Two Words Can Change the World

26 Apr

Last week, I went in for my drug test, because it’s one more step closer to my new job. Because I’m particularly boring in real life, I wasn’t worried about passing it, just finding the stupid place. This could have been solved with writing two words.

Since I used to be a consultant, I used to have to go through this process every six months when I got a new contract. Normally what happens is that you go to a testing clinic, where very bored, very poorly paid technicians make you sit for 15 minutes (or more, if you picked a bad time to arrive) then take you back to a bathroom, where you pee in a cup and hand it back. Despite the name “lab” on the door, there is no actual lab there, they have to mail it off to… wherever people have autoclaves and the proper chemicals.

So when I got the request for “additional background information,” I wasn’t terribly worried, just confused. First off, my new employer doesn’t bother to say “drug test.” Every employee in America in the last 30 years understands the term “drug test.” I just went through a background check; every employee understands that, too. When I first see “additional background information,” I’m thinking, “What’s wrong? I’ve gone through fifteen background checks in the last ten years. What could they have possibly found?!”

But no… it’s just a drug test by another name. So they give me a two hour window to show up at this medical facility, which I thought, “That’s odd,” but okay. I drive out to this industrial area (again, weird place for an outpatient facility), park, and look for Suite 110. There is only one suite listed above the multiple doors and it’s Suite 100. So after trying a couple doors (locked), I finally ask a secretary, and she says, “Yeah, you want the urgent care.”

Those were the magic words: “urgent care.” When I go to a building, my first thought is NOT to go into the very busy urgent care (busy? in an industrial park?), wait in line for five minutes, to be told where to go for the drug test. Instead, I wasted ten minutes checking doors and making sure I was in the right building. I know this is not the first time these secretaries have had to answer these questions (from their response), so the second easiest thing you could do is put up a sign that says “Drug tests go through Urgent Care.” Six words. Solves a LOT of problems.

So I go through the urgent care, fill out a lot of paperwork (which probably would be a lot less if it were a normal lab and not a @#$&*$ urgent care!), and wait…. and wait. There are more people in the lobby than chairs. I’m certain half the folks are there for drug tests as well, but having worked in urgent cares, I know that test only folks are the lowest priority. They’re more concerned with folks with a broken leg, burns, etc. That’s when I realize that this is a first stop for injuries on the job and screening workers’ compensation. So I wait a #*$&@$ hour for me to go through the process to pee in a cup and get the freak out of there.

It’s a simple thing to ask — just add two words to the sheet! This has to annoy the heck out of the other secretaries, you’d think they’d want a solution. But a sign never occurred to them? It’s the little things that can change the world. What do you think? Am I overreacting? Let me know in the comments below! Then you can read some more words of mine and check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too expensive for some words, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

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