20 THINGS YOU LEARN WAITING IN A PROBATION OFFICE
I would consider myself an observant person, and in respect to that statement, have picked up on a few things in my time waiting in a probation office over the years.
Yes, I said years. CLICK HERE to read about my sad (but still true) story.
Eerily similar to an experience at Walmart, I’ve always enjoyed the people watching aspect, and animalistic behavior on full display when in this environment. And like most people, I can form some semblance of opinion on someone based off that brief interaction and what I’m exposed to. Whether that opinion is an accurate assessment remains to be seen.
Also interesting, based on what opinion I decide to form of this individual from said interaction, will now play into how I will treat them. It will basically set the tone for how I see them moving forward. Perception truly is Reality.
In that sense, the way an individual comes across and conducts him or herself by how you look and behave, is critical to success in completing probation. Unfortunately, a great many individuals look and behave terribly. Who am I to say this? Well for now, consider me the Emily Post of probation etiquette.
You see, I learned that success in life is sometimes not so much based on what you know and do, but more importantly on WHAT NOT TO DO, by way of watching and observing the epic fails of countless others. With that I present to you:
1. Don’t be the asshole
You know who. The one needing all the attention, sitting there bitching and complaining to anyone who will listen to you that you’re sick of this shit. Everyone there knows you’re sick of this shit. We are all sick of this shit. The probation office itself is also sick of this shit. And we all hear you. The officers hear you too though. Stop talking shit so loudly and then go mute when an officer walks in, cause the walls have ears. Silence is golden sometimes. So do kindly shut the f*** up.
2. Do not carry your public conversations on your cell phone
We do not need to hear what you’ve been up to lately, or the fact that you no longer hook up with so and so. Avoid getting into trouble by talking on your phone altogether and do keep your phone in the car. If you do bring it in, mute said phone and your big fat mouth. Now I know some people cannot live without their phone and it’s an extension of themselves, but….
3. Do not snapchat, skype, youtube, et cetera your day at probation
Seek content for your life elsewhere, in order to make more friends and be a star off the property.
4. Do not bring family and friends to probation
This is not a graduation ceremony, and there are better ways to impress them. Not only that, but sometimes this can add to the overall stress and chaos of the situation. We all know that friend or family member who brings drama with them everywhere they go. You are not doing yourself any favors having an entourage there with you. It is really more harm than good, and quite the distraction. To quote a great philosopher, save the drama for your mama. Listen, sometimes shit is unavoidable, and you do need to bring someone, however, do make sure they wait outside.
5. Do not park in the fire lane
Nor park in the handicapped spot so you can do a quick in and out of probation. Do park in regular parking (tedious), so it does not get towed.
6. Do not leave your dog in the car
All while you pop in and out of your appointment. Depending on your locale, your weather may be unforgiving, and you have no clue how long your appointment may take. Be respectful of animals and leave your dog at home.
7. Do not leave your child in the car or unattended
Doesn’t matter what age. Leave children at home. Repeat, leave the kids at home or make arrangements planning ahead. You never know how long you may take. More importantly, you never know who they may be sitting next to. Probation is no joke. It is a dangerous place and not an environment to bring them into.
8. Do not smoke cigarettes or anything else for that matter right outside the front door
Never mind the smell that carries over inside, but not everyone wants to walk through a patch of fog so you can calm down from all the stress you have going on in your life. Get out the way and smoke somewhere else.
9. Do not bring drugs to probation
Obviously, you are stupid, or got serious issues if this really happens. Still, I have actually seen it occur. Please do drugs when you are done. On that note….
10. Do not show up high, drunk, or beat up
Or a combination of the three. Although it’s applauded that you are responsible to still actually show up, try and reschedule if that is the case.
11. Do not be late
It’s your ass on the line. Nuff said. Show up on time, if not 5 to 10 minutes early. By coming in early you allow yourself the opportunity to make sure everything is in order.
12. Do not fill out your paperwork there
They do not like that. Don’t wait till the last minute in preparing your report. Fill out all your paperwork beforehand.
BONUS: Do not steal pens from the sign in sheet, due to the fact that you’re scrambling to fill out your paperwork at the last minute. It’s disturbing to watch officers and staff analyze the room, trying to locate and sniff out the (alleged) pen thief.
13. Do not bring your breakfast, lunch, or dinner to probation
Nor should you proceed to eat it there. Have some respect and get enough for everyone if that’s the case. Why I would have to say the next one is mind blowing, but…
14. Do not bring your knife or anything else that can be construed as a weapon to probation
Yet not understand why everyone is overreacting. Okay, so some may say, what kind of idiot would do that? Well, plenty. More so in this day and age we live in, you never know what the person next to you is capable of. That said, do not bring bags, backpacks, suitcases, et cetera there as well.
Bring your paperwork and urine. Nothing else.
I’m not here to gross everyone out, nor use shock value to get the point across, but rather than go through a long laundry list of vile things my eyeballs have witnessed, we’ll just focus on two basic primal urges.
15. Do not come in with a bladder full of piss
Much like an adult film star, you just never know when you’re going to have to perform. Be that as it may, be ready and prepared. To sit next to someone bitching about not being able to hold it is annoying and makes others jumpy. Listen, you may have to test, you may not. Do not be a child though and do what I tell my kid: hold it.
16. Do not come in with an empty bladder
By doing so you’re obviously ill prepared to panel test, thus delaying every other person on their appointment, as we all wait patiently for you to summon the urine gods for help. Once again, you just never know when you’re going to have to perform.
17. Do not come in with a nervous stomach
All culminating to an possible explosive case of diarrhea. Nor are you allowed (should be illegal) to relieve the pressure and tension in your stomach by farting. Jackass, we are all packed in tight, close quarters like a can of sardines. We hear, see, and smell each other. Not cool when you do not care. Have respect for your fellow legally challenged brothers and sisters in arms and what they are subjected to. Keep shit to yourself (couldn’t resist that one).
18. Do not wear expressive t shirts or clothing to probation
19. Do not dress sloppy
I get it. It’s early in the morning and you do not want to be there. You want to get the shit over with. Problem is, when one dresses like they just rolled out of bed, it comes across as if you don’t give a shit.
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. This only helps you though, as it reflects your character. I could go on and on, but always remember you’re being evaluated. Keep the house slippers at home and leave the rolled out of bed look for adult stars. Just saying.
20. Do not pick up girls at probation (pregnant or not)
Two felons meet in a probation office and fall in love. Only problem is that their families don’t approve of the relationship. Alright, stop… I really hope you’re not going to take that seriously, as that’s an intro to a bad joke I don’t care to finish that does not even need a punch line (sorry if I offended anyone’s romance).
Okay, so you’re irresistible and got all kinds of swag. The fact that you got a bit of the bad boy image working for you all adds to the mystique. However, keep moving Romeo. Life’s way too short and there’s infinite places you can go to meet the opposite sex, especially with less potential headaches in store for you.
Parking lot note: I have seen many baby daddies confront and get into heated exchanges with probation pickup artists as they get to their car, culminating into bloodshed. Do yourself and others a favor by hooking up somewhere else. Even if you are irresistible.
There you have it. In closing, the moment you walk in that door, an assessment is being formed of you. Your file is on hand and the hard truth of your reputation precedes you.
Based on actions, why contribute to this existing problem, giving in to the stereotype they may have. The way you conduct yourself and how you come across (perception), carries over to the treatment you shall receive.
Just cause everyone else acts as an animal, doesn’t mean you shall. Set yourself apart from them by how you look and behave, then maybe you will be treated differently.
What’s this you say? It’s unfair for someone to be treated differently and have special advantages. Well welcome to how this world works junior. Use life to your advantage. Be different and get treated different.
–The Educated Felon