Guess it depends on a lot of factors, if one is to be part of the "in" group here on campus (or not) .  What are these factors?  Hell, I sure don't know, but I DO have some general ideas.  I also know I'm not part of this group, never will be and wouldn't want to be... as odd as that may seem.

I think it helps to have been here many many years, like double digits numbers of years.  It probably helps if you're a JCO 5 or 6.  Might be real handy to have relatives/kin that work here, too, and to live in the local area.  Other factors may include your age, gender, and race -- I really don't know -- but it seems likely somehow they all figure in somehow.  Having a tobacco habit probably helps as it gives folks something to do while hanging out in the parking lot... and liking to drink may be a necessary trait for fitting in to those after-hours get togethers at Bernie's.  That counts me out right there, as I've NEVER been to Bernie's, and honestly don't care to ever go there to get intoxicated with my co-workers.  Guess I'm doomed to remain a grunt on campus... sigh.

But if I WAS in the clique', oh, the benefits I'd have!!  Come to work when/if ever I wanted... not have to hold the dorm/deal with the kids... get to spend hours "making copies" on The Hill... hang out in the Cafeteria all day... leave early... be reprimanded again and again and again for any on-and-off-campus peccidillos (sexual, drug, money etc) and never have to worry about being outed or REALLY disciplined after even multiple infractions... stuff like that.  Must be nice to have such a secure job that no one will question what you do, or, hold you accountable since you're in The Clique', huh? 

I guess.

If you're not in The Clique', your only option is to do what you're told and shake your head yes -- and do it.  No one in The Clique' claims they're trying to be FAIR or anything, oh, no -- they'll shift and shaft people from dorm to dorm however they like, repeatedly change the schedule at the last moment, assign 12 hour shifts to who they don't like and let their friends off the hook when they call in or come in late.  MUST BE NICE!!  Kissing ass seems to be THE surest way to get ahead around here for those who can stand to do it.  I can't -- and therefore am not going to get anywhere in this agency further than I already have.  I know this.  And I know those in The Clique' will continue to treat me like a second class employee, no matter how long I work here.  Ohhh, well.

If only ALL JCO's were held to the same expectations, what a great place this would be!!  No, wait... I remember reading online that Official TYC Policy line is that supervisory JCO's are held to a HIGHER expectation of competence and performance because of their positions.  Anyone seen that happening?  I haven't, and would be surprised if any line JCO's has seen evidence of that either. 

So what's going on here?  Who's in charge?  Not Admin, who has their collective heads in the sand.  Not the supervisor JCO's or program managers or case workers -- they're never on the job enough to find out what's going on.  Not the 1-4 JCO's; we're left without clear mandates on what we can do, are given no real power or authority to manage negative behaviors, and are constantly thwarted by the Higher Up's attempts to bribe and placate and play paddycake with the kids into compliance... so... THAT'S why we've got the problem that the KIDS run the show and dictate policy around here.  Can I get an AMEN on that???!

All I want to do at work is not waste my time, or to fail the State of Texas' right to expect the kids are helped by my efforts during their stay here.  Just let me feel like what I'm doing is MEANINGFUL and WORTHWHILE and that my efforts will help result in safer neighborhoods, happier citizens, and less recidivism.  I don't need or want to be in any damn Clique' -- I just want to do the job I'm expected to do with the full and honest support of Admin, my supervisors, and fellow co-workers.  Is that TOO MUCH to ask for from someone who's NOT in The Clique'?  

Otherwise, I'm just coming in to do my time and get the paycheck, no more and no less.  The kids deserve more, though, and we all know it -- but why should I go out of my way for THEM if no one is willing to go out of their way to look after and listen to ME??