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Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday.

Today is President's Day, or what was original a celebration of the birth of George Washington, and I still don't have this day off. Thankfully work is rather quiet because of it and the lack of idiots, I mean people. I'm a bit disgruntled and in pain, so I apologize in advance. Since Friday (and mostly likely a side effect of the recent flu I survived), the wisdom tooth on my right side is acting up again. It is surfacing and it hurts like hell. Thankfully painkillers are wonderful things, but eating is still a torture exercise. I can't go to the dentist because he's off (surprise surprise).

After work, I am on my way to the New York Blood Center in the Port Authority building. I was suppose to go in at the beginning of the month, but the flu derailed that. That appointment came upon the heels of some skulduggery. If you ever give blood, be prepared to receive many calls. Calls asking you to give blood. Calls that continue even when you ask them not to call you. Callers that leave no messages. So finally they got me and I thought, "what the hell", its helping someone.

On the subway platform at 14th street (going to the Port Authority), Rachel Dratch is standing next to me trying to get onto the A train. So my President's Day (Washington's Birthday Not Off) turns into a celebrity siting en route to a bloodletting.

Having arrived on time to the center, I was asked to fill out a form. Another form. Apparently the card you are sent when you give blood the first time, does not actually hold any information. You have to fill out this rather long form and questionnaire before you can be drained of 1 liter of your blood. I reached an quandary at question 12. If I had been given a blood transfusion in the last 12 months. Well, I did have surgery in October, but I wasn't awake for it. I don't know if I got blood. Apparently I cannot donate blood until they know if I did or didn't. I'm guessing if I did I would be ineligible for the remaining year. I was told that I should find out if I got a transfusion and then just come back any other day this week, just walk in and fill out the form again. So as a donor it is my responsibility for me to set time aside to come donate blood, fill out repetitive forms and find out my medical history. I guess their job is just to take blood and fill out paperwork? Perhaps if they want people to actually give blood, maybe they should make it easier to do so. I suggest shortening the questionnaire, using the card for something more than a wallet filler (like a database) and screening the blood post taking. Why is it my responsibility to do all the work? I am trying to do a good thing and I'm being blockaded by bureaucratic nonsense. I understand not wanting to use contaminated blood. That is why you screen the blood before you use it. Besides, I don't see crack-heads walking into these places offering to give blood for nothing. Well, to quote Homer Simpson : "You just lost yourself a customer."


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