Monday, November 17, 2008

On community service.

One of the things I like about Barack Obama is that he plans to encourage Americans to engage in service to the country. And to him, service to the country is more than enlisting in the military: he wants us all to take an active interest in our fellow Americans. He wants us to volunteer our time and money to help make America a better place. I could drink this kool-aid all day long if it's going to inspire me to volunteer.

My first order of business in this quest to be an Awesome American was to quit ignoring phone calls from the Red Cross. They've been calling me about four times every Sunday, trying to get me to donate. I sort of stopped ignoring them: I hate talking on the phone, so instead, I made an appointment online to donate blood today. How rad am I?

On my lunch break, I followed the directions to the elementary school where I was to donate. Once there, they asked me one million questions, but the one that I will remember was this: "You have A- blood, so you qualify for this special kind of blood donation. It will take about 10 minutes longer, but the needle is smaller so it should hurt less. Also, we will get more usable blood out of you and give you back the stuff we don't need." I responded, "Will it hurt more?" He said, "No, it should hurt less."

He lied.

It took me over 45 minutes to donate whatever it is they needed, and it HURT almost the entire time. When the machine was drawing the blood out of me, I could feel the needle tug at my arm. RAD. The woman who had inserted the needle finally said, "Maybe you're not resting your arm right." I spit at her. (Not really.) When she FINALLY took the needle out, she said, "Now it might be sore for a little while because it's been in there so long." Me: "YOU THINK??"

So maybe community service isn't all it's cracked up to be. I haven't given up on the blood donation (yet), but I know the next time I do it, they're only getting the normal supply from me - none of this machine-operated-platelet-return-we-only-take-your-red-blood-cells crap. And luckily, I got them off my backs for another four months.

Maybe I'll get a tattoo between now and then.

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