To be clear, I'm not going to fail a drug test. But I get that today's world makes a drug test one of those things that just has to happen. Thus, I trudged into the pee-test office Friday morning, and the following exchange occurred, complete with my internal dialogue.
Kp: Good morning!Cue me sitting in there for at least five minutes, because even though I really, truly drank a whole pot of coffee before heading over there, and really, truly had to go, I REALLY, truly do have pee-shyness and it took me that long to convince my mind that the PTCO wasn't really just sitting on the other side of the door with a cup to her ear, waiting to rush in and cold-clock me at the slightest hint that I might have thought about flushing the toilet.
Pee-Test Collector Official: Are you ready to urinate?
Kp: [oh, okay, HI to you too.] Yup, drank a whole pot of coffee before comin' in, haha.
PTCO: Hands out of your pockets. Put your purse in that box over there and LOCK it. Take the key with you. You may not have anything on your person but that key for the collection.
Kp: [apparently she's heard the pot of coffee joke before.] Oh, sorry about the pockets.
PTCO: Wash your hands. Throughly. You must use soap. Two pumps. I'll be watching.
Kp: [what am I, five? who doesn't use soap when they wash their hands? jeeze.] Okay.
PTCO: In there. (points to bathroom so firmly she almost picks my nose with her pointing finger, as I am between her and the pee-test bathroom.) Fill this cup just to THIS LINE (indicates line about a millimeter up the side). I don't need more. No need to show off.
Kp: Just to there? I don't really think it's about showing off so much as it's I made sure I would really have to go. Ha Ha. [who shows off by being all "haha! lookit how much pee my body is capable of producing! aren't you jealous?"]
PTCO: Just to the line. (after I have gone in the bathroom shut the door, and have seated myself) DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET. DON'T FLUSH. YOU CANNOT FLUSH THE TOILET.
Kp: [oh god she's like RIGHT outside the door. this is not good for my pee-shyness.] Uh, yeah okay, no worries, I won't flush.
(this toes the line of my sense of cartooning decency. going for the extra laugh today.)
PTOC: This is more than I need.
Kp: Ha. Yeah. Sorry, I had to go. [I have never felt so guilty about peeing. Please don't hit me with a rolled up newspaper.]
PTOC: You could have moved the cup.
Kp: Uh, yeah. Again sorry.
PTOC: (pouring half the... ahem... "sample" into a new cup with a lid, putting a sticker over the cups seal, and handing me a pen) Sign this sticker.
Kp: Yeah, sure. Is this some sort of unspoken contract I'm signing my life away on?
PTOC: (looking at me as if I had just asked the single stupidest question ever asked. Which is similar to the look she might have given me if my head had just morphed from a human face into that of a goose) Of course. It's your certification that this sample was sealed under your watch and that I didn't tamper with it.
Kp: [sorry I asked a question. cripes.] (and yet, unable to help myself) Ah, but how do I know you didn't put something in that second sample container while I was in the restroom? [though I had said this with a smile in my voice and on my face, I knew it was wrong as it came out of my mouth.] I mean, hypothetically speaking. I'm sure you didn't.
PTOC: If you have a complaint about the procedure I follow, you will have to take that up with my supervisor. You signed the sticker. Do you want to submit this sample or not?
Kp: [I feel like I'm supposed to salute you or go sit in the corner with my tail between my legs. If I had a tail.] Yeah, yeah, sorry, it was just a joke.
PTOC: Okay. Then get your purse. You're done. Have a nice day. (Spoken as if she is Ben Stein's long-lost daughter, with the same "God, you're stupid, goose-face" look referenced above.)
Keep in mind I was standing in the middle of their office, and as Miss Monotone-take-no-prisoners, RN hadn't given me any kind of clues, I was really kind of offended that she assumed I was just supposed to infer my cue to exit, stage left. But then, let's be honest - I was kind of offended with our whole exchange. I get professionalism, but is it so horrible for me to speak to her and be spoken to in a conversational exchange that acknowledges some mutual level of respect for each other?
Maybe she just assumes everyone that goes through her office is court-ordered, tweaked out, and trying to trip up her game. I don't know, I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt. But I also know I kind of felt like I would have liked to flip her the bird as I left. Which I might have done. Once I got to the parking lot.
Or maybe it's just me. I seem to have a poor history with medical professionals (she was wearing scrubs so I'll count her too), in that I try to make myself feel less awkward by cracking a joke. Jokes which never seem to do anything but make the situation more awkward for me. And yet I can't stop. Other great examples:
- Got a shot at a clinic in college. I was in the middle of making a joke about how I don't like needles and tend to pass out when I get stuck... and then I woke up on a cot. Maybe it wasn't the joke that time which was awkward so much as it was my voice getting progressively slower and drawn out (link NSFW) as I fainted and hit the floor.
- I took a pee-test so I could be a cashier at Wal-Mart (this was long ago). The PTOC at the time asked me if I was on any medications that I would like to self-report before the analysis. I responded "no, except maybe that weed I snorted this morning." (it should be fairly telling that I thought you snort marijuana up your nose.) She actually told me to go have a seat and think about the seriousness of the situation so I could answer honestly.
- My first appointment with a lady doctor, way back in the day. The nurse who takes all your information beforehand asked me these questions, in this order:
1. Are you, or have you been, sexually active?
to which I responded - No.
2. Are you pregnant?
to which I responded (after a brief pause because had she seriously just asked me if I'm pregnant after I said I've still got a V-card?)- Not unless I'm the second coming of the Virgin Mary, in which case, you know, second coming of Christ and all. The end is nigh!
I don't remember her exact response, but I can tell you it involved a stern lecture about not joking around and would I please just answer the question seriously for my medical history. Whoops.
Are you a medical professional or do you know one?
Is it required in practicing your craft that you shoot down jokes?
Do medical professionals just not have a sense of humor?
Do you have an awkward doctor or nurse interaction?
Is there a more acceptable way to make myself feel less awkward about someone handling a cup of my pee, or poking me with a big scary needle, or looking at my lady bits, without feeling like I have a goose face?
Please tell me in the comments - It would appear I need to know.