I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks, a job that is contingent on me passing a drug test, so this morning I figured was as good a time as any to pee into a cup, so I made the short drive to Mobile Health Screenings Inc. with a full bladder and a clear conscience. There was not a doubt in my mind that the drug test would come back clean and I figured I would be in and out of the place within a few minutes, easy peezy, lemon squeezy. I was the only person in the waiting room and was called to the back almost immediately upon giving confirmation that I was indeed, ready to produce a sample. I nodded and followed the pee technician through the wooden door and down a narrow hallway before being stopped for inspection.
I was told to remove my sweatshirt, presumably in case I was hiding a midget underneath, who wasn’t addicted to drugs and could produce a clean urine sample for me. I obliged and low and behold there was no little person hiding beneath my shirt. She narrowed her eyebrows at me as if to say that I may have won the battle, but she was nowhere near read to concede the war. I then emptied my pockets, keys, wallet, phone, check, check, check, laid atop the cool surface of the metallic table. I then pulled out the lining of each pocket, no midgets in there either. She then looked at my shoes, for what I don’t know, but she didn’t find anything so she skeptically gave me the all clear, along with a plastic cup, and pointed me to the nearest restroom.
The instructions were simple; pee in the cup and fill it at least a third of the way full, don’t flush the toilet, and not to wash my hands in that restroom because the water was turned off, but assured me that I could wash my hands in the room next to it upon finishing. Got it. She closed the door and I locked it for good measure. I began to position myself to do my business but there was a jagged piece of plastic on the cup, and I proceeded to cut a very delicate body part that most men get to go their whole lives without cutting, but not me. It wasn’t a deep cut, but it did draw some blood, as evidenced by the small but noticeable droplets near the rim of the cup. It hurt and the stinging prevented me from getting a steady stream going. It seemed to come out in short bursts, and then it just stopped, nowhere near filling a third of the cup that was required of me. There were no paper towels, so all hope of wiping away the blood unnoticed was out of the question, so I shamefully opened the door and handed the pee technician my little plastic cup, with a disappointing amount of urine, and blood around the edges.
She looked surprised and asked in a low voice, “is that blood?” Not meeting her gaze, I slowly nodded my head and replied that I’d had an accident, and that seemed a good enough answer for her as she didn’t mention it again. I asked if I could go wash my hands, but I had to keep watch over my “sample” until it was sealed, in theory to prevent tampering of any kind, so there I stood, looking down at the test tubes that now held my urine, with blood on my hands and my self esteem nowhere in sight. The pee tech was understandably concerned about how little of a “sample” I’d provided, but she stayed optimistic and sealed the tubes in a plastic bag anyway, to be sent away for testing. I was then free to wash my hands, which I did for the better part of several minutes. Before I left, the pee technician informed me that if another “sample” was needed then she would be in touch. I grabbed my keys, wallet, and phone, and walked out the door smiling, about the irony of how I would have been much less embarrassed about the situation if I’d been high on some drug before going in there.