Monday, December 17, 2012

I just wrote a whole post about pee. There is less bathroom humor than I could have guessed.

Hug your little ones on my behalf, friends. I haven't got anything more to say about Friday and what happened.  Which is not because I haven't got thoughts or opinions, but more because I am overwhelmed with the analysis already out there.  I am sure there are those of you who, like me, need a break from the horror of it.  So that's the plan for today.


Here's the thing y'all - I done went and got me a job.  I haven't decided quite yet how much more I'm going to share about it here, but for right now, that's all the context you need.  So.  Job.  Hired on one condition:  I must pass a drug pee-test.

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!
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.
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.  

(this toes the line of my sense of cartooning decency.  going for the extra laugh today.)

And then when I finally got myself to go, well, ladies you know.  It's not like I can see the cup while I'm peeing into it, and I had to GO, so of course I go over the prescribed line, and now because she's been so gruff I'm finding myself nervous that I'm going to fail the test just because I couldn't follow instructions.  I briefly debate pouring some of it into the toilet, but reason that I might mess that up and accidentally pour the whole thing in the toilet and then I'm doubly screwed.  So I decide to be defiant and present her with a giant sample of pee.  Awesome.  Of course, she noticed.
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.


Jamie said...

I think I've had better luck that you have... I haven't had to take a pee test in ages, so I can't remember the awkwardness, but my lady doctor is really funny. She complimented my belly tattoo - which was in full view, since, you know. And we talked about how if I ever have kids it will get really jacked up. Then she asked how my birth control was working, I said that my boyfriend lives 2000 miles away so I haven't really put it through its paces, so to speak. She seemed to think that was funny. She said "fair enough - but its ok for you then?"

But to the original point, I think working at a drug testing place is like working at the DMV. You interact with miserable people who don't want to be there all day long, so eventually you just don't give a crap about the chipper chick who wants to make funny conversation - and yes, I'm that person sometimes too.

Danielle said...

In the military, they actually had to watch us physically urinate into the cup. I once had a friend that had to watch me...our friendship reached a new level that day.

When I was pregnant with my twins, I couldn't even get my hand down there, the nurse had to offer to hold my cup for me. Worst day ever. But at the hospital, they gave me a bowl that went into the toilet that I could pee into. Made it much easier.

Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

I ALWAYS crack jokes when I am at the doctors, and no one has ever told me off for it. However, I have this sort of, I dunno, deadpan flat delivery. The kind of joke where it usually takes poeple a moment to laugh becasue they weren't listening too closely to what I was saying.

So, yeah. But I also don't stop making jokes even when nobody laughs becasue that is how I am wired. Awkward, that is.

Rikki said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a rather rude and somewhat insulting pee test experience. I had to do one for the new job and it was AWFUL.

Kp said...

Well I'm glad I'm not alone! Good points all around ladies. I don't think the jokes will ever stop - perhaps one day a pee test collector will appreciate my awkward comedic genius.

Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous said...

Huh, I have to say no one, besides my doctor for medical reasons, has ever asked me to give them a cup of my pee. I guess the job market here is a bit different!