perform essentially all of the functions in the camp. I am thinking about transferring to horticulture after my four months are up. It is one of the harder jobs (growing crops for the local homeless shelter) but I love being outside. They even have something called Wheels for the World where inmates repair wheelchairs and crutches and send them to over 100 countries. Pretty cool, actually.

My Facebook friends know that I had my first visit this past Friday from my mom (Lue Baty) and Les (Baty). It was fantastic! The best part was the HUGS! I miss hugs!!! Not much opportunity for that here at the camp – as you might imagine. Beyond that, it was just nice to sit and talk. All of my other communications with the outside are monitored so it was especially relaxing to be able to chat about anything and not think about it! I am looking forward to upcoming visits from Kenny and Lisa May, my brother Paul and sister in law Nicole and Suzie Mackenzie!

Last topic is a group I joined last week called “Outspoken.” It is a group of inmates that goes out into the local community and speaks primarily to at risk kids and high school students. I don’t know if I will get the chance to do that but I hope that I do as I love speaking to groups and I think I could help. Even if I don’t, it is a great group of guys with some very compelling (and even heartbreaking) stories so I will continue attending in any case. The had me get up in front of everyone and tell my “story.” Then they peppered me with questions! I got some nice compliments so my fingers are crossed!


PS Thanks so much to my latest book buyers! So excited to read what you sent me! Thanks Anne Loomis, Steve Walker, Leslie Stevens, Maureen O’Connell and Holly Bennett (again!).

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