Monday, October 10, 2005

The BIG Change

The time has come. My days at Taco Bell are coming to a close. Just tonight, I told my manager, Thaddus, that I was quitting, and he was very supportive and said that he would miss having me around.

Why am I quitting, you ask? Taco Insurrection? Bad Gas? Finally had your fill of stupid people?

Not yet. Often. Yes.

Actually, the main reason I am quitting Taco Bell is because I have been offered a job at Home Depot. It pays $8.75 an hour to start, goes up to $9.25 an hour after 90 days, while at the same time, my benefits will kick in. My benefits include full life, dental, medical, animal, vegetable, mineral, not to mention lots of others which I probably will never need. However, the most significant is something called "Tuition Reimbursement". Basically, Home Depot will pay for 50% of my school tuition/fees/books as long as I am working for them and going to school and am in a major which can potentially help my job skills. And, as an English major, I qualify because it is such a broad and versatile major that covers so many different aspects of learning.

So it all seems very exciting. I have to wait for my background check to be finished before I can start training. Also, I had to go take a drug test today, which was interesting. For those of you who haven't taken a drug test before, what it basically consists of is you going into a medical facility, them handing you a plastic cup, and you going into the bathroom and attempting to pee into the seemingly undersized and uncomfortably thin layered cup. It is a very uncomfortable and unnatural situation, because essentially, you no longer have a large porcelain bowl to pee into. Instead, it is replaced with a plastic "toilet" which has seemingly shrunk to minuscule size.

So I go to the pee place, fill out a small form unrelated to pee, and sit down and wait in the lobby. Eventually, an Asian man calls me in. He has me sign something not dissimilar to a specimen-permission-slip, basically allowing them to take my urine on a field trip to see the Space Needle in Peattle, Washington, or possibly to see the capital in Washington P.C.

He then hands me the proverbial cup, and directs my attention to the side of the cup where there are increments in milliliters, and instructs me to fill the cup to the 50 ML line. He says that I can fill it more if I want, but that it needs to be at least 50 ML. I look at the side of the cup, and determine how much of the cup I'd need to fill in order to get 50 ML of urine. The line looks to only be about an 1/8 of the way up the cup.

So I proceed to the bathroom with a purpose in mind: To pee into this cup to the best of my masculine ability.

As I enter the bathroom and lock the door, my self-confidence flies out the window. All of a sudden, my head begins to be filled with question after question of things that could go wrong.

Do I set it down? Do I pee directly into the cup while holding it? Will it splash? What if the stream is so powerful that it knocks the cup out of my hands and it gets all over? What if I pee on my hand? What if I get the sudden urge to pee really badly and I fill the cup up so much that it begins to spill over the edge? What if I drop it on the way back? What if...what if I get thirsty...?

And these questions were coming from someone who many years ago as a lovable yet ignorant child had to do a urine test for some reason or another. I remember back then thinking that peeing into the tiny cup was ridiculous, so I thought of another method. Basically, I ended up peeing into the toilet and scooping out the urine from the toilet into the cup, thinking that I was doing it the correct way. Needless to say, I got the results back as being heavily diluted. So I knew that today, I was going to have to conquer my fears and pee directly into the cup.

It is a very humbling feeling to know that you are holding a cup filled with your urine and the only thing separating it from you is a mere thin layer of plastic.

It didn't take me long to realize that it wouldn't be hard to get the required 50 ML of urine. So I did what any guy would do: Fill it up as far as I could. Most guys are not overachievers in anything. However, all guys are overachievers at peeing. (Case In Point: I used to sleep over at my friend David's house when I was younger, and every day when I'd wake up, I'd go to the bathroom and pee for the better part of the morning. And every time, David would be amazed at my endurance and thought it was so cool that I could pee for longer than he could). Anyway, if a guy is asked to pee in a container that holds 16 ounces, yet he is only required to provide 1 ounce, your typical guy sees it as a challenge to fill up all 16 ounces. Most likely he won't fill it all the way, but as long as he surpasses the measly requirement, he can rest easy at night knowing that he has surpassed the requirements necessary to maintain his manhood. Either that, or guys are just afraid to try and make the difficult transfer in midstream back to the toilet. Guys can't aim. Ask any guy. He'll tell you. And for that reason, I was frightened to trust myself to pee in this little cup and ONLY in this little cup.

However, all turned out well. I managed to return back to the Asian man without falling and/or spilling. I greeted him with a big overachieving smile on my face as if expecting a friendly male congratulation, like, "Hey, nice effort", or "It's so warm!" He took it from me rather nonchalantly, and told me that he was going to pour it into a vial and seal it in front of me, I guess to ensure that he wasn't going to swap it with his own pee or something...or to prove that he really wasn't as thirsty as he looked. Once he finished that, he told me that the test would be completed in 2-3 days, and then he bid me adieu.

So I walked back to my car, thinking about how much of a goof I must have looked like earlier, carrying a cup of my own pee around. In retrospect, it would have been funny to try and offer a complimentary glass of warm lemonade to unsuspecting people in the lobby area.

So yeah, I made P-Dripple proud today. I peed in a cup successfully, without turning my shorts into Wet Side Slacks.

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