It's Been A Long Day…

I don’t expect anyone to find this particularly interesting, but that’s okay. Oh, and the bus in the picture does not belong to the blood center I work for.


The alarm goes off at four-thirty am, and she hits snooze through the fog of a strange dream involving Vincent Van Gogh and someone trying to swindle 100 million francs from him. The extra nine minutes of sleep do not help her make sense of this dream like she hoped.

She wakes up – sort of – after the second time the alarm goes off, staring blearily at the clock and wishing she could just go back to sleep. After a minute or two she has to get up, or risk being late to work. Since she has somehow managed to never be late to this job for the past two years, she figures she has a reputation to live up to, and may as well keep it up. Besides, one more day, and then her vacation starts.

She looks over at her cat, sleeping on the pile of blankets on the computer chair, but the cat doesn’t move. The fuzzy little jerk doesn’t get up until after she’s dressed and ready for work, when he meows crankily at her and moseys over to his food bowl. She pats him goodbye on her way up to the kitchen to make breakfast and put a lunch together.

She remembers that one of her coworkers wanted to stop at Village Inn on the way out to their blood drive site, so she keeps her breakfast small; just a couple of pieces of toast. She’s looking forward to an omelet later.

She gets to work with minimal traffic, since it’s Saturday and the sun isn’t even up yet. Two of her three coworkers are already there, and they already have everything ready and loaded in the bus for the blood drive today, so there’s nothing left to do but wait for the last guy to come in. Once he’s there, they all file into the bus and head up to the Village Inn near the Farmer’s Market.

One of her coworkers buys them all breakfast, which surprises her, but she thinks it’s very nice. She spent most of her money on a birthday present for her boyfriend, so it’s helpful for her budget. Instead of razzing him, she simply says thank you and lets her other coworker give him a hard time.

They get to the Farmer’s Market blood drive site with about forty-five minutes until start time, and start unloading and distributing all the supplies from the back rooms so they can all get set up. She’s handling the interview portion of the blood drive today, so she sets her things up in her station and makes sure everything is quality controlled and working correctly for the day.

Everything goes smoothly once they start, and then one donor’s card is a little complicated, so she gets a little backed up dealing with his issues and trying to persuade him not to be angry at her for not letting him donate. She’s not entirely successful, but once he leaves she has to make sure that everything is documented correctly and that his mess of a card has been cleaned up to the best of her ability. This takes her a few minutes, and some of the other donors who have been piling up start asking aloud, “What is taking so long?”

Flustered, she takes the previous donor’s card and places it in a drawer to maintain confidentiality, then opens the door and calls in the next donor, who is patient, understanding, and acceptable to donate. Then the next donor.

“Why can’t you just draw my blood first and then do this part second? It wouldn’t take as long, and then if something came up you could just junk the blood.”

“That would be a waste of resources, and we wouldn’t be able to catch it if your vitals were out of our acceptable to donate range if we did that.”

“Well, I donate all the time, and I know I’ll be okay.”

No you don’t, she thinks, but doesn’t say anything, just ducks her head and finishes the interview as fast as possible. This donor is acceptable, so she sends her up to a bed to be drawn.

The next donor, also approved to donate, gives her a nasty look when she leaves the confidential station, even though she has just apologized for making her wait and told her that her patience is appreciated. With a sinking heart, she realizes that this donor is probably going to leave a negative comment behind her when she leaves. She makes a mental note to email her supervisor so she won’t have to be tracked down to tell her side of the story, just in case.

By this point, the day can’t end soon enough, but there’s still an hour and a half of draw time left. She regains her composure and continues to interview donors until the magic hour of half past noon comes along, and she is given the okay to break down.

She cleans every piece of equipment she used meticulously and puts it all away neatly, then sits down to wait patiently while the last of the donors finish up their donations. Eventually the last of the donors leave, and everyone else starts to clean their equipment, and everything is a flurry of packing and stowing so everything gets back safely.

She reads on the way back to the blood center, grateful for the lack of traffic. She’s tired, and at this point just wants to go home so she can start her vacation. They unload the bus when they arrive, and she makes sure that the bio hazard waste gets put in the correct bin, and that the blood gets to the laboratory so that the testing and production can get underway. Then she signs off on all the tasks that she completed that day, and goes to write that email to her supervisor.

Other teams get back, and she tells them about her day and how she made some donors angry. They tell her to email her supervisor about it, which she is already doing. A few minutes later, people start to file out. She stays behind to finish the email to her supervisor, and then gets some online training modules out of the way. When she comes back from vacation, she won’t have to deal with it.

She’s the last to leave from the early shift, so everything is quiet and empty, but it’s soothing. No radio, no loud coworkers, no donors to fluster her. It’s a good note to leave on.

And that was my day.

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About ladyinieda

Hi! I’m Erin. I’m a phlebotomist and a freelance writer. I’ve been writing off and on since I was six years old. Hopefully it’s improved since then. ^_^
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