Warning! Do NOT Lick The Blood!

So I got a new job.  Instead of working in the Advancement Department of a major University down here, I’ll be working in the Medical School as Support for the doctors on the HIV/AIDS research team.  I had to take time last week during the day to go and spend a few moments with the individual who was vacating the position so I could get an idea of what would be required of me.  I left my beautiful and well manicured office and arrived at what can only be called a bunker-like, monolith of a building that could only be more confusing if the halls were lined with mirrors.  I held out hope for the office I’d be in. 


Hope failed.  The office was a disaster; I had to turn sideways to go from one side of the office to the other, there were papers piled up all over this lady’s desk…soon to be my desk.  I kept trying to remind myself that I was helping to support some great individuals who were doing fantastic work trying to solve one of our generations great problems.  Well, better get on with this.


“Can I grab a chair as you explain this stuff?”  I ask the lame duck employee. 


“Well we don’t have an extra.”


“Can I just grab one from one of the doctors offices?”


“You’d have to lift it over their desk to get at it.”


“Ok, I’ll stand.”


She spends an hour explaining things, that if they were done properly, wouldn’t need explanation.  It wouldn’t be until later that I and the department would realize that for two-years this woman didn’t do anything:  no filing, no organizing, no reports, no databases, nothing!  But that’s a later post.  


Someone mentions that she should show me the lab since I will have to help in there too.  As we walk in there’s blood everywhere.  My fingernails dig into my palms, which are quickly coated in sweat…I think I’m going to be sick.  It wasn’t all over the walls or anything, it was in tubes being rocked back and forth on machines, spun around in centrifuges, locked away in refrigerators, or in doctors hands.  I noticed that the woman I was following was standing next to a massive metal tube that was as tall as me and as wide as a truckers ass.  


“This is the nitrogen tank that feeds this freezer here.”  She taps a relatively small machine next to her with a metal tube running into it.  She goes on.

“This freezer holds hundreds of viles of ten year old HIV positive blood….and it’s locked.”


I open my mouth to ask a question, but she goes on.


“The freezer will beep if it’s low on nitrogen, but that’s not good, so watch this thing here and when it gets to that yellow point, order another one, they’ll deliver it in two days.”


“Who does the connecting and disconnecting?”


“That’d be you.”


“Yeah, but isn’t nitrogen gas that stuff they put stuff into then pull it out and shatter it with a hammer?”


“Well you see, the reason this freezer her is locked isn’t because we’re afraid of someone stealing 10 year old HIV positive blood, it’s because if you opened it, the blast of air would give you 3rd degree burns.”


“Oh my God!  So, wait, what’s to prevent that from happening when I change out the tank?” 


She opens a drawer.


“These asbestos gloves.”


“Oh, ok…wait?  Excuse me?”


“Yeah, asbestos is good for this.”


“Yall have any lead cups I can drink out of too?”


“That’d be radiology down the hall.”  She says in all seriousness, “You’ll be fine, it’s not hard.”


We begin to leave, I’m grateful that I can get away from all the blood, it’s like The Shining in there I swear!


“Oh!”  She says, “One last thing.”




“Don’t lick anything.”



  1. Did you ever think that you would need to be warned about not licking something in your place of employment? Do the drs. look like mad scientists? Do you think the drs. will talk to you or will they be so busy looking at blood all day they won’t have time to see anything but dark red? Ugh! Run, don’t walk away from that job! Your post is funny but I am thoroughly disgusted.
    I feel like puking. Let me know when your last day is so I can congratulate you for quitting a nauseating job.
    Marvie- my stomach is queezy…..

  2. All of the doctors are really, really nice and friendly.

  3. LOL… what an awsome JOB!!! No sitting staring mindlessly at a computer screen. You are going to be apart of something that will help MILLIONS!!! Be proud of it, blog about this more often, and if you ever want to quit because you cant handle it go see some aids patients and it will change your mind.
    I am so proud of you!!! You are truely doing something that will make a difference in this world. I know its only filing and organizing and playing with asbestos and nitrogen but you are still part of a great team!
    Wow I want a job like that!!!
    Oh take some photos from your cell phone and post them with the next blog… maybe something you would think of licking… who licks things at their office anyway?
    You have totally made my day. They are truely lucky to have such an anal employee working for them now! Maybe things will be a little more organized!

  4. I still say- ugh!!!! I am glad that the drs. are nice and are not in lala land. Anal employee??? Explain yourself please.

  5. She mean’s someone who doesn’t put up with disorganization and messes- someone who must have things tidy and organized

  6. Ok…..I bet they will like the way the office looks once you have control of the mounds of paperwork.

  7. They’ve already mentioned how much nicer it looks

  8. Hmmm, will they be good contacts for you when you need references????

  9. waiting for more stories!!!

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