I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Performance Anxiety

A discussion on Universal Hub reminded me of the time I was called in for drug testing in college. All NCAA athletes could be randomly selected at any time to submit to a drug test. This was a terrifying prospect to me not because I did drugs, but because the test consisted of peeing in front of someone else. In the past, student athletes had been caught with bags of someone else's "clean" urine (ew), so thanks to those pioneering efforts to fake out the testers all selected athletes had to drop their pants (outer and under) to their ankles and produce a sample under a tester's watchful eyes.
On the test date, you were advised to go first thing in the morning and strongly advised not to go to the bathroom prior to the test because if you weren't able to go during the first try, you had to remain on premises until you were able to give a sample. I rushed over first thing in the morning and was ushered into the bathroom with the tester. All of a sudden, I felt a rush of sympathy for this woman and as I sat on the toilet. I tried to make conversation.

"So, hope I can do this with you watching..." She nodded. A few seconds passed and I couldn't get anything going, so I tried to break the ice with a little humor.

"Who'd you piss off to get this job? Get it? Ha, ha, ha.... haaaa...ehhhh." The woman didn't crack a smile, which just reinforced the fact that I was sitting on a toilet with my pants around my ankles and she was waiting for me to pee so we could both get the hell out of there. After another minute or so, it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to get the job done on the first try and I was sent to the waiting room. I drank a paper cup of water from the cooler, but was warned not to drink too much as an unreadable sample was counted as testing positive. Half an hour later, we both went back in and with my new strategy (closing my eyes) I was able to get the job done. A most humbling experience.

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colmert said...

Those of us who suffer from shy bladder syndrome (paruresis) - the inability to urinate when someone is in close proximity - would NEVER be able to produce a urine sample. As a member of the International Paruresis Association (www.paruresis.org), we actively campaign for new legislation that will allow for alternative testing, i.e.,of blood, saliva, and hair).

Carol Olmert
Author "Bathrooms Make Me Nervous" (www.bathroomsmakemenervous.com)

Suldog said...

The whole idea of urine testing bugs me, but I won't go into a long political rant here. My (very belated) sympathies.

swift said...

for real...