I Can Make Anything Awkward

Today I had to take a drug test. In the scrapbook of my life, it would be marked – “Baby’s First Drug Test.” No, I have never been drug tested before – which is surprising considering I’ve held several jobs in which that probably should have.

As my appointment was at 10:30, I woke up at 9:45 in order to both sleep in as late as I could and also be punctual.

In order to officially be able to start my internship, three things had to happen. 1.) I had to get a physical, 2.) a drug screen, and 3.) a TB test make sure I wasn’t rocking a case of Tuberculosis. I managed to succeed without any awkward moments for the majority of my appointment- which is a small victory considering I was in an open backed gown for most of it.

Then came the drug test. Despite the fact I was certain I would undoubtably pass, tests always make me nervous. Whether it’s a multiple choice exam or peeing in a cup, I want to be prepared and give it my all. Would I be able to perform? Would my pee stream travel in the right direction? Would it be steady? My questions would soon be answered.

A nurse came and retrieved me, leading me down a long hallway and instructing me to leave my bag and coat on a hook outside the door. She handed me a small plastic cup and told me to fill it to the “black line.” As I accepted the small pee receptacle two thoughts came into my mind: 1. How much pee does this woman have to handle per day? and 2. Oh my god, I don’t have to pee.

I had peed upon waking up figuring by the time things got rolling an hour later, I would have to go again. When I still wasn’t feeling the urge, I took heed to the “drug screening advice” posted on the wall that suggested drinking several cups of water. I had downed about seven small cups in the waiting room and still – I could hardly fulfill her request. I sat, well I was already sitting, and contemplated. I tried again and instead of producing more of a stream, it ended horribly and embarassingly: I farted. Meanwhile, this woman is waiting outside the door, well within earshot.

Do I bring it out as is and see what she says? Do I say something? I worried she would grow suspicious of what I was doing in there so I opted for the later. “I can’t fill it up!” I shouted from behind the door. She hesitated: “Just bring what you have and we’ll see if it’s enough.” Oh god, we’re conversing about it. I brought my feeble attempt out to her, and she looked less than impressed. She used a tiny dropper to put my pee on what looked like a pregnancy test. I shifted from one foot to another, wondering what I was expecting. “This is fine,” she said. “You’re clean, we only need it to be up to the black line if something shows up so we can send it to the lab.” I breathed a sigh of relief.

I learned a few things today. First, if they do the initial test and then particularly point out you did not fill the cup to the right line – you are probably in trouble. Secondly, I will always – always find a way to make the simplest of situations awkward. Making drug tests awkward since 2011.

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