For those of you in the know on my wildly exciting life, the fact that I recently got a job is old news. For those of you just tuning in, guess what?
I recently got a job!
This means four things:
1: I have to get used to getting up in the morning again as I have been unemployed since May of 2008 and the earliest anyone outside my family has “needed” me since then was 6:30. At night.
2: Passing the Sniff-Test in the morning is no longer a suitable substitute for bathing.
3: Office politics are just around the corner, and large groups of women in largely un-windowed spaces make me nervous even without the addition of multi-line phones and water coolers, so I can only imagine what awaits me.
4: I need to prove my safety as an employee and my perceived integrity as a human being by emptying the contents of my bladder into a clear plastic cup featuring a Sharpie’d “fill-to” line.
I can’t imagine having to take a drug test and actually using drugs. It’s just– it’s an added stress I just. don’t. need. I can spell the names of most drugs, occasionally I’m familiar with some of their slang names, and I can tell you how different drugs are administered about eight times out of ten. But actually using them? Oh God no.
First off: My likely ineptness in all things illegal doubtless knows no bounds. Secondly: Even if I could use a drug without making a total fool of myself while doing so, there would still be the looming of the pee cup, its possibility of being wielded absolutely imminent in the event that my behavior became suspiciously erratic in the opinion of whoever I work for who holds the power of the cup.
Not that my reasons for not using drugs stem solely from fears of random, unannounced drug testing at my places of employment- though that’ll do. I just don’t need to compound my reasons for not doing drugs with the addition of seeing the end results of that fear actualized in a work context. And if looking like an idiot and giving myself possible reasons for dismissal in a time when jobs are harder to find than un-ironic promise rings at Bible colleges aren’t enough to stop me, then I deserve whatever I get for using them.
Anybody in grade school ever tell you to spell “I cup”?
On Friday of last week I visited an area medical center for the administration of a drug test. The nurse? (attendant? CNA? red-headed step-child?) who took my information and brought me back to the pee wing was just about the most miserable person I’ve come into contact with in at least the last four months. Wow. Never once made even partial eye contact. Spoke as few words as possible. Wouldn’t look up. Unwavering frown. A grunter. And she was pretty, probably mid-twenties, cute hair, EMPLOYED. So why the long effing face you grouchy beeyotch? Lighten up.
She rattles off the rules to me on all the things I can and cannot do in the testing bathroom during which time she will be pouting on a rolly desk chair just outside the door making sure I’m not taking too long. English degree? Useless. Barely understood a word of what Miss Meany Pants said. It was kind of like when you’re on a puddle jumper and the lead flight attendant is giving the “buckle up” speech for the 14th time that shift and isn’t really using words any more so much as familiar sentence inflection. I did, however, catch that I wasn’t to flush the toilet or to run any water in the sink. Yep. Pee in a cup and undoubtedly also on your hands and/or the outside of the cup which you must continue to handle. But don’t wash up! Just drip on down the hallway with a cup of warm urine in your hand and then wash after your pride and piss have had a chance to fully evaporate.
And the thing about peeing into this cup is that the toilet in the bathroom in question had exceptionally wide, um… Y’know how some toilet seats are like big, upside down “U”s? The “legs” of the U on this one were exceptionally wide, so the actual opening in the seat itself was quite narrow. For those of you of the “pee-standing-up” persuasion this should present no problems. Ready, aim, fire. For those of us seating ourselves on said narrow openings, however, finding additional space in this narrow plastic opening through which to insert a large plastic cup and a hand up to the wrist is difficult at best, carpal tunnel inducingly messy at worst.
I survived. You know how I do. Er– That may have been best left rephrased or unspoken…
My “proof of clean living” in hand I returned to Mlle Grinch who hovered over me like a mouthless male mayfly in heat while I signed her paperwork and wrote my initials on the sample tube into which my “donation” (their words) had been transferred. This is all awkward enough without your piss bitterness, chica. Sweeten up. I asked if she was always in this department. “Usually urgent care,” she grudged. Hm. ‘pparently my pee isn’t as exciting as what you’re used to. I’m over it.
Now I get to move on to the “did I eat some benign thing prior to the test which may have an unintentionally adverse affect on the results” post-test paranoia. I avoid consuming poppy and sesame seeds as a general rule since I don’t enjoy the taste or texture of either, but I remain unconvinced that there isn’t some way my body could metabolize things like bread or milk in such a way that I appeared not only to be a chronic drug user but also a puppy eater and a threat to national security. The possibility that they could also announce having discovered the presence of some latent cancer or an immaculate conception via the results of my test has not gone unhypothesized either.
Seriously, my droogs: If the position itself is only half as stress inducing as the pre-employment drug screening, this job is gonna be a piece of cake. *Special* cake.