My appointment was at 11, and I remembered it at 10. For an hour, I drank water like it was my job.
Around the corner in the office park where I work is some sort of building company. They sell houses that have not yet been built. Every six months or so, they host a blood drive. They don't have room in their office for a bunch of beds, so the Red Cross sends out the Bloodmobile, a travelling blood donation center.
The lady who organizes the blood drives is Jenn, the receptionist at the building company. She is enthusiastic about the blood drive, which makes me think that she has personally been affected by the losing and giving of blood. Or maybe she is equally enthusiastic about selling homes. I am on the mailing list of people in the neighborhood who will come out, so I schedule my appointment ahead of time. When I check in, she says hello to me by name, even though our whole relationship exists at blood drives.
Usually, I can get in and out with my complimentary Rice Krispie treat within half an hour. But there were two people waiting in front of me when I arrived to fill out the questionaire about my history with mad cow disease. They weren't even allowing people to go out to the bus, because it was full. Another lady who was waiting with me was a saleslady at the home building company. She said that Jenn had scheduled the blood drive on a day when there was a sales meeting so that everyone would be in the office.
Jenn knows how to drum up some blood.
Once inside the bus, there was even more waiting. I had to wait for a donation spot, one for a right-arm-bleeder. My left arm is capable of bleeding, and I suppose if you cut it off, you'd get just as much blood as you'd get from the right. But the vein in my left elbow is shy. Every time someone comes near it with a needle, it rolls around in an effort to escape what surely must be a terrifying sight to something that spends all of its time indoors. I make it sound real cute, but I assure you, it's incredibly unpleasant for me. So I just go ahead and let them know that they'll have more luck with my right arm, thankyouverymuch. Anyway, this arm restriction only lengthened my wait.
Finally, I was seated in the special donor bed, one of five in the blood bus. Four of the beds are in one section, facing each other. The other is at the front and is used to hold a cooler. The coolor looks like a regular ole cooler that you might buy for taking drinks on a long drive, except that it's labelled "BLOOD" in red marker - pretty fancy equipment on the Bloodmobile. In front of me, in front of each donor, was a tiny personal TV. I was just in time for an episode of Cannon. The volume was turned down, and the stereo was playing the hits of the 70s. It was cold, but the blood bus is always kept cold to keep people from passing out after having their bodily fluids taken away from them.
I guess the sales meeting was over, because everyone besides me in the bus seemed to be an employee of the building company. There are a couple of people at my company who regularly give blood and probably a few more at offices all over the park. But most of the people in there with me had likely been personally persuaded to give by Jenn. They were realtors.
Realtors are VERY EXTROVERTED. Their personalities come screaming out of them faster than blood out of my right arm.
Picture little-old-me, tied to a plastic-coated bed in an enclosed space, having my life force drained, while half a dozen laughing people in business casual wear acted more familiar than our relationship would require. Also, Cannon is on.
I don't want to imply that I was cowering in my donor bed, surrounded by small talk and laughter. Okay, I cowered a little. It was just odd. I spend most of my time in a little cube, not talking to the people in the other little cubes. And I think that's just awesome. Obviously, it takes all kinds. If it were up to people like me, those houses would never get sold.