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Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay

April 29, 2010

People, I gotta tell ya, I’m just not feelin’ it this week.  Too much going on, not enough time in a day, and all I want to do is crawl into bed and watch re-runs of ‘Soap’ (yes, I am aware that it is now 2010, but sometimes I like to hop in the Wayback Machine and pretend like I could exist in a world before the Internet). Fear not, dear readers, I’m not just going to leave you hanging while I wait to find out if Danny will kill Burt or Jodie will go through with the sex change operation. Nope, instead I’ve pulled something from…The Archives (See what I do for you people? Do you even appreciate it?).

It’s not the greatest story. It might not even be funny. Hell, some of you may have already heard/read it before. But it’s still better than anything I’m going to phone in at midnight on Wednesday. So there.

Now that I’ve totally built up your expectations, here it is, a little story dedicated to anyone who has ever been subjected to a pre-employment drug screen. Is there anything more humiliating?

I felt like such crap on the day of my drug screen, that I didn’t even shower. I was worried about showing up at the testing facility looking like a scrub. Little did I know, I would be one of the better looking (and smelling) people there. That should tell you just how bad it was – rare are the times that I fall into the good (or even decent) looking category.

I had a feeling the place would be sketchy when I saw the location – Rt. 40/Pulaski Hwy. Route 40 on this side of town is a rather unsavory place populated mostly by trailer parks (and I mean actual trailer parks – the kind where people live in RV trailers) and strip joints. My suspicions about the area were confirmed when I passed a bar called Dick’s Halfway Inn. Only in America, people, only in America.

The waiting room at the testing facility wasn’t entirely off-putting. The staff, however, made up in spades, what the waiting room lacked. All of the girls working there looked like they had gotten shitface wasted the night before and were dealing with monster hangovers. It was like sitting at a college-town Denny’s on a Sunday afternoon – nothing but surliness and greasy ponytails as far as the eye could see.

I walked in and handed my paperwork to a girl behind the counter who barked at me to fill out a sheet of paper and sit down until someone called me. It was obvious by her demeanor that she either a) hated her job and the world, b) was used to talking to total idiots all the time and I was no exception, or c) both. I sat down and started filling out my paperwork. And then I sat some more. And sat some more. And still more sitting. Twenty-five minutes passed. During this time, a man came in for a drug screen and there was a problem with his paperwork. He became agitated and left shortly before I was finally called up to show my ID and sign some shit.

When I was finally called up, the process of checking me in was stalled because Surly Girl #1 had to stop everything to bitch to Surly Girl #2 about the Angry Man. Right.In.Front.of.Me. While they bitched, a nasty, nasty woman reeking of cheap cigarettes came in with two dirty little children in tow. I’m sure her drug screen was court-ordered so that she could maintain custody of her unkempt little children. I’m also sure she had one of the little crumb-snatchers wee in a baggie for her before they left the house that morning. Why else would you have kids if not for the unending supply of clean urine? Am I right?

Once again, Surly Girl #1 barked at me to go sit down until I was called. So, I sat…and sat…and sat. And 35 minutes dragged by. Keep in mind, I had guzzled 40oz. of water before arriving at the testing facility/halfway house. Every second that ticked by sent my bladder into increasingly painful convulsions. I really, really had to go. It got to the point where I couldn’t even shift in my seat because any movement whatsoever caused extreme pain. I sat and watched as two people who came in at least 15-20 minutes after me were called back for their tests. I didn’t dare go up and inquire at the desk though, lest I be spirited away and tortured by the hungover harpies manning the ship.

Finally, I was called back by a woman who, like her coworkers, looked like she had just come off a 3 day bender. I was made to go through the ‘process’  before being released into the sanctity of the dark, dingy bathroom. I was only briefly bothered by the truck stop ambiance. For, my sense of purpose (and near loss of bladder control) compelled me to ignore the less-than-stellar accommodations and keep my eyes on the prize. I did what I had to do and after signing some paperwork, I was released. Dodging the front desk harpies, waiting room skanks, and various filthy urchins, I made my exit and headed home to burn my clothes, slather myself with anti-bacterial soap, and  loofah off at least two layers of skin.

And I didn’t even get the job.* Not cool, man. Not cool.

*Not because I didn’t pass the drug test, but because I apparently can’t tell time…stupid 24 hour time limit.



2 Responses to “ Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay ”

  1. Sara on April 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Was this anywhere near or in Jackson, MI? It’s such a lovely story, I feel like it should take place there.

  2. Ruth on April 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Nope, this story was all East Bawlmer (which is actually not unlike Jackson), Hon.