Survival of the Unfittest!

Yesterday morning was surreal to say the least.

I had to fast for some blood tests. No big whoop.  But who likes fasting?  I don’t even care about the food as much as I really want my coffee. 

There’s a lab right across the road from our house.  Well, it’s not directly across – that’s the illegal parkers, then there’s the Mason Jar lady and THEN the plaza with the lab in it.  But I can see the front door from our front window.  I called them Monday afternoon to get the lay of the land.  The woman I talked to said every day is different. That morning they had had 32 people lined up when they opened at 8.

Contingency plans were in place at work for the start of my show at 9, just in case.  Around 7 am I peeked out the window and saw a couple of cars in the lot.  However they didn’t seem to be potential patients.  But at 7:10 it was clear that a couple of cars had pulled up to the lab so I hustled my buns and got over there by 7:15.  One woman in a very nice car left in a huff after checking the hours posted on the door but a pick-up stayed. In just minutes, more vehicles arrived in a steady stream.  I was puzzled by the protocol. Should I get out and wait at the door?  Would the guy in the pick-up think I was trying to jump the queue?  How do I maintain my place?

I quickly found out when a 30-something guy walked up to the door.  A senior in a vehicle next to me immediately saw red.  He rolled his window down and shouted, “THERE ARE FIVE PEOPLE AHEAD OF YOU! DON’T GO THINKING YOU’RE FIRST IN LINE!”  It was almost comical.  We all started getting out of our vehicles and the old man lined us up according to the order of our arrival.   I was second!  The 30-something guy stayed in his own one-man line which caused some concern among the older folks.   And this was about 7:31.  We still had a half hour wait.

When the doors opened we were all handed deli-counter numbers and Mr. Single Line fell into fifth place.   Almost 40 of us squeezed into the tiny waiting room.  Efficiency is their game, that’s for sure.  #1 peed into a cup in record speed and my blood was extracted so fast – I was out of there in about 5 minutes and at the radio station in plenty of time to toss out every back-up plan and do my show as usual.  Side note: My physician checked off a PSA test for me – that’s a check of a man’s prostate!  The nurses had quite a giggle about that.

As my blood filled the vials I asked the nurse what the line-up routine was. She said sitting in one’s car doesn’t guarantee a place in line.  You have to get out and stand at the door.  So the 30-something guy could have gone in ahead of us.  But peer pressure and the senior’s cane were probably weighing on his mind!  The nurse told me there have been several scuffles when people try to jump ahead and she has seen little old ladies get intimidated into going to the back of the line by people who feel their days are more important.  It’s ugly.  And it’s uncalled for.  People can be so selfish.  So if you’re in this situation, look for an old man wearing golf shoes.  He’ll keep everything in order and stare down anyone who dares to get out of line.