Every three months my Doctor sends me for blood work, most times Cindy has to go the same day, the best time to show up at the lab is between 5am when they open and 7am before the crowd gets there.
Last month we waited until right at 7am, not thinking it was a Friday.
The unwritten rule at the lab is never show up on a Monday or Friday, walking into the door at a few minutes before 7 we see a standing room only crowd in the waiting room.
Signing in everyone gets the same treatment, “Are you fasting this morning” to which you had better say yes, or else get “the lecture” and sent away to return another day with an empty belly, I think this may be one of the ways they keep the waiting room cleared out.
I am fasting was the answer we chose, we sign our names, note the time, promise our insurance has not changed, provide our insurance card and license so they can verify what you just said, you know everything but give a blood sample, but wait isn’t that why we are here.
Only one phlebotomist is working before 8am, and guess where we were sitting when 8 o’clock rolled around, at that time two more phlebotomists walk in, but do they go directly to the back and begin taking blood? Nope because like I mentioned above this was a Friday.
I notice everyone behind the counter peering into a paper bag, and all of a sudden the smell of chocolate and nuts drifted through the room.
Remember this room is full of people who are fasting, and when your stomach is growling your sense of smell is definitely heightened, it was like one of those old E F Hutton commercials, everyone stopped talking at the same time and all heads simultaneously turned toward the counter.
I think they felt the stares as they quickly disappeared into the back room and began calling names with their baited cookie breath.
The first name they called was the lady sitting next to us, she slowly stood and looked around the room as everyone glared at her, about the time she got to the counter the phlebotomist apologized and sent her back to her seat, explaining he had grabbed from the bottom of the stack rather than the top.
I think he still had cookies on his mind and Mrs. Johnson was proud to come back and wait rather than face being lynched, because she had somehow jumped ahead of everyone else.
It wasn’t long before our names were called and we found ourselves sitting in a chair with a band wrapped around our arms, the young lady poking at the veins on my arm was laughing at her partner who was doing the same with Cindy’s arm.
This is the first time I have seen you here, how long have you been doing this Cindy asked, the man just smiled and said “you are my first, the waiting room was full and they wanted to catch up this morning so they grabbed me”
They grabbed you? Cindy replied, Yes I was standing on the corner waving a sign when a girl came out and asked if I wanted to learn how to draw blood, I said cool I never did that before.
I laughed and said “Hey Cindy at least your guy wore his glasses, this girl seems to have forgotten hers” my phlebotomist laughed and said “that’s why I want you to hold both of your arms side by side, that way I at least hit one”
My suggestion is, never joke with someone who is holding a needle, ready to search for a vein in your arm; your best bet is to wait until after the deed is done.
Which would you prefer, the Phlebotomist who forgot her glasses, or the sign waver they brought in off the street? I say we take the cookies.