One of the many requirements for becoming a school bus driver is a pre-employment drug screen. This was a “first” for me.
An appointment was made for this auspicious occasion and I was pleasantly surprised that, despite the number of people waiting for their number to be called, I only read three pages of my book before I was ushered into a little cubicle. After completing three mandatory information forms, I was awarded a sterile bottle and given minimal instructions about the urine collecting procedure. A nurse took me to a bathroom with a boldly written “OUT OF ORDER” sign taped to the door.
#1 mistake – I made the assumption that if I was led to this room, it couldn’t be out of order. Maybe the nurses were busy and forgot to take the sign off the door after the toilet had been repaired earlier that morning and maybe they also forgot to remove the duct tape off the toilet flushing mechanism and the sink faucets. I admit – it was a bit strange but labs are funny places and I didn’t want to bother the needle-yielding nurses who were scurrying around the office. After all, it might be my arm next.
#2 mistake – I did my business and despite the awkwardness of pushing a duct-taped toilet handle, I managed to flush the toilet.
#3 mistake – Once again, despite the duct-taped faucets and the fact that there was no soap or paper towels, I washed my hands.
I opened the bathroom door and literally bumped into the nurse, whose brows were furrowed and whose lips were pursed.
“Did you flush the toilet?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Did you wash your hands?”
“Well….yes….although I didn’t use any soap.”
At this point, I knew I was in trouble. The nurse ordered me to stay put and disappeared into an office. I stood there, holding my urine sample – in full view of all the people in the waiting room. I felt like a naughty child who had been caught with her fingers in the cookie jar.
“I talked with my supervisor and you have to do this again. Here’s 48 ounces of water…sit in the waiting room, drink the water and tell us when you are ready to provide another sample. Next time, don’t flush the toilet and don’t wash your hands. “
I looked at the nurse in disbelief and replied, “OK…..but you didn’t give me any instructions and I was just wondering why you put me in that particular bathroom. Is it or is it not working?”
“If we give instructions, people who are using drugs will figure out a way to get around the drug test…and yes, that bathroom is fine. We just put that sign up so that other people don’t use it. You’re the first person who has ever flushed the toilet in a drug screen….or tried to wash her hands, for that matter.”
What could I say to that?
I slinked back into my seat in the waiting room, quietly drank my water and let nature take its course.