Piper has been taken away from her normal yuppie lifestyle and thrown into prison on the basis of a 10 year-old drug charge. What can we learn from this? The decisions we make now can affect our future. Things may just come back to haunt you. When she accidentally badmouths the food to the prison cook she winds up paying the price by being starved out! Remain professional at all times, take care with what you say and who you say it in front of, or you may just end up with a tampon sandwich for lunch! Finding colleagues who you can trust and confide in is of the utmost importance too. Prison-life is not the norm for middle-class educated women. But it’s surprising what you can manage when pushed outside of your comfort zone. You will survive. Successful people know that every person in this world has something to contribute. Most of all, make your time count. Learn new skills and take up new hobbies because you never know when they might come in handy.
Alex learns the hard way that the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. When she meets her father for the first time, she is let down by his trashy, borderline pervy demeanour. At work, you should learn to accept change which is an inevitable fact of life. Roll with the punches in order to have a happy work life. Setbacks provide a learning opportunity and can give you strength of character. As far as getting Piper back on side, Alex tries and tries again. Persistence is key to success. When Piper finds out that Alex lied to her and was indeed the one who mentioned her name in court, thus contributing to her being put in prison, their relationship becomes turbulent. This proves that honesty is always the best policy. Having an open and honest relationship with your co-workers is the only way to encourage team-work and maintain a harmonious workplace.
We find out that the reason why Red was placed in prison was because of the knock-on effects of a confrontation with a ‘friend’, during which she popped the woman in question’s breast implant in a fit of rage. The solution here is to never let your temper get the better of you. Deal with problems and confrontations at work with a clear head so that you don’t risk your own position. It may be fair to say that Red is considered ‘Top Dog’ at the prison. She owns the respect of inmates and prison guards alike, all groups, all ages. We come to see that despite her tough exterior, she has gained the respect of the younger inmates by helping them on the road to recovery. Support others at work and you will reap the rewards. You never know when you might need the collaboration of others in order to achieve a deadline or strengthen your proposals and ideas for example.
Taystee seems to have a boundless amount of energy, a fun sense of humour and she just radiates joy. For this reason, she was voted onto the ‘Women’s Advisory Council’. This just goes to show that you are more likely to get places by letting your personality shine through than by backstabbing and underhand tactics. She also represents a rather unfortunate aspect of modern society. Despite her hard work and huge development within the prison library, she ends up right back where she started, in prison, after briefly being released. She’s well aware of the reason why too – a lack of formal qualifications. At all times, a person’s merits should be considered on their personal development and skills as well as the grades that they have achieved. Going back to school just as a formality is possible for most too, though it may require more effort.
Well, what can we say about Crazy Eyes? It can’t be denied that despite all of her idiosyncrasies she somehow remains a very humorous and likeable character. The lesson to be learnt here is not to judge others. Sometimes people are just misunderstood and this doesn’t give anyone the excuse to put them down. Plus they may be concealing some hidden talents – think Suzanne’s Shakespearian acting skills.
You’re thinking, What? We’re supposed to take career lessons from women in prison?
Anyone who has watched this incredible show will know is that it sets out to prove the fact that a lot of the women in these circumstances remain good, strong women. And if that doesn’t convince you, then what better way to learn than through your own mistakes or those of others?..