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September 2, 2013 / Andee Frizzell

All Roads to Hell are Paved With Good Intentions

cowThe sign posted on the lawn read,’ Looking for O+ blood donation. It’s in you to give.’ I was stuck in traffic, crawling down the road that ran parallel to the hospital when I noticed the sign. I saw the turn off into the parking lot wasn’t that far ahead so I decided, it was time to give. My blood at this point was doing nothing other than boiling because of the congestion so why not donate. I thought perhaps I’d get some orange juice and a cookie after, like they do on TV. (note here my reason for donating blood was everything short of noble)

I followed the posted red arrows pointing in the direction of the donation centre lobby where I came face to face with the ‘stone fixture’ at the front desk that doubled as a receptionist. I explained I had O+ blood and that I was there to donate.

She gave no indication that she cared as to whether I was there to donate, rob the joint or pee on the floor, she simply pushed and enormous stack of papers in my direction and pointing with her pen she indicated to a row of single seat cubicles partitioned off with flimsy plywood.

“Fill these out. There.”

Gathering up the phone book sized stack of information sheets in my right arm, I sighed.  This was not as glorious as I had imagined. Where were the cookies?

I perused the pile of papers that consisted of yes or no questions referring to every imaginable context regarding snorting, inhaling, injecting questionable substances and sexual actives that would make ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ look like an amateur’s adventure; I resigned to put a comment in the suggestion box that cited they should add a third optional answer, HELL NO!

Sandwiched between the questions of sexual perversion and ingesting toxic material there was ONE question that actually pertained to me.

‘Have you ever visited Europe for over a period four months?’ Checked, YES.

Feeling a little sick to my stomach after reading what I had, I handed my info to the ‘stone’ and she indicated to a long hallway that had five numbered doors on the right and a tier of stadium seating on the left.

“Take this number. When your number is called you’ll go into the private interview area for further processing.”

As I sat on the third tier of seats and looked down at the little numbered doors I wondered what ELSE could they possibly ask me that wasn’t explicitly covered in the questionnaire.

I caught a whiff of oatmeal cookie and looking to my left I saw that the hallway ended in a row of comfy chairs with tubes attached to them where people sat happily, if not dreamily eating cookies and sipping on small juice boxes.

I was smiling when I turned back to my right and saw the ‘stone’ staring at me from her desk, head shaking, accusing me with her unmoving stare, ‘You’re only here for the swag.

I jumped a little when my number was called and shimmying my ass out of the seating like I was on an airplane, I realized there was a lot of people there.

A friendly, smiling nurse ushered me into the closet sized office and indicated to the nearest empty chair.

“Have a seat. This won’t take too long. We’re just going to go over your file.”

She began scanning the mountainous pile of papers, her face holding a pose of slight amusement. Suddenly, her face transformed into a frown of concern,”Hmmm…”

My mind raced, did I accidental tick off a yes I wondered, until she said,” So you lived in Europe.” She quietly closed my file.

Confused, I stammered,” Yes, but I don’t see how….”

“Well,” she cut me off, “There has been a Mad Cow epidemic there for a number of years and unfortunately we don’t know how it’s transferred so we’re unable to accept a donation from you.”

“Oh, it’s cool,” I said as I started to reopen the file, “I don’t eat meat so no fear of contamination.”

“No,” she countered patiently,” You see you could have come into contact with the virus via milk, yoghurt, cheese or even walking in a field with manure. And because there is no way to test for the virus we cannot risk it.” She gently closed the file, again.

“Are you saying I HAVE MAD COW?” My voice rising loudly as panic began to grow.

“I’m not saying you do…or don’t. Sorry.” She stood and opened the door.

Now I realized a greater fear then the possibility that I may have Mad Cow. The fear was the fact that I now had to leave her office and turn left, the direction of the REJECTED in front of a huge collective of strangers.

As I walked out the door into the hallway it felt like all eyes were on me, questioning, what answer did she tick off with a yes? I could only imagine the list of possibilities that they entertained. Eeewww…

First a traffic jam, then potential mad cow infection, judged as a deviant by a group of strangers and now cookie less… it was just not my day.

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One Comment

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  1. arcticgoddess / Sep 3 2013 3:50 am

    No good deed goes unpunished.

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