My Work Ethic Made Someone Quit While I Was At Herlong Prison Camp


You can tell a person’s characteristics by the way they work. It doesn’t matter if they are in prison or outside of prison, their work ethic shouts volumes about them. If someone doesn’t do their job right, you can tell that they are lazy. If someone puts all of their interest and time into learning all they can, they are pretty much a go-getter. In any instance, employers want someone with a great work ethic and prison is no different.

When I worked at the Power House, there was an inmate named Donny. Donny taught me what he knew about working in the sewers and working around the Power House, along with another inmate who helped me get the job. However, the COs (correctional officers) at the Power House didn’t like him because they knew he was lazy. In fact, Donny showed me where we could hang out at in the camp so we wouldn’t get in trouble and still get paid.  I didn’t want to focus on hanging around the camp because I really wanted to learn as much about HVAC as possible. If I wasn’t going to learn HVAC then I wanted to be in the library writing. When Donny drove around to do his thing, I went back to the Power House to learn more about HVAC and to help other inmates.

My work ethic and proof of my high school diploma afforded me a raise from $0.12 an hour (which was a grade four or also called number four) to $0.17 an hour (which was a grade three or number three). Donny had congratulated me; however, I heard rumors that he was upset that I got a raise in less time than he did.  Shortly after that, Donny’s work ethics worsened. It got so bad that he did a no call, no show, which could have gotten him sent to the hole. Suddenly, an inmate who was a number 2, quit. This meant there was possibility that someone at the Power House could get $0.24 an hour. Donny thought it was going to be him because he felt he was there the longest and worked the hardest, but the COs promoted me.

With in a few days of my promotion, Danny quit the Power House. In order for him to quit, he had to do a few things. He first had to ask the COs for permission. He also had to have another job lined up, but in order to get the other job, he had to ask the COs at that job for permission to start a job with them. Lastly, he had to ask the camp counselor to sign off on it. By switching jobs, Donny finally made grade four pay, $0.12 an hour.  A few weeks later, he asked for a transfer to a new prison camp.

I’ll never understand why people feel as though that they can do minimum work and still get promotions. Every job whether you in prison or outside of prison, is the same; you have to work to be noticed and move ahead. If you find yourself in prison, develop a strong work ethic and make the most of your stay.