I went in for a pre-employment drug screening. Yes, I said pre-employment (progress in 2010, baby!), and part of the deal is to pass a drug test. I’d had one once before when I started a new job many years ago, and it’s no sweat, but I just dislike peeing in a plastic cup. I don’t know if it’s a classified phobia, but I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only person averse to the possibility of getting urine on my hands. And then there’s the warmth of it. And do they have to make the cup clear?
For the test, I reported to a lab in midtown whose sole purpose appears to be drug tests. It’s basically a room full of bathrooms, and the sanitation standards could’ve given a port-a-potty a run for its money. Simply entering the waiting room caused me to reach for my hand sanitizer (the fact that there was no sanitizer in sight is something I’d rather not even think about), and looking around, I got the feeling that most of the other testees were not there of their own volition.
I walked into quite the scene, as lunch had just arrived. The patient queue was put on hold as the nurses (I’m pretty sure they were not actual nurses) divvied up the pizza bill, and heckled the delivery guy. “It’s 30 minutes or free, isn’t that right?,” to which the middle-aged immigrant Domino’s man (who was likely a doctor in his home country) meekly replied, “Yes.” But they didn’t hear him over their own cackling, so they ganged up on him, “Don’t lie to me, it’s 30 minutes or it’s free, I know it is!” When he spoke up, validating their delivery knowledge, they dropped their case (apparently it was something like 32 minutes), but they made sure to stick it to him by tipping him less than $2 for three pizzas. I hadn’t witnessed professionalism like this since I went in for a root canal and the endodontist had a fight with his nurse right in front of me as I was helplessly reclined and demoralized, blinded by the overhead lamp, my mouth unnaturally pried open, and wearing a bib. I wanted to run away, or say something, but I just sat there like a trout in the headlights, drooling.
So I waited a half an hour for the honor of peeing in a cup, and I’m happy to report that it went off without a hitch. Nary a misplaced drop, and the “nurse” was really nice to me (apparently, I delivered my sample in 30 minutes or less, so we were cool).