Zen is not possible when Murphy’s Law is in full effect. I know this because of all the difficulties I faced trying to take a simple urine test for a pre-employment drug screen… Which, as you might know, requires one to piss a sufficient amount of pee into a cup.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t piss on demand… Not even for Nurse Ratched.
Don’t get me wrong, I can piss all day long at home or when out running errands. All it takes is a teaspoon of liquid and BAM, one gallon of pee, no problem! But not when I have to make an appointment to piss… no way; not even guzzling a gallon of water will yield a teaspoon of return on that investment.
Knowing this about myself, I made sure to thoroughly prepare for the test and downed several gallons of water before heading out for my 2 p.m. appointment with LabCorp. Being a person who values everybody’s time, I arrived for my appointment five minutes early.
Upon my arrival, I noticed there was only one other person in the waiting room. I don’t know how long he was there before I arrived but before I even took a seat, he was called to the back for his test. Seeing no one else in the waiting area, I assumed I’d be in and out in no time and thought, “Cool, I don’t have to worry about my 30 minutes running out on the parking meter.” Curbside meter parking had already cost me $1.50 when it should only have cost me 50 cents!
I had absentmindedly slipped three quarters into the meter before realizing the darned thing was broken. Fortunately for me, someone was leaving the meter on the opposite side of the street, so I waved for that driver’s attention and asked if he would hold the spot until I could get over to the meter he was leaving. He obliged.
I jumped into my car and whipped around to the opposite side of the street as quickly as possible because another driver had just rounded the corner and spotted the car pulling out of my reserved spot.
To let the arriving driver know I had already claimed the spot, I pulled alongside the car that was parked in front of the departing car, quickly put my car in reverse, and backed in as soon as the parked car pulled out. My sons didn’t nickname me Miss Wheeler for nothin’! I earned that title years ago when expertly weaving my way through traffic at breakneck speed trying to get them to school on time.
Being the conscientious citizen that I am, I watched with concern as the newcomer made a U-turn and pulled up to the broken meter. I exited my car as fast as I could so I could warn him about the broken meter. He didn’t need my help though; he noticed right away that the meter was broken and escaped before being robbed.
After feeding the second meter, I made my way through the maze of offices, stumbled upon LabCorp, signed in, and took a seat. Several minutes later, two other women arrived and signed in one after the other. To my horror, however, one of them was called to the back for her test soon after signing in.
As I sat there chatting with the woman who had already sat down, I wondered why the last woman arriving was the first to be called, especially considering I had arrived well ahead of her. I let it slide since I didn’t yet feel the urge to piss.
Noticing that everyone except me had been asked upon arrival if they needed to drink some water, I decided maybe I should drink some too… You know, when in Rome do what the Romans do. Plus, I wanted to be sure I could provide an adequate amount of pee when I was called upon to do so. I knew this was important because the chatty woman who sat next to me had warned me of the perils of not peeing a sufficient amount on the first try; and I did not want to risk coming up short and having to reschedule.
Ten more minutes had passed and the second woman was called to the back! That’s it, I’m calling foul! I arrived for my appointment on time and well before both women who were called before me; and I had been waiting now for close to 30 minutes. Plus, if my calculations were correct, I had about five minutes remaining on the parking meter before it expired.
Impatient and annoyed, I approached the desk to find out what the heck was going on. By the time Nurse Ratchet returned to her desk, another precious minute was lost, inching me even closer to a possible $45 parking fine.
When that heifer saw me pacing nervously on the opposite side of the glass she asked if I was ready.
“Yeah, hoe! I’ve been ready!”
Well, I didn’t actually say those words, but I’m sure my facial expression spoke them loud and clear.
She then started to tell me how much longer my wait would be but I cut her off before she could finish…
“I need to know how long this process will take once I’m taken to the back because I have less than five minutes remaining on the parking meter.”
“About ten minutes” she said. I then told her I needed to put some more change in the meter before starting the process. She was kind enough to excuse me with an apology and promised to take me to the back for my test as soon as I returned from the meter.
I ran out to my car and was relieved to find I had no ticket under my wipers but not surprised to find the meter had expired. At that moment all that mattered was that I didn’t have a ticket. Municipalities had already robbed me too many times in the past with their deceptive signs that make it difficult to know exactly when parking is allowed. Considering a $45 fine is a lot worse than any amount I’d be forced to spend today, I gladly searched my purse for more change to feed the meter.
After finding three more quarters, I inserted 75 cents into the new meter before realizing it only allowed for 30 minutes parking, making one quarter sufficient for the time I needed. Disgusted by all the money I was losing in the meter, I let out a Marge Simpson moan before kicking the bandit and angrily shouldering my purse strap.
With my purse now much lighter in weight, I hurried off in search of LabCorp for the second time; which, by the way, was hidden within a maze of offices in a complex that had at least 15 addresses on the directory but no map to offer a clue on exactly where any of the offices were located.
When I found my way this time, I was immediately escorted to the back, as promised, and was given instructions on how to pee in a cup. Nurse Ratchet also warned me with an air of suspicion that my pee would be thrown out if I wasn’t out of the restroom in four minutes with warm pee.
Are you kidding me?!!! So this woman actually thinks I ran outside to get some warm pee from someone so I can pass the drug test?! Ain’t that a bitch?!
She then proceeded to tell me to take off my sweater and offered me a locker to put my purse in for safekeeping. I thought, “Bitch! I’m not worried about anybody taking my purse, the damn parking meter already took all my money!
I tossed my sweater and purse on a stool in the back of the room and darted across the hall and into the restroom, where I found what looked like a crime scene. Yellow tape was strewn everywhere… blocking the lone window, the sink, and everything in between in that piss hole.
Geesh! I can understand blocking the window just in case someone is perched outside clinging to the second story window ledge waiting to hand someone their drug-free pee; but why is the sink blocked? Why can’t I flush the toilet? And why am I not allowed to wash my hands?! All I’m trying to do is take a damn drug test so I can get a job handing out free cell phones to drug addicts for Christ Sakes!
I can’t tell you how frustrated I was by the time I was finally allowed to pee. Reflecting on the day, I wondered if it was all a test to see how I would handle crazy shit being thrown at me… I had been doing so well up to this point on my quest for inner peace. I swear I don’t know how anyone can ever expect to find peace when parking meters and funky people are working overtime to knock ’em off track!