Test anxiety

I got to pee in a cup today. A very controlled, very precise, very directed drug screen was called for by this new employer. Today’s event was just one of a number of changes that this company has implemented since I worked for them four or five years ago.

I’ve never had to have a drug screen for a job before.

I was asked to lock up my purse and check my pockets so that nothing untoward would enter the restroom with me.

I got to pick out my very own collection cup and watch while the technician showed me that it was completely sealed.

I was asked to wash my hands.

I was instructed on exactly how much of the specimen I was to provide. I didn’t ask what the consequences would be if I couldn’t muster the required amount. Drinking copious amounts of water 30 minutes prior to the donation took care of any issues with that. I was relieved in more ways than one.

I was told firmly -twice- not to flush or to wash my hands after collection. Only after I handed off the cup could I wash my hands.

Did you know that they actually check the temperature of the donation?

And what are the very vivid blue drops that they place into the toilet water?

I had to watch each step as the specimen was processed and at times even initial certain parts of the procedures.  Only when the donation was finally sealed in a plastic bag and initialed by me did I get my ID back and the key to the box to unlock and free my purse.

It wasn’t until I was walking out of the office that I realized I had no memory of the technician wearing gloves when she took the specimen cup from me. No memory of her washing her hands after she went into the restroom to flush for me. Nor do I have any memory of her washing her own hands throughout the rest of the processing.



Happy Father’s Day


This picture was taken on April 30th, 1983. My wedding day. Even though so many changes are imminent when it comes to the marriage aspect of this photo it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

I cannot tell you how much this moment meant, this walk with my dad, who had gone through so much himself over the years. I give him full credit for the strength I have to move forward each day. I wish that I could spend this day with him, but he’s been gone for over 20 years.

I love you dad.

So, this happened today…

Dear Deborah

I am pleased to confirm our offer of employment as a part time Newborn Hearing Screener reporting to Lxxxx Wxxxxxxx. The specifics of our offer are outlined below:

• Hourly rate of pay of $a bazillion dollars to be paid on a bi-weekly basis, every other Friday.  ***So perhaps I have chosen to exaggerate the hourly rate just a bit***

Your offer to join MEDNAX Services, Inc. and your participation in the Newborn Hearing
Screen Program is contingent upon maintaining the following requirements:

• Certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation within your first 30 days of employment, followed by continued recertification.
• Medically cleared testing for tuberculosis prior to beginning employment, followed by
annual testing.
• Providing us with proof of your identity and work authorization (as required by the
Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986).
• Successful completion of background.

So, it looks as if I have managed to jump over one small hurdle and secure some extra income that will (I hope) add to my credibility as a worthwhile rental risk. Now I can wave not only my divorce decree and pension funds and my gift income from caring for the granddaughters, but also an actual employment offer letter, in the faces of those naysayer leasing agents.

This position is the same one that I held just prior to the time I started looking after Miss G. This time I am with a different medical facility, one that I learned just today has the second most stringent policies regarding new hires in the whole United States. I have been assured that if I am lucky I may be ready to secure an ID badge and actually begin my job in about 8 weeks. The process, I am told, has been so overwhelming for some, that they quit before they even get started. I’m okay with the wait. The delay gives me time to process all this divorce stuff and retrain my perspective on what constitutes a “normal” work week. I will still be with Miss G and Miss C 3 days per week. This new job is a weekend position, so I now have to get used to the fact that my days off will come during the week, and that they won’t be back to back.

I really loved this job the last time around. This time I have even more autonomy as the the satellite facility I will be working in runs their program somewhat differently than I encountered before. I won’t be sharing a split shift, but I will be learning all about electronic health records (EHR). We did everything on paper 4 years ago. All you EPIC user’s out there, soon I will truly understand some of the headaches you write about in your blogs.

Anyway, just had to share. It’s great to finally have some good news to put on this blog.