· Have You Ever Been Drug Tested? ·
I remember my first drug test in a bathroom when I was required to pee in a container.
Even though I’d been a county employee forever, it still caught me by surprise.
I recall starting my patrol car, keying the mic, and advising dispatch I was “10-8,” meaning that I was in service. Seconds later, my supervisor called me on my phone: “Report to the fifth floor of the courthouse at 8:15 a.m. for a drug test.”
Forty-five minutes later, for the first time, I was waiting for a UA (urinalysis) while on duty.
Here’s my memory.
I start thinking: What have I eaten recently? Have I had any poppy seeds on a muffin? Would that cause a false drug reading?
My anxiety level is rising.
I should know, but I start wondering how the urine collection is done. I mean, I’m a person who likes his privacy. But then again, I’ve had a colonoscopy–a camera up my butt–so what’s the big deal here?
I’m waiting on the fifth floor and I’m anxious.
I’m getting judgmental.
The examiner is late.
How can someone be late for their first appointment of the day? I ask sarcastically. I have work to do, acting superior as I grow more nervous.
The elevator bell rings and the door slides open. A big, black, bosomy woman wearing hot pink, carrying a huge purse and a notebook, steps off the elevator into a space of white-tiled floor and high narrow windows.
She lumbers to a small table and plops down her belongings. I fumble for my identification card, but still wishful, I watch the elevator, hoping a male drug tester will exit the empty space.
The large lady gets her notebook and papers set up on the small table. She reaches into her suitcase-size purse. She’s up to her elbow before pulling out three plastic specimen jars. Then she probes the purse like she’s hand fishing and smiles when she hooks her prey.
It’s a blue, latex, extra-large glove.
I gulp, thinking I may be getting an extra test I don’t need. My recent colonoscopy results were fine.
Uncomfortable, I’m clearly a first timer at this.
I meekly ask her if there’s a male tester coming along. She smiles, laughs, and replies: “I’m not shy. I’m a nurse.”
Haha! Very funny! Fine for her to joke. I’m sweating bullets.
She explains the procedure. “We’ll go into the men’s bathroom together, but you’ll be alone in the bathroom stall to make your urine contribution.”
Yes! In a short time, I’m done in the bathroom. I hand her the warm plastic container. She seals it.
I know; I worry too much.
I’m a prude, but now I’m free to go to work and solve real problems.
I’d be wise to go read some Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain.
He wrote: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
Until next time, happy writing and reading!