I have been enjoying the eclectic, significantly stress-reduced lifestyle unassociated with the slings and arrows of a maximum-security corrections facility, and liking it. Probably too much. I've given a few guest lectures, done some "per diem," some "consultations," and even turned down some opportunities to re-join mainstream clinical work doing things I really don't want to do. And I must stress the triomphe of actually rejecting things I really don't enjoy. Not exactly rock-climbing, but different enough... At the same time, I cannot possibly imagine how anyone could possibly survive on $480 of unemployment compensation per week, the most California allows. My heart still aches for my single-parent ex-colleagues. And so it goes. But a friend called and suggested I look into the opportunity of replicating some of my previous work in corrections - completely on the "outside" - on a county level. In this manifestation, however, you need to take a civil-service "examination," and this set off a series of peculiar events.
It is the custom of my friend & cohort, POTFP, to send a family Valentine in lieu of other "seasonal" greetings. And because Madame is a real photographer and artisan, these cards are breathtaking portraits of their children (and one unfortunate, yapping canine). And, it generally arrives late. For the holiday. At least to me. Nevertheless, after, again, being stunned, I set the card down & sent an email suggesting that an argument could reasonably be made for parthenogenesis. I concluded my chiding with a mention that I was taking a civil service exam on Saturday morning.
Early Saturday morning, I arrived outside of a county facility to join a cadre of similarly "milling mad wo/men," before a sign indicating, "The door will open at 8:00." So, with a few moments on my hands, I sent off an iPhone email to POTFP, reporting on the (customary) observation that I appeared strikingly different than those with whom I waited; and that would be "professional" and/or like a cop. Noting that this is a touch anxiety-provoking, I concluded with something like, "WTF, all aboard."
I digress for a moment to say that San Diego County's civil service exam bears some solid warnings about revealing the contents of said exam. I will not defy this signed oath by divulging specific information, but it seems reasonable (and somehow necessary) to comment on the content. For reasons I have discussed previously, I appear a dumbass in regard to spelling. Alright, I am a dumbass in regard to spelling. In my estimation, San Diego county is inordinately concerned with spelling. Enough said. Fortunately, I am considerably more fluent in regard to grammar... I think. We were offered the opportunity to "dispute" the validity of any exam question(s), and I felt compelled to make a notation that, at least in the example given in question #8, the NY Times Manual of Style would suggest that "who" is equally acceptable as "whom" in modern usage.
Exam concluded, I turned in my materials, turned on my phone, and headed out to the car. Immediately a number of "chime" notifications issued from the phone indicating email & voicemail. Taking the email first, POTFP responded to my earlier mail with, first, "What?" and then a short succession of "What is happening????" Turning to the voicemail, POTFP is distressed, requesting an immediate callback. Huh? I'm thinking, "Could he be that concerned about my considering a return to corrections?" I dutifully call, only to leave a voice message. Later, I'm on the highway & hear the phone; without the headset, and driving directly behind the highway patrol, I pass. It's illegal here. When I stop, I listen to the voicemail and finally understand the proceedings: apparently, POTFP "glanced" at the email I sent without reading that I was taking the test. So, reading that I was "standing in front of a county building," on a Saturday morning and the seemingly cryptic, "all aboard," suggested to POTFP that I was "taking hostages" and on the brink of a Saturday morning induced-halocaust. Mild-mannered me? Madonna mia, Pal, get yourself a decaf!
And now, a "proof-of-concept." As I mentioned in my discussion with the OG, I can find no reasonable explanation for the pronunciation of "heroin" on the street. But perhaps, should you not have believed me, listen to Rodney King & Seth Binzer, from a "reality show," to which I shall return later. The Newcastle Brown will still bring you down.