Special rules for special people.

From 2005 to 2008 I maintained a blog about my experiences working in the drug test industry. Every Saturday I revive one of those experiences here. The following was originally posted June 30, 2006.


Special rules for special people.

I said I was going to update yesterday, and I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t. I like writing these entries but I find the writing improves the longer I’m detached from a situation. If I were to have hopped right in yesterday, when I said I would, this would have just been a page-long incoherent rant. I know I still slip up from time to time and post those but I do try to avoid it. I would much rather wait a few days, cool down, and then reflect on what happened in order to tell an interesting story than just list the things at my office that piss me off and then glibly pop out a “people are stupid, hyuck hyuck hyuck.”

So just for the record, I don’t believe people are stupid nor do I hate my job. I believe people are selectively inattentive, and usually stubborn, and the combonation of those things often gives the appearance of stupid… but to someone who is being selectively inattentive and stubborn himself.

Which is not to say, of course, that some people aren’t stupid, or that I don’t deal with some stupid people here at the pee clinic… but those stories aren’t as interesting as you might expect, which is why I don’t write about them (often).

Anyway, enough about that. Let’s talk about the special privelages one of my largest clients enjoy.

First, they get a huge break on their bill at the end of the month. The exact specifics of the deal I don’t know (nor would I mention here if I did), but suffice it to say they pay less per drug test than most of my other clients.

Second, they send me a list monthly with all the people they’re sending down to be tested, a courtesy I’m sure we would not extend to most clients. It simplifies things for them because they can easily identify who came down to my office and when.

Third, they get one day a week all to themselves. I come into the office and open a half-hour early, during which time I do collections only for this one client. All they have to do is get their guys here.

Fourth, I keep a sign-in sheet specifically for this company which I would fax to them at 9am each morning I opened early. That is, on the specific days the company does its random drug testing.

In theory, it looks like a very good deal for these guys. We’re essentially bending over backwards for them. Problem is, they don’t take advantage of what they’ve been given.

The lists of names? Always late. The early mornings Nobody shows up. And since nobody shows up, all I can fax them is an empty sign-in sheet, which is meaningless. What actually occurs is this: one person from the company will show up before 8am, when I am opened specially for his company. A few more people will trickle in throughout the day, often on my lunch break. Most of them show up the following day.

Really what this boils down to is: I am sick of getting up early for nothing. I’m sure everyone in America can sympathize.

The past few weeks I haven’t bothered keeping a separate sign-in sheet because by the 9am deadline, the thing would only have one name on it. I received a phone call yesterday asking why this was, and I explained to the guy on the other end that the whole “separate sign-in sheet” only works if they actually manage to get their employees down here at the time they promised. I also told him that only one person was showing up during my early half-hour, and could we please try to fix that situation?

I didn’t bring up the fact that it’s now the end of June and I still don’t have July’s list.

Of course I’m not in any position to make demands of this guy or his company. The agreement reached was that I will continue coming in at 7:30 on the days he picks, and continue faxing him a sign-in sheet even if it is empty. A company as big as his (and please note that it is not “his company” so much at is “a company he works for, and is in charge of the department which handles drug testing”) obviously the impression that things are running efficiently is more important than things actually runnin efficiently.

Oh well.

Hmm… that came out a little ranty anyway. I’ll try to work on that.

The story I had planned to tell today was about Mexicans not having translators. But I’ve already told enough of those, haven’t I?

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