This institutional life.
I am in an institution. I am sane, well on the average. The people around me seem generally normal but I can't shake the fact that I am in an institution, in this case Cameco's Rabbit Lake mine.
As a mine it has a mix of dangers and red tape. One of the first things I noticed is that almost no one walks any where and there is almost nowhere you can walk. This is a producing mine, an environment I have not worked in before, it also a Uranium mine. Add wolves and bears in the endless wilds around us, a no walking alone policy makes sense. This is not what I am here to say. I do not want to degrees into whining about the things I miss in Vancouver. The first draft of this when there and that paragraph died.
No I am here to try to describe, the character, as seen by a outsider of an institution. I have worked in exploration camps, 20 odd people or less. This camp is larger, but it has one thing overwhelmingly in common. These places are here to get work out of people. Every thing is rules. And that is how I think of an institution, a place with internal rules above and beyond the ones of society, hence no walking.
Out in the world, where people live, not just work and go into bed or the gym for maintenance, there are rules. Societies grow around rules, some rules die a well deserved death other new ones come into play and some stay the same for ages. As a law and generally rule following citizen, I follow the rules that keep me out of trouble and follow my own for there reasons or lack of. What separates institutions out here form the world out there seems to be extra rules.
No walking alone is a good example. Out here, that rule makes sense wolves and bears, haul trucks ( 500 tone), and Uranium all make going for a stroll a poor idea. I know I want to but rules, that and the fear of walking into a hot zone. Other rules, no drugs or alcohol, your here to work, and work safely. We the company want to get our 12 hours out of you and you will damn well play some other time. Also everything happens at a set time. On the other hand things are free. You can eat your fill, get your sweet tooth filled and come back for more later.
Other odd rules include no touques or hats of hoods in the dinning hall.
Signs, clutter the walls in places like this. I don't know what the lowest common denominator is but there is an assumption about it being fairly low, if the toilets have pleas flush after use signs.