After fingering the crook of my arm for a minute or more, I said to the phlebotomist, "Don't see anything you like?"
"This one right here is a perennial favorite," I said, and she planted the bulbous head of the needle right there.
"That's it," she said finishing up, and as I headed for the door, added, "Oh, wait. We need a urine sample, too. You can step right in there. The cups are to the right, write your first and last name on it, and just put it right here on this corner when you come out."
Inside the "sample room" (a.k.a. "the restroom"), I had issues (let me put a look of surprise on your face) with three things:
- There was a Sharpie pen and a can of air freshener sitting on top of the container with the cups in it. After sighing, and moving the two items elsewhere, I pulled up on that lid long enough, and then hard enough, before admitting that it wasn't going to lift up, and only then did I gently pull out the top drawer just under the lid, which wasn't a lid at all.
- I took a cup and had started a "clean sample," when I looked for something to read—as men will do when doing the deed. The sign my averted eyes landed upon said, "Sample cups are in the 2nd and 3rd drawers of the cabinet." I immediately did a Kegel to stop the flow—as I had taken my cup from the 1st drawer. Through the translucent front of the drawers, I scanned them—all three full of cups—to see if the ones in the top drawer looked any different from those in the other two. They didn't. So I relaxed my pubococcygeus muscles—eking out the least amount of volume I have ever left for a sample.
- The third and fourth issues I had are technical communication-related issues: First of all, that sign needs to be updated if the same cups are in all three drawers. And secondly, the sign belongs on the same side of the room as the cabinet—preferably just above it on the wall behind it. The way it's currently set up is like seeing this in a product manual:
- Power on the machine.
- Push the red button on the back so as not to electrocute yourself when powering on the machine.
Since I was so close, I dropped by my IBM office for a while today. In the elevator, a guy said to me, "Shorts? It's cold outside."
I replied, "I'll be wearing them all winter. Yes, it is cold outside, and if I were going to be outside all day, I wouldn't be wearing shorts. But, it's always the same temperature in here." Nice big smile, so as not to appear as bitchy as the words I'm using intimate.
Both this incident, and the lab work tirade above, remind me of the card now hanging on my refrigerator, which I got at the Museum of Sydney, precisely because it's so apt:
Actually, mine looks like this and has the same words on it, but you can't read it in this size:
"Well, I'm originally from Fall River, Massachusetts," I said, just to suggest that I'd left my sash full of badges at home today.
"I'll be damned. New Bedford, here!" he exclaimed.
Now, most people have never heard of Fall River—perhaps only the most ardent of Lizzie Borden (or Elizabeth Montgomery) fans. And New Bedford? Well, only the most ardent of Jodie Foster fans might remember that sleepy little fishing town that was the setting for The Accused, based on a true story about a gang rape in a New Bedford bar.
We marveled at the coincidence of the proximity—Fall River and New Bedford are about 30 minutes apart—of our origins, bantered about some names of Portuguese food we both know and love, and I extended my hand.
"I'm John," I said.
"Ralph. Nice to meet you," he replied.
Since today was my day off, I mostly did "non-work" things at the office today. Well, I started on the arduous task of selecting my benefits for next year, and that, really, is work-related.
I left there at about 2:30, in plenty of time to beat the rush hour traffic.
Rhetoric of Science and Technology class was fun again tonight, and afterwards a few of us met over at Helios for various kinds of drinks. I, myself, had my usual Single Iced Skinny Caramella.
In attendance were: Sandy, Brian, Andrew J., Lindsay, and Rebecca. I really enjoyed our time together. We talked about all sorts of things—silly, intellectual, and sometimes catty. Meow!
Though I would never want to go through ENG 675 again myself, I envy them all being in it together next semester. Good people.
Dancing was okay tonight. The bar was pretty desolate. From about 10:00 on, these three people sat at the "divider bar," and got drunker and rowdier as time went on. By 11:00, one of the guys was screaming so loudly during dances that at times, it was hard to hear the music for the beat.
I high-tailed it out of there right after that.