Monday, June 19, 2023

Microstory 1911: Shift Laws

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Senior Guard: Jail Guard, could you come into my office?
Jail Guard: Yeah, boss?
Senior Guard: I noticed that the male jail cell is empty at the moment.
Jail Guard: Oh, you’re right. It is, isn’t it?
Senior Guard: Why do you think that is?
Jail Guard: Looks like they broke out, sir. Happens about once a year.
Senior Guard: True. Care to hazard a guess as to the number one way detainees and inmates find themselves capable of breaking out of whatever lock up facility they’re in?
Jail Guard: Bad craftsmanship?
Senior Guard: Help from the inside. You were posted at that cell earlier today.
Jail Guard: I suppose I was. I did have to go out for coffee.
Senior Guard: How long were you gone?
Jail Guard: Only about ninety minutes.
Senior Guard: [...]
Jail Guard: I didn’t help them escape. I just didn’t watch them.
Senior Guard: Of course. Were you aware that the law states that at least two guards are required to be posted at a holding site where five or more detainees are being held?
Jail Guard: I think I did know that. Does that mean you erred?
Senior Guard: It does not. My roster is sound. It was a proctor who brought in the fifth detainee, which means it would have been the proctor department’s responsibility to supply your backup. Just for confirmation, did they fulfill this requirement?
Jail Guard: They did not. I was alone.
Senior Guard: And you are allowed to leave for food, beverage, and personal hygiene reasons once every two hours, correct?
Jail Guard: Correct. That is also the law.
Senior Guard: When you left for coffee, and...personal hygiene reasons, had it been two hours since your last break?
Jail Guard: *frowns* No, it had only been about an hour.
Senior Guard: No. No, look at this, see? You logged your break at 17:00 earlier this evening. I have it right here on the records. Those are your initials, aren’t they?
Jail Guard: Impossible, sir. I eat my dinner at exactly 18:00. I’m on a particular diet.
Senior Guard: Yeah, I remember, but something was different about today. You were so hungry, you took a break at 17:00, and then at 19:15, you needed another break, and since you were alone, you had to leave the detainees alone. And that’s not your fault. It’s not my fault either. It’s the proctor department’s fault. Do we understand each other?
Jail Guard: I think so, sir.
Senior Guard: *sighs* I know you have trouble remembering things sometimes, so when the fugitive department questions you regarding this matter, just tell them that you do not recall, and ask them to defer to the records, because you may not know much, but you know that the records are one hundred percent accurate. Okay?
Jail Guard: Okay, I think I can do that.
Senior Guard: Perfect. Now go finish your shift. They won’t come until tomorrow.

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