Prison Gifts Employees A Mental Health Survival Kit Instead Of Raises


Overworked employees at a short-staffed prison expected their boss to give them a much-needed raise after a year of working in brutal conditions.

What they were given instead felt like a slap in the face after all of their hard work, especially after often working up to 12 hours overtime.

The prison employees were given candy and a ‘mental health awareness’ card with jokes after asking for a raise.

One of the frustrated prison employees took to the subreddit r/WorkReform to share a photo of the insulting gifts.

“I work at a prison that is terribly short-staffed,” the employee wrote. “12-hour overtime shifts are mandated, and we’ve just been informed that we won’t be getting a yearly raise for cost of living/inflation.”

Reddit mental health survival kit post Reddit

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However, the employees were given candies, Band-Aids, and a note card consisting of jokes about mental health, given that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. 

The employees were gifted a mint (“to keep you afloat”), a Lifesaver candy (“to keep you afloat”), a Band-Aid (“to heal hurt feelings”), a Starburst (“for a burst of energy”), a squishy toy (“to squeeze out the stress”), a Snickers (“to remind you to laugh”), and a rubber band (“to stretch yourself”). 

Unfortunately, none of these sweet treats will help the employees make their monthly rent.

Others were astounded by the prison’s belittling ‘gifts’ instead of giving their employees deserved raises.

“They couldn’t even spring for a ‘fun-size’ Snickers or a real rubber band, damn,” one user noted.

“The ‘band-aid to heal hurt feelings’ seems very pointed,” another user wrote.

prison guard standing with arms crossed DAPA Images /Canva Pro

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Others encouraged the employee to find a new job, hopefully one that would give them the wages they deserved.

“Quit. Go work at a burger place or something to make ends meet while you find something better. Give them back the Band-Aid for any ‘hurt feelings,’” one user commented.

“Why don’t you all just quit? Leave the prison fully unstaffed. They can’t force you to come in,” another wrote.

The average cost of living in the United States is around $61,334 a year in expenses. Roughly $1,784 a month goes toward housing-related costs.

A few pieces of candy, a Band-Aid, and a rubber band will not help any of the employees cover their living expenses, and contrary to the note card, will not do anything to improve their mental health, given that they are likely burnt out from working overtime. 

employee, tired – Yuri A / Shutterstock

Taking on additional responsibilities or tasks beyond regular working hours can lead to higher stress levels and decreased work-life balance. 

A raise acknowledges this increased workload and compensates employees fairly for their efforts.

Giving employees a raise will also help the prison overall, given that they are short-staffed. Offering a raise to hardworking employees boosts morale, increases job satisfaction, and fosters a positive work environment, ultimately keeping more workers around.

Prison employees already have enough to deal with on a daily basis at their jobs, including security and supervision of inmates, visitor management, facility maintenance, and training.

If the prison in question is going to require them to take on additional responsibilities, they can at least pay them a wage high enough to make a living.

It would greatly improve their mental health more than a Snickers bar and a squishy toy!

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships. 


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