Saturday, July 10, 2010

Never Assume

And in this case, I mean never assume that the people you work along side, do things the same as you do, with the same thoroughness, etc.

Last Thursday, I was out on an extradition. Nothing big, going to pick up a Sex Offender, and bring him back to get hooked up on GPS tracking before he's let loose into the world. Local prison, we get the guy, and are back by lunchtime, though I did have to practically go through a strip search to go in and bring him out of the prison in question.

Anyway, we're back before lunch, and turn him over to our GPS guys, and he's someone elses problem. I'm sitting at my desk, catching up on paperwork, when one of my teammates comes by, and says his relative has been injured in a fall, he'd like to be at the surgery, is there anyway I could cover an extradition for him. It's just a couple of hours up the road in Anywhere, NC. Me being a decent guy and all, and hoping someone would step up for me should I have a family emergency, I says sure, who am I going with. He tells me the other agent, and that she has all the info for the extradition. I give her a call, and sure enough, she's got the file, and everything is squared away, what time do we want to leave.

Now here's where the assumption came in. I assumed, that because a fairly competent co-worker told me everything was squared away, that everything was, in fact, squared away. Fast forward the clock to about 10:00 AM, the next morning. We pull into the the nice big sally port at the prison in Anywhere, NC, check our weapons, and stroll through the doors to be greeted by an officer holding a sheet of paper, and asking whether we want the good news or the bad news first. What do you mean bad news?!? Our subject is not currently in residence at this particular facility, he at the prison in Otherwhere, NC, five hours East of our current location.

I'm fairly certain that my jaw broke the table on it's way to the floor. I'm struggling to pick my jaw up off the floor, but I needn't have bothered. The agent I'm with says, but he was supposed to be transferred to this facility two days ago. Are you freakin kidding me?!?! You knew the subject was incarcerated in a prison on the coast, and you never thought to call and verify that he had actually been transported to a different facility?!?

We make our good byes, retrieve our weapons, get back in the car, and head out. I pull over at the first gas station that shows up, and get out for a smoke. I'm not sure which is producing more smoke, my handroll, or the top of my head :/ Of course, it's the guy's max-out date, so the facility in Otherwhere, NC is going to cut him loose today, one way or the other. Of course, since it's now 10:30 AM, it's too late to arrange for anyone else to get involved from an office closer to Otherwhere, so guess who's happy butt is getting to drive another five hours to the coast, to pick up someone, because the people in charge of arranging this cluster, all assumed someone else had ensured that everything was happening like they hoped it would?

We finally made it back to the office, late that night, fourteen hours after departing that morning. Talk about a long, sucky day. I swear, I will never assume that anyone I work with is competent at their job, merely because they appear so. I don't care if it makes me look like a prick, but I'll be going behind everyone to verify facts before I head out of the door with anyone.

Moral of the Day: If you do the leg work, you have only yourself to blame, if you assume someone else did the leg work, you have only yourself to blame. Either way, you're getting blamed.

Take care all,