This blog was sent into us by a serving prison officer on the condition of anonymity. I think that many people who serve in the emergency services will be able to easily relate to what the author of this short piece is saying:
‘If you are married to or know a prison officer, don’t be surprised if they sometimes just want to come home and be quiet, don’t be surprised if they become completely intolerant of idiots (and tell them so).
Don’t be surprised if they develop a very warped sense of humour that only they laugh at and everyone else just looks embarrassed by what they said.
Don’t be surprised if their attitudes to nearly everything are so very different to everyone else’s.
Don’t be surprised if they say things that everyone else is shocked by but they actually can’t understand why others are shocked, they may also insult your friends by saying things when they don’t really mean to offend them.
Don’t be surprised if the circle of friends they have becomes smaller to literally sometimes just work.
Don’t be surprised if when you go to a restaurant or pub and they want to sit so they can see everyone and also keep looking around the room constantly whilst your talking (they are actually listening).
Don’t be surprised if they become unbelievably suspicious of everybody and I mean everybody.
Finally, don’t be surprised if they change, they honestly can’t help it.
They work In a place that is not real, the place where they work is totally detached from reality, they see things most days that normal people would find horrific and they are constantly in danger wherever they go.
Sometimes, just try bear all that in mind, they don’t mean to be like it, it’s impossible for some officers not to be like it.’
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And don’t be surprised if they don’t sit down before they have changed their uniform and had a shower, they don’t want to contaminate their home with the filth that they have picked up whilst at work.
The job gives a world view that is full of danger and hostility, this impacts loved ones in a big way. It eats away at your soul, leaving you with a very dark heart. Eventually you trust no-one, believe nothing anyone has to say, and assume that everyone that you meet is after something.
You assess every situation for dangers, even when you are shopping. This is why your life expectancy is 58 years old.
if you can, leave the job, you will be a lot happier, ignorance is bliss.