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 for Throwback Thursday!

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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  One thought on “WTF? #ThrowbackThursday

  1. November 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Too funny! Thanks for sharing. I go on my two month blog break beginning November… I guess it’s OK if comment on your post even though it’s dated Nov. 1 (it’s still the 31st here).

    Liked by 2 people

    • November 1, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Yes of course it’s OK Janis! I appreciate your visit and comment so close to your break. Enjoy yourself, we’ll miss you 🙂


    • November 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      I love how you stayed loyal to your commenting right until the final hour. Too bad I’m not posting until Saturday. 🙂 Enjoy your break!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. November 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    You’ve led a very interesting life, Deb. This is one of the many traits that makes you an outstanding blogger!

    Liked by 2 people

    • November 1, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      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. 💕


  3. November 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    That went well! Goodness, what a moment. Yes well I’ll think about that misheard memory, i must have some.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 1, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Geoff, it was one of the many fun moments I’ve had! I’m sure you have some stories to tell 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 1, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    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

    • November 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Thanks Carol, I’m sure you have many similar stories to tell of your time working in that area. Yes I can relate to having someone who has your back in these situations.


  5. November 1, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Wow! Had me worried for your safety for a second there! I surely can’t think of any mixed messages of that potential caliber. There was one, LOL was thought to equal lots of love… whoops! Cheers❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 1, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Yes that one has always been a bit confusing hasn’t it? Thanks for your concern for me, it was ages ago and just par for the course working in that environment 🙂 Great to have you visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. November 2, 2018 at 1:28 am

    When I worked in the county jail library I had an inmate get mad at me for giving him Black’s Law Dictionary. He thought the Black’s part was not a name, but a sign that they had segregated law dictionaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 2, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Oh that’s too good!! We certainly have our fair share of stories we could tell 😂 Thanks so much for sharing that anecdote.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. November 2, 2018 at 3:08 am

    A great anecdote, and what a fascinating life you’ve had! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. November 2, 2018 at 3:44 am

    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

    • November 2, 2018 at 11:14 am

      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!!


  9. November 2, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Think I would have assumed exactly the same as that guy. Like the way you diffused the situation too. Very calm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 2, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Jonno! Maybe at the time I wasn’t as calm as I think I was. It was definitely interesting anyway. I had e very rewarding career in that difficult environment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. November 3, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Have to say, I agree with your rather large, colourful friend, I would’ve thought the same as he did 😂 I bet you could write a book with the 20 years worth of memories from being ‘inside’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 3, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      Haha Sam!! I could write a book and maybe I should 😊


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