365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

Day 28/365: A Good Time to Call Someone an Asshole

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1.28

Top-down sweater joined in the round with continued increases for raglan sleeve shaping

My caseload is comprised of men who were convicted of criminal offenses and then sentenced to prison. Off the top of my head, here is a list of some of those crimes: first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon with force to inflict great bodily injury, mayhem, rape, forced oral copulation, lewd and lascivious with child under 14, robbery, burglary, DUI, possession of a controlled substance, transportation and sales of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by an ex-felon, pandering, evading, aiding and abetting, receiving stolen property, grand theft auto, petty theft, and terrorist threats. These are just the ones that first come to mind; I know I’m forgetting others. Oh, and a lot of these guys are either active or ex-gang members.

I think you have to have certain qualities in order to effectively interact with this particular population. I grew up in a household with four brothers and no sisters, and I tend to have a bit of the criminal mindset myself. I cuss like a sailor, and sometimes I just got no time for your bullshit.

Back in 2011, I had to complete an initial intake interview with a new arrival who was clearly having a bad day. He was rude and snarky in his responses, and even though I was trying very hard to maintain professionalism, I really wasn’t in the mood to put up with him. So I said, “You know what? Clearly this is not a good time for you. I’m going to end this interview, and you can come back another time. I’ll reschedule you.”

I watched the surprise take over his face, and then he was contrite.  He said, “I’m sorry. I’m being a jerk. No, let’s start over. It’s just been a really hard week for me. I got some bad news the other day.”

Sometimes I don’t filter the words that come out of my mouth, and this was one of those times.  I said exactly what was on my mind.  “Okay.  So you’re not usually an asshole.”

***

I bring up that story because that same guy had an appointment with me this afternoon.  Now, we have a really good rapport.  During our session today, he brought up the first time he came to my office and asked me if I remembered that incident.

“I’m going to tell you something, Doc,” he said. “I’ve had so much more respect for you ever since then. You called me out on my shit.”

I was glad to hear that.  Because sometimes it is a pretty risky intervention to call a convicted felon an asshole.

P.S. Don’t worry.  It was only that one time.

That I can remember.

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Author: FC5

Happily married and childfree by choice. Licensed clinical psychologist at a state prison for men. I work four 10-hour days in exchange for a 3-day weekend, every weekend. Outside of that, I appreciate my freedom and enjoy a life of various creative pursuits.

One thought on “Day 28/365: A Good Time to Call Someone an Asshole

  1. Pingback: Day 50/365: Fifty?! | 365 Days Handmade

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