before you sign on the employee line...
A couple weeks ago I experienced two in the same morning.
What led up to them is having to take a “drug test” as a pre-employment requirement. Many years have passed since I’ve had a job interview and none of those required that I have blood drawn or that I empty my bladder into a plastic measuring cup. My, my, how times have changed. But if I wanted to be considered for this particular part-time job this is a step I had to take.
When my prospective employer handed me the paperwork that I would give to the lab personnel she said,
“If you don’t get the test done within 24 hours you’ll have to come back for another one of these with the new date on it.”
Being new to this procedure as well as curious I ask why.
“So you don’t have time to use whatever you can to flush out what you don’t want showing up on the test.”
“What about vodka?” I ask. “Risky?”
“No.” She laughed. “We’re not testing you for alcohol use.”
Even so, my adult beverage intake the evening before my test was moderate++.
“There’s somebody laying on the ground out there.”
He states this as calmly as you'd say, “the mailman dropped off this package for you,” or “my shoe is untied.”
The check-in area is located in the Emergency Department so the news about someone in distress outside the facility doesn’t have to travel far. Within seconds, hospital personnel are hurrying to the person’s aid and without thinking, I’m following them. Sure enough, there’s a woman lying on the pavement at the curbside entrance to the ED. Concerned workers kneel to assess her situation, ask questions which thankfully she can respond to. They settle her into a wheelchair and swiftly move her inside.
“I don’t know what happened,” the woman is saying as they wheel her past me. She's cradling the back of her head with one hand. I placed her in her late 60s, early 70s. “One second I was standing, and then I wasn’t.”
Eileen looks as puzzled as I felt. Had the woman been coming in for an appointment and fell? Was just passing by, didn't feel well and stopped in to get checked out? Since she'd been alone, either of those made sense.
"Where's my wife?"
A heavyset man storms over to the check-in desk. Cheeks the color of red plums, wisps of gray hair sticking up like an over-used bottle brush. His checked button down shirt is a size too small to adequately cover an abdomen that's heaving with his heavy breaths. It takes maximum effort for him to continue.
"I dropped her off at the curb and parked the car. She already back there?"
A most excellent decision, I'd say.
-Don't wash your hands after
-Don't fill the cup with less than 30 ml
Ookkaayy. Fun times.
I follow the rules and hand over the "specimen", a mildly humiliating step to getting this process over with. I say mildly because watching the technician pour my donation into three separate vessels is more so. I have to witness what she's doing, she explains. And I have to initial and date each vessel.
"You wouldn't believe how many times we get accused of tampering with a sample when it tests positive for a substance," she explains. "You signing these means you witnessed it. No going back."