The Drug Test

Very recently, I got a new job. I am very excited for many reasons but there are a few things that I forgot happens when you get a new job that made me slightly less excited. One of them is taking a drug test. I mean I’m not upset or anything, it’s perfectly reasonable for my future employers to request this. My thing is that, no matter how much you think about it, it doesn’t make it any less awkward. For those of you who have never had to do a drug test, let me explain what happens. Basically you have to pee into a little cup. Then you get to watch the clinic assistants distribute your pee into other tubes. Then you sign about 500 documents saying that you physically watched them, for all intensive purposes, play with your urine. Now normally, I’m the kind of person who thinks things through but this time around I apparently saved all of my panicking for the 10 minute drive over to the clinic. Thought after awful though raced through my head, the big ones being: “What if I can’t pee enough?” “What if I can’t pee at all?” “What if this causes me to lose the job offer?” So naturally, I grabbed my water bottle and started chugging, almost finished the entire thing. However, there were a few factors that I wasn’t anticipating that made this a huge mistake.

Firstly, I wasn’t the only person trying to get a drug test done at 8AM. Secondly, the elderly gentleman at the front of the line wouldn’t bring his reading glasses and so couldn’t see the line where he should sign in and just stand there staring at if for a good 5 minutes. By the time I got to the front of the line and put down my name next to the little number four, I really had to pee. I mean, it wasn’t quite an emergency yet but it was definitely on the verge of being one. I sat down uncomfortably trying to think of anything else but that’s hard in a building that is basically made up of bathrooms. The time passed in what felt like slow motion. They finally called number two when I felt my hands start to go numbs from clenching them so tightly and then called number three when I thought my bladder was going to burst. I was physically shaking by this point. Oh, this would be the time to mention that there was also a third thing I wasn’t anticipating. Not everyone who was there with me that morning to get a drug test…was necessarily there because they got a new job.

Now I’m not one to judge, but some of these people were making me more nervous that I should have felt which only added fuel to the fire. A lot of them looked sleep derived, and most of them clutching a hearty load of paperwork for god knows what. So there they were, with their piercings, tattoos, scars and shifty eyes while I was there in a cardigan, shift back and forth in my seat trying not to wet my pants. Needless to say, I attracted attention. No one said anything, of course but there was definite staring and the guy across from me laughed and shook his head as if to say ‘Rookie’. Then relief happened when they finally called my name. The assistant in a monotone voice told me “Here’s the cup. You have to fill it up the line. Don’t flush the toilet. Don’t wash your hands. You have four minutes.” I’m pretty sure she kept talking after that but I was already in the bathroom relieving myself in the little plastic cup they gave me and was out of there in less than 15 seconds. When I walked out, the assistant looked genuinely shocked. “Are you done? Did you filled it to the line?” Did I fill it to the line? Ha! I almost filled the cup. After the distributing and signing I was out of there feeling more relieved than I had in my entire life and continued on my jolly way but with the nagging little voice in the back of my head making fun of me.

So here’s the moral of the story kids: it’s always good to know what you’re getting into, but make sure you don’t get carried away. I’m pretty sure getting a job offer retracted because I couldn’t pee enough in four minutes would be a much better story than getting a job offer retracted because I peed all over the waiting room floor and it was too contaminated by the carpet to be sent off to the lab for evaluation.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,

C

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