Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Drug Test

Ok, I am going to give a little disclaimer for this next entry. It’s bathroom humor. Usually not my forte, but still, it’s honest and amusing. But if you are squeamish, skip this one. So, my first week onboard I had to take a drug test. It’s required of all employees. First one’s announced, all others are random. But they warned us, with two days notice and said, if you can’t take it, you can’t work. No problem. I am a drug-free girl as long as prednisone isn’t on the restricted list. I came onboard with a mild back injury that required an MRI right before I left. And the doctor says, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to cancel your trip.” Like I’m going for a little respite or something. It’s a job. Cancelling is not an option. But getting back to the drug test. So they warn us, “You have your drug test tomorrow. Show up with a full bladder.” Now saying that to a group of nervous people who are not scheduled for a drug test until 10 am is like turning on a faucet and saying don’t think about pink elephants….whatever, you get the picture. So the next morning rolls around and I’m thinking, no problem. I drank lots of water the night before, I’m dying but ready and besides, I’ve done drug tests before. It isn’t that big a deal. So I show up, full of water and rarin’ to go, so to speak, and the nurse, who is very pleasant but a bit harried, says, “alright have a seat and I’ll be right with you.”

So I sit down next to the other squirming newbies, eyes watering from the effort of the wait, fear pressing upon my little tinkler like a vice. I don’t know why I’m so nervous. Oh, yes I do, I couldn’t wait this morning so I’m running on half full. Still, how much do they really need?

The nurse finally returns with a bucket and says to the person before me, fill this to the line but don’t over fill it.
“Good lord,” I think, “what are they doing, watering a field? Experimenting with a clarifying process for a foreign country?” Don’t panic, you’re fine. Actually panic a little, it will help with the urgency. So I get up and the nurse queries, “Did you hear the instructions?” Ten four. Let’s DO THIS!!

So I go in the restroom, passing several panicked-looking females who appear to be having performance issues. Not something we are usually prone to so we are all ill-prepared. I go in my little room, and fill just to the line but no more, and say goodbye to the remnants. At last, relief. And now I wait.

Nothing happens.

I continue to wait.


Oh no, what have I done?

I go to the nurse and say I think I did something wrong. She looks at my efforts and says, yes this one has expired. The big problem is that if you can’t complete a known drug test, you must be reported to the captain but she sees that I misunderstood the directions. Apparently you were supposed to fill the bucket until it overflowed to the line. I just eyeballed the line. Yikes!!!

She informs me that since it is clear that I errored in earnest, I can take the test again. “Can you go now?’’ No way. I am spent, as it were.

So I have fifteen minutes to refuel and retest. Off to the mess I go and drink water until I am ready to burst like the day after thanksgiving, I return just in time and complete my exam, the results of which are evident before I even exit the restroom, to the amazement of the nurse. Ha! Next stop. Four torturous hours in HR where I have to ask for a break every fifteen minutes or so. Yes, I lead a charmed life.