Recently I got to participate in a blood drive. I know I was doing a noble cause, donating blood and all..
Ok, so I also know, there was a little selfish interest involved. *Grin*
The Austin blood drive basically ran a campaign like "Give a Pint, Take a Pint" (of Amy's ice cream :))
So naturally, I was excited.
I in fact binged on an extra breakfast taco Friday morning, because I was being sent
reminder mails that I should eat "well" :) So, this was comfortably one of the rare times, where you have a genuine excuse to give for overeating. I mean I could actually faint man, if I didn't overeat. Haha!
Anyway, I enter this bus parked by my office parking lot.
I stride in, grinning ear to ear..
Me: "Hey guys, is this where I need to give blood?"
Doc 1: "Yep, can you please sign up on that sheet there?"
Me: "Yes!" (Sure dude, do you have my ice cream ready? LOL)
Co-worker 1: "Did you eat? Coz you can faint sometimes.."
Me: "You kidding me, I ate tons! I could maybe give them one more pint. So full!"
Co-worker 2 (Didn't meet before, he was an Indian): "Hi, is this your first time?"
Me: "Yes! I never donated blood back in India. My parents would never let me..they were paranoid about the whole needle-AIDS connection, you know.."
Co-worker 2: (Nods his head in agreement)
Me: "Hey I didn't see you around before. You with the hardware guys?"
(Some more small talk)
Co-worker 1 to me (Striding out of the "consultation" room): "Dude, your next.."
Doc 2: "Are you Manju Vijayakumar?"
Me (smiling even more. This guy was Indian and so he got my name absolutely right!) : YES, that's me!
Doc 2 (polite smile): "Come on in!"
Me (tapping my fingers on the table. I was not sure why I was so excited! No clue why. But this was going to change soon..): "Whoa! Is that a long form or what?", pointing at the long questionnaire sheet.
Doc 2: "Yes, did you read the information sheet outside?"
Me: "Oh that AIDS thing?"
Doc 2: "Yes. That along with some other information"
Me: "Yeah! Isn't it crazy that people come to donate blood to test if they have HIV? So crazy!"
Doc 2: "Yes. A lot of them do that..Ok, Manju I might have to ask a lot of uncomfortable questions. It is just a part of the procedure. Are you ready?"
Me: "Sure!" (Anything for the ice cream dude. LOL)
Doc 2: "So tell me Manju..Did you have sex with more than one partner often?"
Doc 2: "Did you have sex for money? If that question confuses you, it means did you have sex with a prostitute?"
Me: (Uhhh! Money huh..) No
Doc 2: "Did you have sex with a male who had sex with another male before having sex with you?"
Me: (Wot da...) No
Doc 2: Blah blah blah..."Were you pregnant in the last 6 months?"
Me: (Now I started getting used to telling No in a rhythmic tone..) Noooo
Doc 2: "Are you...
Doc 2: "I am sorry I did not finish the question"
Me: "Oh! Sorry.."
Doc 2: "Are you pregnant now?"
Me: (Hmm, how thoughtful of you to ask me.) NO!
Doc 2: "Do you have a fever now?"
Me: (Finally you ask sane questions, huh?): No
Doc 2: "Are you on any kind of drug now?"
Me: (Dude, I can eat an ice cream and still know I am eating an ice cream. That is how mentally stable I am right now!) NO
Doc 2: "Do you take heroin, crack, marijuana...blah blah"
Me: NO, NO, NO!
Doc 2 (Looking at me apologetically): Err..ok, Now I need you to take a look at this list and tell me what medicines from these have you been taking in the past 6 months
Me: "I don't need to look Doc. I never visited a drug store in the States since my last 1.5 years here"
Doc 2 (almost pleading): "Could you please? I need to conduct the procedure, end to end.
Me: (reluctantly..) Ok.
Doc 2: "I have few more questions to ask"
Me (sure, I am loving it x-(): Ok
Doc 2: "Do you belong to India?"
Me (WTF, doesn't he know am from India. I mean, he is Indian too..): Yes, of course
Doc 2: "How long back did you enter the States?"
Me: You are Indian right?
Doc 2: Err..yes, how long back did you enter the States?
Me: 1.5 years
Doc 2: So you were in India before that
Me (Yes, Genius!): Yeah
Doc 2 (Scrolls something across the form): "Sorry you are barred from donating blood anywhere in the States til Oct 2010. You hail from a country on the list of malaria infested nations."
Me (WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! Wot the f!!!!!): Whattttttt????????????
Doc 2: "..And this will go into our database so you cannot donate blood during the probation period. Also if you go back to India, anytime in the future, you cannot donate 1 year after your return from India"
Me: "Thanks for making sure! That is so relieving to hear. Is there anything else?"
Doc 2: "I am sorry. It is just a rule here. You can donate in India though."
Me: "Thanks. I thought I had to take your permission for that."
Doc 2: (Frowns)
Me: "Anyway, thanks had a GREAT time" (Boy! Was I oozing of sarcasm)
Doc 2: (Trying to make the mood lighter) "Hey are you from A&M?"
Me: "Don't get me started. If you are from UT, yes, I am an Aggie and proud to be one. I love Maroon more than Orange, if you must know." (totally miffed and pulling up a face)
(Texas A&M and UT Austin are two rival universities)
Doc 2 (smiling hard): "No, I am not form UT. I am coming to A&M for studying."
Me (rolling my eyes): "Really?!!"
Doc 2: "Yes. I heard it is great there."
Me: "Well...it is a small college town. It is warm and friendly. You would like it there. Heck, anyone would like it there."
Doc 2: "Cool, then we should keep in touch."
Me: "Ya well..yes."
Doc 2: "Hope to meet you there then!"
Doc 2: "Sorry about today."
Me: "Ya, well I ate tons now, I need to find some other way to shirk all those carbs:)"
Doc 2 (Nodding and smiling)
Me (Strides out of the bus..enters my office break room and tells to my co-worker):
"Bitches, they wouldn't let me donate blood.."
Co-worker 1: "Try next time!"
Me: "Ya, remind me to sue them the next time..I will hold them against mental torture, sleazy questions..."
Co-worker 1: "Btw, there is ice cream if you want to have one:)"
Oh ya..I totally forgot about the ice cream in the process. Didn't I?