Thursday, September 09, 2004

Life at the Laboratory

A couple of months ago, I had to take a two-hour blood glucose test. I was having a certain type of chronic infection and the doctor wanted to rule out diabetes as the cause. So, I came into the lab and drank a disgustingly sweet vial of glucose and documented the activites of the waiting room for the two hours that I had to stick around to have my blood drawn periodically. (You can read about this grand adventure here.) For that doctor's purposes, the results were "normal:" no diabetes, nor even pre-diabetes. For our fertility specialist, however, the results were suspect, so he's ordered an insulin test to clarify the results.

As before, I have fasted for the last 12+ hours so I am hungry and slightly cranky. As before, I am at the lab, waiting to have my blood drawn. This time, however, I am sitting outside the lab because I unfortunately incorrectly "remembered" the lab opening at 8a.m. Turns out it opens at 8:30. And I am here extra early to ensure I'll be first in line. Needless to say, I am.

Fortunately this is a one-draw test. In a little over a half an hour, when they finally call my name, I'll submit to the needle and then be on my way to work. Two things to look forward to.

Which reminds me, apropros of nearly nothing, that at our neighborhood association meeting last night it was necessary for the Board President to explain my sarcasm to an angry mob of fellow neighbors ready to lynch me. It was eerie, actually, to have all those blood-shot eyes and white teeth turn on me for an ill-timed joke that was intended to lighten the mood. It followed a very hostile reception for the State Department of Transportation folks who'd come out to explain why our wealthier neighbors just to the North of a state highway that separates our neighborhoods had recently gotten a sound wall on their side with no plans to install one on our side as well. Predictably, the State folks were being bureaucrats and explaining how they had followed the letter of the law, even going so far as to say that they had sent invitations to a community input meeting prior to finalizing the plans for the sound wall. "Who did you invite?" asked the angry crowd. "All of the 'impacted' parties," was the first reply, which upon pressing turned out to mean all of the parties most likely to benefit from the wall and no one on the reflective side (our side) of the wall. They really needed some PR help, these guys.

We're an activist neighborhood. People really care about this. Really care. And they're vocal enough that all of our local government officials knew to be in attendance, too. Including our City Councilmember-Elect, with whom I am talking next week about a possible position in his new office this fall.

Sarcasm was probably, in retrospect, not a great vehicle for levity in that circumstance. Especially mine, which for some reason rarely comes across as ironic to people who don't know me well. But typically I just get quizzical looks, not outright hostility.

Jobs. I am not well-suited to mine and I am not sure what to do about it. The Council thing notwithstanding (since I didn't go looking for it --- it's an opportunity that, more or less, found me), I haven't been looking to leave where I'm at. I work for and with great people, is the problem. If they were any less great, the work would have driven me away long ago.

BF and I were talking about this (including, among other things, how her new pregnancy changes, and doesn't, our friendship --- so far, miraculously, it is proving to be a good thing for us). She's only recently begun to understand what it is I am currently paid to do and she's, frankly, horrified for me. I don't want to insult anyone by admitting this, but essentially, I have become an auditor. As I said, all the people I work with and for are great --- and they're all auditors. They're just also unconflicted about being auditors. If James Lipton were to ask me "What career would you least like?" this would be in my top ten. Well, twenty. The problem is, "What career would you most like?" leaves me feeling about for something to hold and coming up empty.

On that note: it's time to go get punctured.