Daily Post 023: How to Mess Up a Drug Test

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I was going to write tonight, but I’m going to do it now instead. Before my bike ride. That way I can think over everything and process more clearly while enjoying the fantastic day.

So, yesterday…

Yesterday was decent. Productive-ish, though mildly annoying followed by this morning, which was really freaking annoying, which is why I need to do this now.

I started the day by taking the shirt back to Target. That was actually the easiest thing about my day. I simply exchange the shirt. I didn’t get additional ones. No muss. No fuss. Pretty much an in and out trip.

From there I went to FHCA to find out about my PCT program and my CPR certification because I STILL haven’t gotten that information yet. I was told three weeks-ish. Well… we’re at like, six or something. This is stupid. I’ve asked multiple times about this. I’ve been checking my spam folder. Just give me my freaking certification.

In the school’s defense, they’re not the ones issuing the license. We’re having to wait on the other company to process and release the information. Still… it’s frustrating.

Anywho…

Yeah. Went there to find out about those two things. The front desk associate is always super nice and knows me by name. She said most likely the company thought I took the CPR certification in conjunction with my PCT course and was holding the certification until my “graduation” date.

Well… since I didn’t take the class in conjunction with the PCT course I want my license now. Please.

She said she would reach out to the company for me.

I also informed her about my recent job offer and how due to being employed I wouldn’t be able to finish the PCT course. I asked if there was a way to change my contract to being just the EKG and phlebotomy classes.

She said based on the contract, since it was past the 40% mark that normally, no, we wouldn’t be able to change it. However, given the circumstances, she would ask her boss and get back to me about it.

I left with no more information than when I had originally gotten there, but I felt good that I had at least addressed the issues and would eventually, at some point, have more information to work with.

From there I went to kickboxing. I did really well. I stayed for the whole thing. I know I’ve talked about going there recently, but I guess I should say that I don’t normally stay for the whole class. I do the warm up and the boxing/kickboxing portion, but when we get to the last 15 minutes of core work and cool down I peace out. I’ll either shower because I need to be somewhere, or I go to the dojo later and want to not be 100% dead, or it’s a “light” day and I’m happy with the effort that I put in.

Yesterday I did the full hour, start to finish. Woo. Go me. That’s only because it’s randori at the dojo on Friday’s and so kickboxing was my only workout so it was all or nothing.

After showering at the gym I went and did my drug test. Filled out all the paperwork. I didn’t think it was possible to ask someone for their birthday that many times, but apparently it is.

I got called back. The guy was super nice. He explained everything to me and didn’t make it seem weird that I was going to basically be peeing into a cup for him. Medical stuff is so messed up when taken out of context…

Anyway, I messed up the drug test initially.

And I’m starting it off that way intentionally because I know the first thought is, “How did you mess up peeing into a cup?”

Well, from 25ish years of training, I flushed the toilet once I was done. And I say 25 instead of 28 because I’m sure the first few years of my life I didn’t have the ability to flush and/or use a toilet properly.

So yeah… when you do a drug test you can’t flush the toilet because they have to ensure you didn’t tamper with anything. And I did because I totally don’t remember him saying not to do that.

So even though it was the perfect sized specimen and everything, we couldn’t use it.

When asked if I could give another specimen, I also love how medical terms make things like peeing into a cup sound so scientific and important, I was like… but I just went… I highly doubt it.

I tried. It was Quantity Not Sufficient.

The guy had to call and inform HR that I had “Shy Bladder” and that the specimen was Quantity Not Sufficient. I had to stay for an extra two hours to give another specimen during which time I wasn’t allowed to do anything other than sit and stare at a clock which was still an hour behind from daylight saves.

Fun times…

Eventually, the process was successful. Hooray. I was finally allowed to leave and get food, something I hadn’t done after the gym because I figured the drug test would be quick and painless.

Worst idea ever. I was so hungry by the time I left I seriously wanted to chew on my steering wheel just so I could try to trick my stomach into thinking I was eating.

I went to Moe’s and got nachos. I figured it’s what mom and I would have done. She would have found it funny that I fucked up a drug test by being “too clean”.

I didn’t have much left to give when I got home even though it was pretty early. Like six-ish. I sleep for most of the night, waking up around 9 this morning since my phone died during the night and couldn’t wake me up at 7. I’m actually not all that heartbroken over it.

Which brings us to the annoyances of today.

It started with it being Saturday, the day after Friday, Warren’s pay day, and having no information about when to expect the $300 for rent. Since he’s still asleep right now there’s not much I can do about that point.

I had found out on Thursday about the issue with my phone still having $250 owed on it. I fired up the Verizon online chat because technology is amazing and totally supports my introversion. That took roughly an hour, during which time I was the one who found most of the information required through previous emails and Verizon bill statements, not the representative.

In the end, I was told I would need to call the Trade-In department on Monday to have the issue resolved. Was that an acceptable resolution?

Irrational Right Brain: Um… no. Not really. Because Monday I’m going to call and have to explain all of this all over again and I really just want you guys to figure out what got screwed up and fix it because this is some serious BS.

What I did say was that I was worried there would be more issues when I called on Monday.

He said that he had made all of the notations on my account documenting the issue so when I called the issue should be easily resolved. I guess the only way to find out will be to call on Monday. I already have an event on my calendar to do it after class so I can’t procrastinate on it. I have to do it. Google told me to.

After that issue got “resolved” I looked into my CNA test. I got that email at 7:18 pm last night. My test date is next Friday. I will not be ready for my test. Not with phlebotomy having a test that Thursday. Not with how I’ve been studying and taking the EKG class. I was told after fingerprints cleared I would have 30 to 90 days. I would be given a test date within that time frame. Not a week after their clearance.

I’m not confident in my ability to pass the written test, and I know, right now, I would fail hardcore if I got certain procedures. I haven’t made CNA a priority because it was in the future.

I can reschedule the test. That’s not a problem. If I do it before 5 business days there’s a $30 charge. Anything less than 5 days I have to pay the full $150.

I would like to reiterate how I got the email at 7:18 pm Friday. You know… after business hours, and how my test is for the following Friday. If they don’t count Monday as one of my business days then I have four days to reschedule my test.

Irrational Right Brain: Motherfucker, I am not paying the full fee.

I tried calling. It’s Saturday so their call center is closed. They have online chat available from 11 am to 3 pm. It’s 1:05. It’s still “unavailable”. I’ve tried going through all of the steps listed on the website but it takes me to a page which says nothing about rescheduling or canceling. Only about finding information for testing centers and study information.

I sent an email explaining my situation, how I wanted my email to count as my initial contact with the company in regards to my situation, and that I would call Monday for further clarification on the issues. I also said I appreciated their assistance and understanding.

So yeah…

Those are the four areas of my life I’m still trying to get figured out.

Rent payment
PCT program
Verizon bill
CNA testing

And all of those I have to wait on…

Arrawrrawrrawarrawr.

I’m not good at waiting. >.<;

Why can’t I just have the information I need to move forward with stuff? Why can’t things just get figured out? Or work how they’re supposed to?

I feel like thunking my head down onto my desk right now in frustration because it seems like any time I go to tackle a problem Life goes, “Hahaha, JK! LOLOL!”

It’s one of those moments where I want to go, “Fuck it. Life’s complicated. Time to be a dragon.”

Well, I’m already a dragon. I’m an earth dragon because the Chinese zodiac is awesome like that. So I guess the next best thing I can do is do laundry so I have a clean towel for once I’m done showering and go for a bike ride to finally enjoy a day in the sun.

I’ve done a lot of adulting today. I was going to say failed adulting, but I didn’t fail. Other people are slackers. I did my part. Now I have to wait for them to pick up the ball.

I have my list of things to do. Mostly cleaning stuff. But I’ve already done well today.

It’s the first. April 1st, 2017. Three more days until mom’s death day.

This past year was my Year of Survival.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this coming year to be. I’ve been meditating on it because I know it’s not something I can ask other people or find in a Google search. This has to come purely from me.

Survival was my most important task for last year. I’ve done that. I’ve done that really well and I believe that with every fiber of my being.

So if that’s taken care of, what’s my next most important task? What’s the most important thing to me right now?

I didn’t have an answer, but now I think I do.

This coming year will be my Year of Stability.

It’s going to be the year I focus on clearing out my debt, establishing myself in my new career, and solidifying myself at the dojo.

This will be my year of ensuring the foundation I have started making for myself settles properly.

I like the way it feels inside my head. It feels right.

I want to meditate further on it to make sure there isn’t another area I want to add to it. I know relationships are important to me, but I feel those are sort of like the flower bushes in front of a house. They’re pretty and they can be super important, but they’re not the foundation everything is built on. You can have pretty flowers and have a foundation that’s cracked and broken and unsafe.

I want my foundation, I want ME, to be solid and stable. I’ve survived. I’ve lived through almost all of the first year without mom. Three more days to go. I feel like I’ve done well. I feel like I’ve gone from being KOed to sitting, conscious, aware, still on the ground, still hurt and bruised from my hit, but I’m “with it”.

Now it’s time to start trying to stand up.

That’s what this coming year is going to be. My goal at the end of it will be living on my own.

In one year, next April 4th, I want my own place. A house. With a yard. With a garage or an extra room to be my makeshift dojo.

I don’t have to own it. I could be renting. But the big thing will be that it’s a house and that I don’t have a roommate. It will be me, mine, my space and no one else’s.

And with those frustrations purged, and those goals acknowledged, I’m going to go enjoy my day.

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Daily Post 011: First Interview

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Saturday. 10am. I woke up at 5 but decided that was a bit unholy so I rolled over and went back to sleep. I kept waking up, staying in the light fog of half-sleep half-aware, and making the choice to stay in bed, snuggling deeper into my blankets while Scarlet stretched all cat-like next to me.

It’s been so long since I’ve done that. Indulged in that. Rolled over and continued to sleep, knowing I’ve done well and that since there’s nothing pressing or urgent, nothing required, I can bask in the feeling of being in bed and secure.

And maybe it hasn’t been as long as I think. Maybe the past two weeks have been so busy and “normal” that it just feels like it’s been an eternity. Going to kickboxing yesterday probably factors into it. My body is still on the low end of the energy spectrum because of the intensity level. Almost 24 hours and I’m still not fully recovered.

I had suspended my membership to Title Boxing to try the dojo. The suspension lasted for three months. On February 20th my contract became active again, which means, yeah, I’ll get hit with the payment, but I also have access to go back to the gym which may in my favor. The gym opens earlier than the dojo, so I can go there, have a morning workout, then go to class. In the evening I can do one class at the dojo and still feel fulfilled. I enjoy morning workouts and I’ve missed being able to have them.

Since there’s not much I can do since my Title Boxing membership is a contract I would rather find ways to make it positive rather than being aggravated about it. I would also rather use it than not since I have to pay regardless of what I do.

I’m going to find out today when my contract ends. I’m fairly certain it’s around June. I’m trying to figure out my finances for the future and my membership is one of the variables I need to solidify.

I suppose I should mention that I’ve had two quizzes for my EKG class, which I’ve aced. I also had my first test this past Friday… jeez… yesterday. Friday was only yesterday…

I got a 95 on the test because I missed one question. It was in regards to the normal frequency value of the T wave on an EKG reading. Missing one out of 20 other numbers I had to remember isn’t too bad. I’m happy with how I did.

I had an interview Thursday. My first interview in five years. Only the fourth one ever in my whole life.

It went well. I was originally applying for a housekeeping position. Through talking to the lady interviewing me and finding out about everything I have done/am currently doing to enter the medical field, she mentioned that a resident caregiver position may be more in line with what I wanted to do.

I said that I had seen the position on their website, but I wasn’t sure if I was qualified enough to apply for it. She loved my resume and all of the answers I gave to the interview questions. She said my purple hair wouldn’t be an issue and that honestly, she hadn’t noticed it. It’s very non-offensive and if it does become an issue then wearing a bandana should be fine. She said she noticed my “pretty blue eyes” more than my hair.

She told me a bit about her journey with the company; how she started as part time answering the phone and is now the training manager for new managers. There were actually several stories of employees starting out in entry positions who are now directors or program managers of their areas. The company is very interested in supporting its employees and promoting from within.

She mentioned her office is located in the of the facilities she would be sending my resume to. There are two locations with part-time caregiver positions available. Both of them are fairly close to my apartment, so I think I would be ok at either, but I would prefer the Oviedo location since I know one person there, even if it’s only because I spent twenty minutes talking to her in an interview.

She asked what I wanted to do for my future, and I was honest and told her that I didn’t really know. I was more looking to “get in” and to see where it took me. We touched a bit on mom’s death and why I am having the change of direction I am. I mentioned I had thought about physical therapy. She said at her location there’s an on-call nurse who helps with physical therapy routines. It could be arranged for me to work closely with this particular nurse to gain exposure to what physical therapy is really like.

After a year of being with the company there’s also tuition assistance, so if I wanted to go to school for something the company would help me grow in that direction.

It’s interesting to think about staying with a company and moving upward. Full Sail didn’t have vertical moment. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had worked there for 10 years. Full Sail doesn’t count teaching as experience. I would have had to leave the school and worked a different job then come back if they even had a position open, or killed myself doing tons of freelance to ever have the “right” experience to become an associate course director or course director. I don’t even know what the qualifications are for a program director, nor do I think that would have been a position I wanted. It’s more business related rather than student/teaching related.

Anyway…

That was my first interview since mom died.

That was my first step towards gainful employment. At least I’m counting it as my first step. I’ve been filling out applications. I’ve been doing “stuff”, but this was an actual interview with another person, and it went well.

At the end I asked if she had any feedback for how I handled the interview and she said I did fantastic and I had nothing to worry about. It was nice to hear her high praise, at the same time I would have liked to have some sort of constructive feedback. There’s always room for improvement, right? I mean, I’m not perfect, so how could I have done better?

I think I could have answered the questions I was asked smoother. I mean, I answered them well, but there were a few times I wanted to stop and make sure I was saying what I wanted to the way I wanted it to be said. I think part of that is being an INFJ. I also think part of that is not being used to having to explain my reasons for things, like, “Why the change in direction?” I think the more I have to answer questions like that, the smoother and more ok with my responses I’ll be.

I know this interview might not pan out. I didn’t get a call yesterday, which I wasn’t really expecting one, but waiting over the weekend is going to drive me insane. If I don’t hear back by 2 pm Friday then I’m going to call both locations and ask if my application has had a chance to be reviewed.

Financially it’s not going to be a lot. At most, $10 an hour. I’m going to push for ten even though I was ballparked with $9.50 as a caregiver.

Mom’s retirement check came in. We have to wait for the court to do red tape nonsense, but that money should be in before too much longer. That will make things easier, but it doesn’t change the fact that I NEED Warren to step up and start contributing to the apartment. It’s not an, “it would be really nice if you would” situation anymore. I won’t be able to pay everything on my own.

I’ve been looking at job postings for EKG techs and there’s not much. I’m finding more for phlebotomy, which I’m not even sure I’ll be able to stomach yet. I think I could work through my fear of stabbing people with needles, but I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable taking a needle myself. I think the class is going to be rough, but I think I can do it. I think it would be easier to get a job in that area than some of the others.

I’ve also seen a lot of postings for PCTs, but I won’t be eligible for those until around May, potentially. Some of them are only CNA with an additional certification. So it’s possible I can get PCT with my CNA and EKG certificates. It’s possible I could be at the hospital as soon as the beginning of April.

I am scheduled to get my fingerprints taken for the background check required for the CNA test. That was $80 I wasn’t expecting. If it helps me get employed then it’s worth it. I’m supposed to have that done Tuesday before therapy since they’re in the same area. Figured I would do it smarter not harder.

Once the Board of Nursing receives my background check they will assign me a test date. Next week I’m going to start staying after class to practice the procedures again.

The first day of EKG class I saw my old instructor for the nursing course I took. It was fantastic to see him again and I totally gave him a hug. We chatted for a bit. I’m pretty sure he would be willing to help me. If he could watch me do a few of the procedures each day so they’re fresh in my mind I would feel more comfortable about my test.

Becoming a CNA would give me more options as well. I’ve seen several postings for CNA positions though not as many as PCT and phlebotomy.

I crunched some numbers in regards to my expenses and it’s going to be tight for a while. I’m not paying rent right now since the apartment is paid in full for the year. That means I need to figure out what I need to do when it becomes October and my living expenses go up by $500.

Currently, even if I was making $16 an hour full time, I would be scrapping by when October hits, and there’s nothing saying I’ll be making that much.

I still need to factor some things, but I think what I need to do is pay off my credit card before then. Right now I put $300 a month towards it. I need to seriously increase that. Getting the last bit of the retirement money will help. Getting paid back a few things that are owed to me will help. Getting a second job after school will most likely be what does the trick.

So I think that’s going to be my mid-term goal.

Short term Goals

Find immediate part-time employment
Complete CNA and EKG certifications
Complete school

Mid-term Goals

Secure full-time job
Secure seconed part-time job
Pay off credit card

Who knows, maybe I’ll like the second job and keep it to pay off my car after the credit card is done. After that there are the federal loans I still have, but with an extra $600 free from not having the credit card or car payment I may be ok with going back down to one job. Or who knows, maybe I’ll keep it and blast through that as well on top of being able to pay for my own place, no roommate needed.

All I know is that $10 an hour isn’t going to cut it, and even if I made higher than that it would still be uncomfortable.

School eats into a chunk of my day, and it’s not something I’m going to sacrifice on. I still want the dojo, so that’s another non-sacrificial part of my day. That means I don’t have a lot of time to give, but I can give a little. So that means, for the moment, I’ll get a little.

A little is better than nothing, and it’s a stepping stone. I don’t know where I want to go, but this is definitely a forward direction. And it’s into the area I think I want to be in. Or at least moving closer in that direction.

There’s a lot of unknown factors that may make this process easier. I’m not sure how much my uncle will want to pay for my portion of mom’s timeshare once the deed is divided. I’m not sure if Warren is going to get a better job and start to pay me back for helping him move or if Sir will be able to return the money I loaned him. My blacksmith was extremely happy with a template I made for him and said he would pass my name around the cosplay community which might pull in some extra revenue. There’s a potential side project where rigging would be needed as well, which a former coworker has reached out to me about.

There are all sorts of things that “could” happen.

Right now I know for sure, 100%, I can count on myself. So, with just myself, I can make this work by getting a job now, and then most likely a second job once my schedule frees up a bit after school.

Ideally, I would have a full-time job over the weekends. Three 12 hour shifts, which would leave my week open for training at the dojo and part time job to pull in a bit more money for my financial goals. Friday and Sunday I don’t go to the dojo, so I wouldn’t feel bad about missing anything. Ideally, this would be my higher paying job as well so I would be pulling in the most for my time.

The part time job I would be ok with making less since all of that income would ideally be going to the credit card. Or whatever debt I am focusing on.

I know right now I’m not in the best position, but I feel like it’s manageable especially with proactive choices now. I need to change my situation by October. I would like to have two jobs by June. One where I make close to $15 an hour, the other either $10 or higher.

So that’s sort of where I’m at. I’m definitely on the left side of my brain right now. Problem-solving. Number crunching. System evaluating. I need to talk to Warren about the storage unit because that’s a cost I think we can remove or at least lower. I’m going to be using part of the retirement check to finish off the phone issue with Zane’s line, which is more expensive up front but will save me money in the end. I may also switch back to Metro since that’s $40 a month versus $70 and I was happy with their service.

I don’t know if I’m really happy right now. I know I’m not unhappy. Maybe content is a good word. I’m content with where I’m at and I’m proud of a lot of the things I’ve been able to do the past two weeks.

I’ve been consistent with the dojo. And I say “consistent” when I’ve only gone twice, so maybe that’s misleading. I went Monday for submission grappling, which completely kicked my ass. After not being at the dojo for almost three weeks, one of which I was sick with a severe cold/mild flu, I felt like being completely tapped out was understandable.

As a result, I went for a light run Tuesday rather than going back to the dojo. Wednesday I did Muay Thai conditioning. Thursday I didn’t do anything since I had class and then my interview. I went to my sports bar afterward to celebrate by having two Angry Orchards while studying for my test the next day. Which, by the way, alcohol and studying totally go hand in hand.

I spent the evening with Big Bad playing Mortal Combat. We finally figured out how to do the super badass fatality x-ray moves. So brutal. So awesome.

It was an awesome night and I’m glad I was able to spend it with him. Since we went to sleep late we skipped our strength training in the morning, but that’s ok. I made up for it by going to Title Boxing for their noon kickboxing class after acing my test.

So yeah, as far as working out, this week has gone well. I’m going to be going to another Muay Thai class at the dojo in about an hour. Afterward, I’m going to be staying at the dojo to pull up the mats. Paul posted in the Facebook group that the dojo is getting new mats. They want to pull the old ones up so when they get the new ones tonight they can go ahead and place them down. I won’t be able to help out tonight since I already have plans, but I want to help in some way, so I’m planning to stay after class and do some of the prep work.

I already have laundry going, and eventually, once I come home and shower I’ll need to go do grocery shopping. This weekend is most likely going to be pretty chill overall. I haven’t celebrated my test yet. Maybe I can convince Big Bad to do pizza with me to celebrate. When I pass my EKG board I plan to get the shin guards I want from Venum. I haven’t figured out what to do for passing phlebotomy if I pass, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

I feel like I’m doing better about taking care of myself emotionally and spiritually. I can tell my metabolism is picking back up. My endurance is coming back now that most of the cobwebs are swept out of my muscles.

Hopefully, things settle down a bit and I can find the energy at the end of my days to start writing again. Or maybe now that I’m not going to be spending my mornings researching I can write while drinking my coffee.

Not sure, but consistency with my writing is my next focus. I miss writing and every night I go to sleep without doing it I feel like I’m dishonoring myself. It’s not a giant icky feeling, but it is a small pinprick, a twinge in my heart chakra, of knowing that I didn’t put myself first. I let something else come between me and my feeling of closure.

I don’t like that, so I’m going to work to fix it.

I guess that’s a good way of summing everything up. I’m working. I’m doing. I’m moving forward. Not just in one area, but in several, and knowing that I have a heading makes a lot of things feel better. I might not get to where I’m going via the path I think I will, but as long as I keep in mind where I want to go, then I’ll get there eventually.

It’s a good feeling. A warm feeling. A solid, stable, confident feeling.

I’m being true to myself. I’m being honest with myself. It makes it feel like I doing things right and that mom would be proud of me.