Keeping a Close Eye

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Yesterday, a project manager and I met with a Superior Court judge for Thurston County. The Flex Unit, formerly only a jail expansion project for several types of high-risk inmates, now has the funds to include a possible courtroom at the site. This means the courts, both District and Superior, have input on the design. We met with this judge to get feedback.

The judge looked to be in her 50s. She had short blonde hair, wearing a sheath dress and cardigan plus heels. Perhaps this constituted judicial summer wear when you have a robe over all your gear, methinks. Her expansive office displayed several certificates from colleges and organizations, plus photos of her children.

We shook hands.

“Hi, ” she said with a smile. “I’ve seen your name all over the place. It’s good to put a name with a face. I recognize your face. Have we met before?”


“No,” I replied. “I haven’t been here very long.”

Then my thoughts took off. She’s seen my name? What? I don’t have a criminal record. Right?! It was a bit off-putting.

Leaving for work this morning, I pulled out of our side street and attempted to turn onto the main road. A backhoe blocked the end of the street. I idled in the car for a few minutes, debating what to do. I didn’t want to honk my horn. Besides, it wouldn’t be heard. A diesel truck, lights on, sat warming up noisily just past the backhoe. I got out of my car. I walked down the hill, looking for any of the crew.

I found 2 guys, one the foreman and another worker, fastening straps on the back of the diesel truck.

The foreman looked up.

“Oh, bleep!”

He ran to the backhoe to scoot it over. I laughed and turned back to my car.

“Sorry!” he called as he jumped into the seat.

“No worries,” I called as I hiked back to Pepper-car.

I pulled on to the street. I had to smile. We have 3 major construction projects, at least, going on in downtown Shelton. These guys work hard. Our road project, both cosmetic and infrastructure, is under heavy scrutiny. It’s mostly grant funded. The public will want to see the money used wisely and the work finished on time.

Maybe we’re all under scrutiny, all the time. We just don’t know it.