Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Urine a Top Secret Bathroom

I’m trying to come up with something funny to say about peeing in a cup. Aside from the fact that peeing in a cup is just funny all by itself. Then there’s the whole Uncomfortable Level of Intimacy with Total Strangers thing. I sense a blog post coming on.

So there you are, scheduled to pee into a cup, sitting in the waiting room…waiting. Longer than you really want to because you haven’t peed in preparation for this test so your bladder is screaming at you while you wait. (The flip side of this coin is knowing you have to pee in a cup and not being able to. That’s torture, too.) You’re trying to sit there, all calm, cool, and collected – projecting the appropriate level of professionalism even while waiting to pee in said cup.

At some point, someone moves you a little further down the hall. You think, “I’m getting closer,” and, hopeful, continue to sit…and wait. You tamp down your suffering and sit quietly.

Soon, someone hands you a piece of paper which you are instructed to read and which contains top secret information regarding how the sample collection process will take place. Top Secret. I can say nothing further.

When you are finally called back, a nice lady leads you to a giant galvanized steel box with an enormous pad lock. She opens the box and, after requesting to view your photo identification card, she instructs you to place your purse in the box. Do you have anything in your pockets? Um…nope. (Good grief – you know this is about me. I’m changing person now. Please keep up.) I usually only use my pockets for my hands and as a display of ease in any given situation. I demonstrate, and they are impressed with my innate ability to look casually at ease. I confirm that I am not carrying anything that could possibly be used to tamper with the sample I am about to provide for them, and place my purse in the steel box. Nice lady locks the box, hands me the key. Now you have something for your pocket besides your hand.

She takes me back and goes through the Top Secret procedure, explaining what each thing is during the course of the entire process. She must do this, and further, she requires me to keep an eye on my own specimen so as to ensure that it is not tampered with.

Then she hands me a cup. Not a cannot-see-through-it cup. A clear, plastic, totally-can-see-everything-inside sample cup. No cover. No labels. She leads me to a secure door. It baffles me that she has to swipe her badge to gain access a bathroom, but I just go with it. I’m cool, remember? She instructs me to fill the cup to here and not to flush, then to bring the sample back to her. I have four minutes to complete this process. The hardest part of this whole process, besides suffering the full bladder, was the excruciating effort it took to restrain myself from automatically flushing the toilet. There was a piece of paper over the handle which reminded me, but walking away was torture.

When I’m through (details omitted to protect the innocent) I open the door and begin The Walk down the hallway, past other waiting victims, with my clear, plastic, now-pee-filled cup. I cannot have any shame.

Once I return, she verifies an acceptable temperature of my specimen and continues to walk through the process both physically (labeling and capping my sample) and verbally (explaining what each thing was to be used as evidence against us. Oh! Wait! Sorry. I just lapsed into Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant.)

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Sign away my life’s blood, and agree to offer up my first child as sacrifice…(not really).

After retrieving my purse from the giant steel box I am allowed to leave. And though I know, in my heart and in my mind, that I have absolutely nothing to worry about with regard to the outcome of this entire process, I know that upcoming Good Things are totally contingent upon an acceptable outcome so of course, I am doing the Jen Thing and waiting on the other shoe to drop.

(sigh)  And now, we wait.


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