I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my part time job on here before, but I do on-call for the local mental health center. Basically, if anyone in the two counties that I cover is a threat to themselves or others, I get called to evaluate. I can either put them on a 72 hour court ordered mental hold and hospitalize them OR have them sign a No-Harm Contract and have the office set up further meetings. Let me remind you all that I live in literally, the middle of NOWHERE. The closest hospital with a psych unit is 2 1/2 hours away. And of course, since we’re in the sticks, the big city hospitals don’t care to really help us. More often than not, I cannot find a bed for someone who needs to be hospitalized, especially if that person is in police custody.
So, I get a call last night from a mental health coworker before my on-call time even starts. Apparently the jail has a man who was arrested earlier in the day for domestic violence against his wife. The couple isn’t from here and was just passing through but staying at the hotel for a bit. Right away we know we won’t be able to send him anywhere. Basically, the jail just calls me because the man stated he was going to kill himself while ranting about how he shouldn’t be there and that he just needed to talk to his wife and they need some guidance. Apparently jails have never heard of putting an inmate on suicide watch, but, whatever.
I show up to the jail to hear someone screaming. A sheriff’s deputy comes out and says, “Do you hear that? That’s who we called you about.” Great. This should be fun. While the sheriff’s department was awaiting our response to their call, they had put the gentleman into a restraint chair. His arms and legs are bound and a harness keeps his body close to the chair. Legally, they are only allowed to hold someone in this chair for 2 hours. Before I was notified of the call and responded, over two hours had passed. Luckily, our law abiding deputies decided they should take him out of the chair as it had been 2 hours, and put him into a holding cell. Basically a cement cell with nothing but a toilet and cement “bed.” While he was in there alone for 5 minutes, he proceeded to piss and shit all over everything. I kid you not, when I walked by the holding cell, toilet paper was hanging from the window surrounded by a ton of brown marks. I’m sure you can guess what the brown stuff was.
I guess legally, there’s nothing saying how long you have to keep someone OUT of the chair. And the tight arm of the law decided that redecorating a holding cell with your own feces is grounds for the chair, again.
So, the deputy opens the door to the cell with the chair and tells the gentlemen that she has a lady here to talk with him. Right then he says, “I told you I’m not talking to anyone but my wife!” Obviously since he was arrested for DV, he’s not going to be talking with his wife anytime real soon. So, I calmly say to the man, “Sir, do you realize that that is not an option right now?”
Ooops. Shouldn’t have said that!
He looked at me and said, “Fuck you, you fucking c*unt (rhymes with bunt). I wasn’t fucking talking to you. C*nt. This is an A, B conversation, so C*NT your way out of it!” Pure genius. I mean really, I never even THOUGHT to say ‘c*nt your way out of it.’ Perfect.
Sadly, his response meant that my job there was finished. The client was obviously unwilling to talk to me. Oh darn. As I waited for the deputy to finish talking to him, I hear him tell her, “There are three things that I can promise you I’m going to do: I’m NOT going to stop shitting and pissing all over and I’m NOT going to clean it up. Oh, and I’m not going to talk to any fucking c*nts either.”
Man, I really wish I could have been there to watch them “walk” his strapped-in ass be rolled over to the hospital for that shot of Haldol.
There are times I wonder if I get paid enough for this job. But with stories like this, it more than makes up for the little pay.