About the Book: Natalie Tosh is a probation officer who seems to get more than her fair share of odd cases. Paul Tosh (the author) is her husband, who has to listen to Natalie’s work stories over dinner. Paul is lucky. While most husbands have to hear about spiteful bickering and futile office politics, Paul is privy to a firsthand slice of life from the less-glamorized segment of American society. Now you are, too.
In this true account, we learn the story of a man who is no longer a free citizen because he could not resist the urge to “tweak his grandmother’s nose.” We watch the case unfold during Natalie’s normal daily routine, during which we also experience the frustrating ebb and flow of a unionized government work environment which breeds some of the greatest unpublicized leeches on taxpayer resources.
In a cleverly composed story that integrates real world events from the desk of a probation officer with little asides of personal thoughts on co-workers approaches, and the omnipresent rigidity of the rules that apply to the job, the author has managed to put a face to the little known and even less detailed day-to-day work of a probation officer.
With an eye to actually helping those who wish it, yet understanding the need to remain stringent with rules, the insight of a personal experience informing and encouraging the approach to what has to be a thankless and stressful job is a welcome respite from the initial reaction to hearing the word probation officer.
With a touch of humor, anger at bad behaviour and lack of work ethic from other officers, and a willingness to treat each case individually, those sentenced to probation would be fortunate to receive assignment to Mrs. Tosh.
A unique twist to the typical ‘true crime’ stories, and one that I hope will form a series to humanize and define the best of a system that is obviously overworked and understaffed.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
My wife is a probation officer. That means I have to listen to these stories after she comes home from work. I do my best, but it’s not always easy. Some of them are certainly better than others, but I have gotten in trouble for drifting off in the middle of her work stories a bit too often.
Lately, I have had the (brilliant?) idea to start writing some of them out as short stories. The result has been good for my domestic situation. Suddenly I am all ears, asking questions and rooting out additional details when she tells me about her day. She seems to be appreciative of my obvious increased interest. Sometimes I have to ask her to repeat certain parts, and she is only too happy to oblige. If she only knew why, I would probably be in even bigger trouble than I was when I wasn’t paying close enough attention.
All the names must be changed in these probation officer stories, including mine and the county/state that she works in. I can’t risk any problems in her career over my new pet project. She is, after all, the one getting us a pension.
As you have probably guessed, I am a terribly selfish person who is only capable of focusing on my own personal interests. But I’m working on that. I hope you found some kind of value in my story, be it educational, revealing, or purely entertaining. Heck, I’m just glad somebody read it. Thanks.