“You’re too damn happy. You’ve lost all your street cred as a cynic.”
My girlfriend may have a point about my happiness. Seeing as how my last holiday was soaked in a dark combination of Absinthe and spite, my brilliant good mood of late is in sharp contrast.
Even my holiday spirit – which was once measured by how many times I could quote Scrooge and mean it – has shifted gears. Because, as I’ve just discovered, nothing screams “Happy Holidays” better than a random drug test.
They call the testing “random”, but I know better. I look at it as a special spot check from Santa, really. My resemblance to Hunter S. Thompson is likely too uncanny for the corporate world. Either that or my four-inch heels give me the illusion of being a crack whore. (Which, considering the ice coating the ground, isn’t exactly a foregone conclusion. What kind of idiot besides a crack whore wears stilettos in the winter? Me, obviously.)
However, despite any lack of justification – random or otherwise – it is still in perfect keeping with the traditions of the joyous season. When the giggling HR rep visited my desk claiming to be bearing a “gift”, I know I wasn’t looking for a holiday greeting card or bonus. That notification of a drug test was exactly what I wanted; lord knows when I saw it I could hardly wait to pee on something.
My “privacy” and “confidentiality” were assured, which made being lumped in with a group of other “random” coworkers and paraded en masse to the lobby restroom like a chain gang a surprising treat.
We even had 30 minutes to catch up on idle chit chat: the “nurse” from the medical facility administering the pee test had conveniently forgotten to bring consent forms and was considerate enough to take her sweet time in returning to the workshop to fetch them. Since there was surely potential for one of us to sneak a peak or prematurely exchange gifts and ruin our holiday fun, we were wisely quarantined in the lobby. I used the extra time to stand on a soapbox.
It was a relief to not have to think twice about the consent form when it was finally delivered. With Big Brother holding my hand warmly, I was able to sign the form under the crisp glow of job security. I even swore I could smell something roasting in the background. Whether it was chestnuts or human flesh, I couldn’t quite be sure, but no matter.
Once our pesky rights were signed away, we were instructed to form a queue. Our line to the restroom wound up snaking through the lobby like the line to see Santa at Macy’s. I’m sure we were all in similar spirit.
I was certainly more than ready to sit on that Christmas throne when my turn finally came. Santa’s Little Helper offered me a container for my holiday wish of a negative result and escorted me to the approved stall. The holidays truly are full of magic and wonder, because just as I had situated myself with my cup, the door of the stall miraculously blew open.
Was it the baby jesus? Or was it my Christmas spirit making a break for it? All I know is that as I staggered to shut the door, one hand gripping my cup, the other my pants, I felt a chill race through me. It was an extraordinarily special moment.
The elf had told me that Santa only needed a small wish deposit, but I wanted to make sure my message came through clearly. I left him more than he asked for, both in and on the cup. It was the least I could do.
Several red, candy cane-like lines later and I was cleared to return to work. I hate to sound like an ungrateful child, but I do wish I had more to show for the experience besides the branding as a potential drug puppy.
I guess I just need to accept that the holidays are celebrated in unusual ways and that not all customs match my own. In Yugoslavia for example, children are allowed to tie their parents to a chair and hold them for ransom. In Portugal, the dead are invited to sit and partake of the holiday meal. And in Whales, a person carrying a horse skull on a spike gets to chase villagers around until they’re paid to go away (that actually sounds like something I could get into).
Apparently in America, or at least in my own professional territory, peeing in a cup is an accepted holiday occurrence. God help me on New Year’s Eve.