It was supposed to be simple: I needed to get some routine blood work done. I had to fast for twelve hours. So I signed in to my local lab’s website, made an appointment for 8 am and made sure not to eat anything after 8 pm.
The first thing you need to understand is fasting, for me, is a big deal. I mean, I realize there are many unfortunate people in the world lacking food and I feel awful about that, but the fact is, I eat breakfast. I enjoy breakfast. Skipping breakfast is not my favorite thing.
So today when I arrived at their location about ten minutes late and found another woman standing outside, singing to herself to pass the time, the hungry pit in my gut yawned open even wider, because I could see that something was amiss. When I approached, she stopped singing and told me, despite the sign on the door indicating they opened at 8, there was no one inside the office and the door was still locked.
My dilemma began. Given the amount of trouble I’d gone to for fasting, having already had to skip breakfast, I really wanted my efforts to have some sort of payoff. I certainly didn’t want to have to fast again next week. So I waited with her. She resumed her song. Sorta catchy, I must say, though I didn’t recognize it. All I can confirm is that it was not Let It Go.
By the time another twenty minutes had passed, a group of five or six of us loitered outside the facility, still waiting. We were an odd mixture of all genders, races and ages. A true melting pot of American citizens joined together by our hunger, trading stories of how long we’d had to fast and the trouble we’d undergone to be there. None of us wanted to leave empty-handed.
Finally, just before 9 am, a harried woman showed up. She didn’t explain what happened and we didn’t ask; she only told us that she had been called in from another location and was there to fill in for the regular people.
Okay, things are looking up.
She produced a key and unlocked the door, granting us all access to the waiting room. Almost there, right? Not quite.
A keypad lock would let her into the actual office, so she could begin fulfilling all our requests. But, not being from this particular office, she didn’t know the code. She tried several, then began calling around on her cell to no avail. We were stuck in the waiting room.
Finally the woman appeared to give up. Around this time, we all turned to notice the receptionist window was open a crack. Around this time, people, the theme to Mission: Impossible began to repeat in a loop in my head.
We looked at each other and decided, as only a group of otherwise logical and responsible adults who haven’t eaten can, that we were sending the lab technician through this window so she could unlock the door and take our blood. We would not be denied.
In my defense, this was not entirely my idea. In fact, I’m pretty sure the notion started when the heavyset latina woman, who hadn’t said a thing to that point (it’s always the quiet ones), spoke up. She eyed the technician disdainfully and then, in her best Sofia Vergara, said with a wave of her hand, “Ah, she skinny. She fit.”
And, I’m sad to say, that’s all the rest of us needed. Soon enough a chair was dragged over and set up under the window. Everyone was assigned a role: chair stabilizer, technician booster, window holder. All the while, the Mission: Impossible theme is growing louder and more insistent in my head.
I’m happy to report….mission accomplished! The technician was pushed through the window without injury and there was only a brief moment of panic when the shelf she used as a foothold looked like it might give way. My blood was drawn and I won’t have to fast again next week!
Only, that theme music won’t stop playing in my head…I’m looking around the room now for some other dangerous shenanigans I can get into. Better find something constructive to do instead, like write a blog entry. Hmm.