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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #15

Updated: Jan 15

RDAP has been shut down for the week. We had a spot raid by some of the guards and well some contraband was found in the common areas (weed, phones, and beer). Common areas are like the bathroom or hallway. People get upset about this because it’s hard to blame anyone specific the whole unit gets blamed. It’s a bummer. We basically just sit around and study or play cards.... We can’t leave our living quarters. We will have a town hall meeting (just the inmates) at the end of the week and see what we need to correct and work on.

Craziest thing I have seen/heard. All the calls/emails are monitored in RDAP. You can be called out in RDAP for talking to those closest to you and telling them or not telling them things. TRUE STORY....a former RDAPer was called into team (team is a disciplinary hearing with the RDAP group) because he had a girlfriend and was lying to his wife about it. Honesty is one of the main attitudes followed in RDAP. He was given the choice to tell his wife about the girlfriend or being faced with the possibility of being kicked out of RDAP and losing time off. Luckily, I will have plenty of hours since I pre-RDAPed for over 2 months.

DAD COMMENT: Note the sin appears to be lying about the affair not having the affair. I sure am getting old. And the dudes in prison.

New Year’s Lunch and Dinner. We had steaks, potatoes, mac & cheese, & pie for New Year’s Day. Pretty cool. Being part of the kitchen staff also meant preparing it....400 Plus steaks.... Wow....that was a lot. I had to serve over 400 helpings of MAC & Cheese (carpal tunnel here we come...I was wondering why nobody wanted to do it). We also had to make 400 plus sack lunches for dinner (whenever we have a big meal there isn’t time to get the kitchen we get bag lunches...chips & peanut butter sandwiches...NO JELLY...Just peanut butter).

It is kind of an intense time here at Leavenworth. The guard who runs facilities for the LPC committed suicide. That’s the 2nd guard who took his own life in as many months. Very sad, he was well liked (I’m told).

Part of RDAP is writing and presenting several PGI's (Progress Group Interventions) every 2 months as part of your programing (I have 4 total). I have given two speeches/presentations. The first one was one was on identifying "areas of my life impacted by drug use and other addictive behaviors." The second was identifying "potential criminal lifestyle behaviors," (things that can get you into trouble). My third one I just finished was examining "how I leaned on drugs to get through my work/life." In other words, how I used work/life as an excuse to use drugs. The speeches/presentations get a bit dry, so I like to tell stories to illustrate my point (and not to be boring). I wanted to share a TRUE story I told which I think illustrates my mind set and choices.

When I oversaw the Las Vegas plant (real estate portion) for CBS Outdoor I flew out to Vegas a few times a quarter. I was sent to LV to work on a big deal at the airport. One company property owner had several signs on its property that represented a large portion of the LV inventory (this is property owner does not usually have this many signs). Airport signage in LV are big money makers. The president of the company that owned the property was threatening to take these signs to another company. He also was a very unpleasant person. Prior to leaving for LV I was told that if this deal did not go through we would need to consider closing the LV plant and moving it to LA. This was a big deal to would mean closing an office and having to eliminate several positions in LV (people I liked and cared about). This was a lot of pressure. More pressure than I liked to handle. So, I would take pain pills to help with the stress. It’s hard to explain since most of you probably don’t get this feeling from opiates...but for me it helped make stressful situations easier to handle. It took the edge off.

I spent a week negotiating this deal with a very shady businessman. At the end of the week when I thought we had come to a deal I received a call at the was the president of the company that owned the property (ironically, he was a criminal who had spent time in jail...embezzlement or something...I remember thinking how is he the president of the company with so many impressive properties. He indicated that the vote to renew the contract was at stalemate 2/2 vote and he was the deciding vote. He wanted a 50K bribe to sway his vote. Now although this is shady it’s not really that unheard of in the outdoor industry...more common than you would think. Corporate America is full of stories like this. People don’t realize this...corporate America is as shady as it gets. Now I had never been denied a request like this...for the first time I was. My bosses in real estate denied it (all this occurred before Steinbacher was head of real estate).

Knowing that the sales (our sales dept was the TOP BOSSES) department would dread losing these units I secretly leaked it to sales...all we needed was 50K (after all I didn’t want the LV office to close). Sales was furious that real estate had denied the request and they immediately approved it. The deal got signed and the LV office was good for the time being. Good for sales...Yes. WAS IT GOOD FOR ME? No. My bosses in real estate knew I leaked the information and looking back I think that was the beginning of the end for the very long leash I was granted in Real Estate (up until then I was allowed to come and go as I wanted, and my work was not questioned). After all I had been the top real estate salesman for them in the United States. I later learned that they were already considering absorbing the LV office into the West Coast they weren’t really concerned about the deal being saved.

After we closed the deal, I stayed in Vegas and celebrated. I partied with our Vegas team doing cocaine and drinking for several nights. This was part of a routine with me. I would take pills to avoid stress then I would take cocaine to party. At the time I thought this was a big win helping save the LV office. I deserved to cut loose. I always justified my actions.

I then flew home to LA and picked up my car up at the airport. I was completely exhausted. At the time I drove a brand-new Mercedes ES500. Driving a nice car was part of the image. I noticed the check engine light in my car was on.... I thought to myself I should take the car in before going home and crashing. I drove to the dealership and dropped my car off. I was given a brand-new Mercedes loaner car and proceeded to drive home. Four houses before my home I fell asleep at the wheel and drove into oncoming traffic. I ran straight into an SUV (poor guy). When the cops came, they refused to believe I wasn’t drunk (which I wasn’t). I was able to talk my way out of the situation by name dropping and leaning on some influential friends. The cops chalked it up to being tired and nothing further happened (other than my car insurance continuing to go up). I seemed to manage to get out of a lot of these situations. That eventually stopped, which is another story.

I feel like this story is a good microcosm of how I lived for a time. It’s embarrassing telling you all this.... some of you know this event (probably not all of it) ...but I promised to be truthful so that’s all of it. This is the stuff I talk about every day in RDAP. It is hard and super embarrassing. But I must hope it helps. As open as I am with most of you, I don’t think I really spoke about these things.

My assignment in RDAP was to discuss how I deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. I used drugs so I didn’t have to feel (or feel less). I dig into these past situations to make different choices in the future.

Miss everyone. Until next week.

Scott on his favorite horse (OLD PAINT). He tried to buy this horse with his entire saving account. Luckily we talked him out of it.

Weekly newsletter. week 15
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