I’ve been fortunate in my life to have some unusual and unique jobs. But I think this latest one might just take the cake.
When I got to work this morning (7:10 a.m.—leaving St. Louis at 5:45), I found I could not get in because my temporary identification card had expired last week. I got the temporary card the beginning of September. I was a bit surprised at first that I didn’t get a permanent card right away but then I forgot about it. It’s now November and I can’t get into the institution. I have to call out my workers at 7:30, and chapel officially opens at 8 a.m. I was told I would have to walk down to the training center to get my permanent I.D. card, but they didn’t open until 8 a.m. So I went to the business office and picked up a big duffel bag that is to carry mail in. That used a little time, and I’d been wanting to do that anyway.
The training center is about a mile down a road that follows the outside fence of the institution. It’s the third line fence and therefore a “kill” fence with electric and barbed wire, etc. So I started walking about 7:45 and got there by 8:00. I got my new I.D. card without any problem and decided to put all my stuff in the duffel bag so I only had one bag to carry back.
I was dressed in a nice black outfit, and I threw the duffel bag over my shoulder and began the long walk back. The search dogs were in a large pen and started barking at me. I was enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful day when all of a sudden a swarm these correctional officers came running up. “Stop!!” they shouted, and I did. Then one of them said, “Oh, we thought you were an escapee because of your dark dress and assumed you were carrying a duffle bag with all your clothing in it.” “Oh no, I’m just the new chaplain,” I said as I shook in my boots thinking, “Please don’t shoot me.” But soon we were all laughing about it!
But then I got to thinking, I bet no one else has such problems getting to work in the morning! I’m still laughing about it. Glad I had got my identification card by then and that it was current.