WTF? #ThrowbackThursday


A memory flashed into my mind.

A big, heavy set, intimidating looking prisoner towering over me as I sat at my desk, with HATE and F*CK tattooed across his knuckles, a hard look in his eyes. 

And yet he had a vulnerable look on his face at the same time.

I was alone with him in my office, explaining his upcoming classes in Education in our minimum security correctional centre (prison/jail/gaol).

I wrote WTF on a post it note, as a reminder for him, and he suddenly became quite irate.

What are you saying Miss? he said belligerently.

And all the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

I calmly replied (hiding my growing concern) – you have classes on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – is there a problem with that?

Oh, ah, no, he blustered – that’s fine, I thought you were saying something else.

And he visibly deflated, just like a balloon, and all tension left the room.

He walked away quite happy with the news of his classes, clutching his post it note in his big tattooed hands.

It wasn’t until minutes later that it clicked – we had very different meanings of the term WTF in our individual vocabularies!!!

And I laughed!

WTF? Memories of life teaching in a prison
Photo by Pixabay on

These days I don’t often think of my previous life as an educator in a correctional centre, a career that spanned over 20 years, but for some reason this story came to me this morning.

It just goes to show that Education comes in all forms, this is just one example of many stories I have from my time ‘inside’. 

We both learnt something from this discussion!

It’s a story that always brings a smile to my face so I thought I’d share it with you.

I’m also reminded of The Day I met a Murderer on the Bus story – so many memories!

Any thoughts? 

Have you any examples of similar mixed messages or confusing acronyms??

You can always leave a comment below. I enjoy hearing from you and respond to all your comments 🙂

Deb xx

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Midlife, Travel and Adventure - that's my life

23 Replies to “WTF? #ThrowbackThursday”

    1. Thanks Donna! That’s one way of looking at it 😂 I’ve had a very interesting life so far and I do seem to attract an adventure wherever I go!! I just know we all have a story to tell and I enjoy sharing mine!! Thank you for the compliment, I am honestly touched by your kind words. 💕


  1. I can relate to that, Debs as I worked on a social security desk for crisis loans and in a heartbeat, the situation could change but once you gain a trust you will always have someone who has your back and I am sure you found that as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, that was hilarious! I don’t think I would have stayed as composed as you in that situation! I think your calm explanation of your meaning of WTF could be used as an example to all of how to reduce tensions of misinterpreted communication! Well done!
    Dave (Hubby)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave, lovely to hear from you! I thought it was funny too 😂 but at the time it was a bit tense. Working in that environment called on all my skills as a communicator. Luckily I came out of it in one piece!!


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