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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's nothing dignified about peeing in a cup.

Today, as part of my pre-employment physical for the school police, I had to submit to a drug test.  It's not the first one I have ever done, but it certainly was the most memorable.

I know that there are people out there who have to take drug tests who are also regular users of drugs they shouldn't be taking.  Said people probably use lots of methods to try to pull one over on these testing folks.  They (testers) are probably trained to be suspicious of everyone.  Did I ever tell you that when I first started in law enforcement back in 1983 I was a corrections officer in the Orange County Jail booking office?  Well I was.  I know all about suspicious peeing.  I had to watch people pee all the time...not a pretty sight.  Prisoners have no privacy when it comes to bodily functions, especially if they just got arrested.  Corrections officers are supposed to make sure that the newly arrested dirt bag citizen is not trying to smuggle something in or flush contraband down the commode.  I'm sure these pee testers probably feel just as suspicious of those of us taking a drug test.  It's just not a nice procedure.

Apparently, one of the methods reluctant pee-ers use is to scoop toilet water from the commode into the cup.  Another must be to just use plain old tap water.  Still another might be to smuggle clean contraband pee into the restroom and empty it into the cup.  Hence my experience today...

First, the nurse had me lock my handbag into a little locker so that I wouldn't have anything in my hands (nor be able to sneak in contraband pee.)  I then followed her to the bathroom, where she told me to wash my hands.  As I was doing so, she dropped a blue dye tablet into the toilet and handed me the cup to pee in.  She told me to fill it to the black line and then open the door and hand it to her.  She told me I had 4 minutes to complete the task.

"Wow" I thought, "Four minutes is a lot."  I mean, do people really need 4 minutes for this?  I can't imagine!  If you find you can't pee after a few seconds, how is it going to get any easier?  I then proceeded to place strips of TP onto the seat so I wouldn't have to hover while trying to hit the cup.  (I really am not comfortable hovering under the best of circumstances...throw in the pressure of performing and forget about it.) 

After a little miss and dribbling onto the edges of the cup, I filled it to the line and sat it on the sink and then finished.  After standing up, I wanted to clean the outside of the cup because it was wet.  I went to turn on the water and there was none.  I was a little thrown by this.  I tried again...WTF??  Then it hit me that she must have turned off the water.  Suddenly, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to pee then hand off or pee then wash then hand off?  I wondered what the nurse who was standing outside was thinking...was I taking too long?  Were the sounds I was making suspicious?  Damn!  I was glad I had already peed because I was getting stressed out and might not have been able to relax enough to let it out if I had really thought about it! 

Back to the hands...since I had already put soap on my hands in order to wash them, I had to get a paper towel and wipe off the soap and then just try to dry the container before opening the door and finding the nurse standing by the door.  I sheepishly handed her the cup and apologized for the fact that it was damp.

I then saw her flip a switch outside of the door and she said, "You can wash your hands and flush the toilet now."

I felt really gross...like a criminal.  I washed my hands and then used a paper towel to open the door to walk out.  I didn't want to touch the handle again since I knew that other people with urine on their hands had done the same thing.  I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet so she had to flush it for me.

It was a very UNdignified experience for me, but at least it's over.  Have any of you had a drug test lately?  Did you find it as unnerving or embarrassing?  I swear the last time I had to do it, which was only 2 years ago, it wasn't like this!  The nurse just gave me the cup and sent me into the bathroom without my purse and asked me to bring her the urine sample when I was done.  No water shut off and no blue dye.  Is this the new thing???


Shar said...

Craziness! The last time I did a pee test was about 10 years ago. I had to hand over my purse and wasn't allowed to run the water before handing over the pee. No blue dye tablet though.

Diana Burfield (BettyShmetty) said...

Hmmm. Maybe it depends on which place runs the test. I know for sure I didn't feel like a scum bag the last time (or any time before the last time) I had one, Shar.

Angie said...

I've only had to take one drug test in my life and it was for a job. I wasn't allowed to take my purse in with me but otherwise it was a simple, clean catch urine process.

My ex MIL was a jailer for time and told me all sorts of weird ways people tried to smuggle in clean urine, the oddest (an baby bottle bag) filled and taped to the inside of the thigh. Apparently it is to keep it at body temperature? Too much work for me. I'll just stay clean thanks! :)

Diana Burfield (BettyShmetty) said...

I'm with you Angie...clean is the way to go. The other is too much to worry about!