Chapter Seven – Step Into The Light
By Steven Maisenbacher
Before I came here, my assumption was people were going to be helpful in my making this transition from prison to the “real” world. I’m rapidly finding this is not always the case. In the battle of Time vs. People the level of helpful depends on who it is and what time it is or I should say how much time, that determines who wins.
An example of how this battle works, say if you have an appointment somewhere you get there 30 minutes early like they tell you to on the paper but then they keep you waiting for 30 minutes after the scheduled time. So now you’ve sat for an hour for an appointment you should have had a half hour ago. You had better not say anything because at that point the person you had the appointment with will win.
If you’re talking to someone here and you express yourself by saying what you think, they may not reply, they may not respond at all, but then you’ll find out later that they have replied to almost everybody they know about what it is you said and the timing of this is generally pretty rapid.
Right now I’m going through all sorts of time-related changes. All of my time is metered and controlled by these people. I’m allowed to go search for a job, but that’s not all I need time for. Besides searching for a job I’m also preparing to go to college and I needed time for enrolling, taking the interview test, then orientation and that’s tested too, and I still need to schedule a placement test. Each one of these steps is with different people and at different times.
My keepers hold me to a 3-hour time limit 8:00 to11:00 a.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Anything other than that must be scheduled with them, through them, and approved by them. But when I’m doing these things, I can’t know how much time will be needed. Sometimes I’m in the middle of a test. I can’t just walk out but I know I’m going to be late. So I call as I’ve been instructed to let them know, but when I get back, I still get reprimanded like a naughty child. Once again in the situation of People vs. Time the people won that round.
What I’m saying is that the winner of these bouts is determined by who the time is actually with and generally, the issue does not work out in my favor. But that’s okay. I could get discouraged, throw my hands up in the air, scream and shout, stomp my feet but at that moment Time will have won cuz I just wasted more time throwing a fit that won’t solve a darn thing. That’s another test I must take apparently.
I don’t know what led me to believe that people out in the “real” world will be considerate of others. Certainly seems to me they’re not. I’m finding in my “transition” that people are rude, selfish and unable to value the time that other people (like me) put into the things they are doing. This is not just an inconvenience. If you go outside these time frames in any of the things that you’re trying to accomplish and you don’t contact them or call them, the circumstances could be dire.
You could be punished, charged for a visit you didn’t go to or you could lose privileges you don’t really even have. But that’s only if you’re me. Now I’m not ranting here I’m just making an observation but it seems to me that the rules they make me live by, my keepers should have to follow themselves. It also seems to me that everything I’m doing is all good. I’m trying to work toward living a productive, self-sufficient life but I’m catching hell doing the things I need to do or trying to get done.
I’m supposed to see the psychologist today. I’ve not yet been told when he will see me but he’s come down from Chicago so I will just wait until he can see me. That’s okay, I’m not mad but it would be good to know what time I get to see him so that I can schedule my day around that. Again in this instance it’s the People vs. Time but I’m not going to let it discourage me. I have plenty I’d like to talk to him about when I do see him about all these problems.
Just this morning I was up early and went to the doctor. I thought I was going to get my flu shot and pneumonia shot. Yes, the nurse gave me a piece of paper recommending I get these vaccines but said that I will have to schedule with the health department to get them because they don’t do the vaccinations there. The paperwork that I had been given clearly said what I was there for but still I waited an hour see my doctor in order to learn this. I was glad to talk with the doctor about some of my issues anyway, but I have to wonder why they couldn’t have given me correct information to start with. I later learned that the health department had come here to give shots, but apparently no one had time to inform me of that either.
Anyway, people are funny, even funnier when confronted with the constraints of time. I see everybody in such a hurry yet they don’t seem to have time to accomplish what they’re supposed to do. Maybe we should all just take a time to contemplate the fact that we have all the time we need to get things done efficiently. All we need to do is arrive a half hour early. Smile. As for me, well, I’ll comply. After all, if I don’t, the other people win that bout and at that point, my complaint becomes a waste of time. Have a nice day. Set your clock forward a half hour so that you can arrive at tomorrow a half hour ahead of time, at which point you will see you still have to wait a half hour to get to tomorrow. And you thought you were early!
Steven “Walks On The Grass” Maisenbacher
October 26, 2020