019 – 27 – canteen


Hello friend,

Some of you may already know that we can order food items through the ‘canteen’ once a week. Despite the name, the ‘canteen’ is not a sit down food hall but a paper based list of products to choose from; DHL run the show fro another prison.

Occasionally, some new items are added; I had my first peach for 16 years a couple of weeks ago. Wowzer! They’ve also added proper yoghurt; I used to make yoghurt; I used to make this at Frankland but I’ve not had any since 2011. Hummus is another addition.

So last week I ordered some vegan jalopena potato bites to use the hummus as a dip.I ordered 1 packet … 1 packet… I got 13! That’s £6 overcharge; almost a third of my wages.

Because I’d been waiting 3 weeks for a refund on the last error.I asked another prisoner how long refunds take; he told me it took 3 months for him to get his money back. I took this information into the wing manager’s office. The more senior manager reacted by saying that was rubbish and people lie in here; yeh, I agree – staff lie on a frequent basis about all manner of things – try Jimmy G CD’s (see last blogs); in fact , just read most of my blogs.

This manager’s knee-jerk reaction is fairly typical of the prevailing attitude – this is their logic: dishonest people commit crime, therefore, prisoners are dishonest. He didn’t know who told me or what the circumstances were surrounding his refund, yet, he must have lied – he is a prisoner after all(!) When I called him on this, he accused me of misquoting him and flounced out of the office in a huff. Putting to one side the fact that I hadn’t quoted him, prisoners get misquoted all of the time; imagine the negative write-up we’d get reacting so petulantly.

Of course, the real dishonesty starts at the top(see next blog).

Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 2nd July 2019

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