« Piss Poor Piss Testing »

Today I was asked by a sound company that I interviewed at a couple months ago to take a drug test so I could get a freelance gig with them doing sound for a show at Sea World. This is odd. I worked for another sound "company" doing summer shows at Sea World from 1998-2001. There were no drug tests then. In fact, Sea World didn't do anything to authorize me, and most days, when I would arrive at the usual gate, I may or may not have been recognized at all. I had no badge as a subcontractor, no business card to state my affiliation. Sometimes it was guesswork if I would even get let into the park on time if at all. This new company is far more corporate and rank-and-file in their methods, and maybe Sea World stepped up the policy since I worked on their grounds. Earlier on, Sea World used to tell me to wear this absolutely silly looking shirt and I just ignored them.

Today, in the couple hours before my evening class, I mozied down to the office where I would be peeing in the cup, all so they could discover what I already know: no drug use here. Never have, never will. Never even smoked a cancer stick. In fact, if the Boy Scouts honor code was alive and well in America today, I could call over to Sea World where one of their technical services managers named Todd Larowe would vouch for me. Todd of course was the guitar and bass player with whom I recorded in the 1999-2002 period. (We met in 1998 while I was doing shows at Sea World. He has since ascended reasonably well there, but that's because he can turn his brain off during work hours and not get outwardly pissed at this sort of dumb shit.) But no, Sea World needs to have my piss on file. That alone doesn't bug me. If they want my piss, I would offer it to them. They could sell it in their shitty Anheuser Busch beer garden, where piss would be a more savory beverage than whatever AB is responsible for making and hocking upon the tastebud-dead public.

No, they wanted my social security number too. Okay, let me make sure you see the relationships here: Me > sound company hiring me (supposedly) > Sea World hires the sound company > and the drug test office doing the piss testing for Sea World. The piss tester is working out of some non descript two story joint in Old Town, the office waiting room is a little unkempt, and it took a FUCKING HOUR AND A QUARTER to get even this far, after two requests to get the fucking show on the road. Needless to say, this place seems like one of those fly by night joints where it seems some disgruntled employee would sell client info out of the back door for a few extra bux on the side. Finally, I got called in at a quarter to 6 and was seen by some mid 60s looking lady with an attitude. Maybe she mistook the clean cut 31 year old me for the 17 year old tattooed and droopy jeans wearing chollos and gangstas that clogged the waiting room before me. First order was to take off my hat. Then to wizz in this cup—but don't flush the toilet! Oh, and the piss cup had a thermometer that presumably lets her know that it just was ushered from within—they don't want me pulling no Ricky Fitts gag on them with pre-filled containers of piss from another person.

I was sitting there for some time. She took photo ID and was filling out some form and asked for my SS#. I protested. They told me Sea World would reject any test that didn't have an SS#. I told them, 'hey, I don't even have the job yet with the sound company, and oh, well, I never had to to this drug test shit before, the last time when I worked for a subcontracting sound company hired by Sea World.' Still she would not budge. Then she got her supervisor in and he told me the same shit. So I protested to him too. At this point, it's about five mins to 6 and I just want to get the hell outta there to get to school. I already missed out on my golden parking space which is only available for about two minutes at the strike of 6 pm. So I ask them 'if you have my CA DL# why they would need my SS#?' I tell them, 'when I am hired, the sound company are entitled to my SS#.' Finally, I just declare this is the zenith of absurdity. Drivers license, signature, and even my own piss don't indicate I am who I say I am? So I get up, put my hat on (thus saving me even more premature hair loss), tell them this is way too much hurdle jumping for a guy who never even smoked a cigarette. Then I left. I might have to do some explaining to the sound company even before they get me my first gig, but it was only a summerlong two day a week offer at a reduced rate (Sea World always gets companies to bid low).

Man, what the fuck did 9/11 do to this nation that soundmen, grounds crews, and hot dog salespeople need to take drug tests? As for my piss in a cup, I hope it tasted good. I saved up for a couple hours. I gotta wonder, if I were to shoot my man-wad in their cup, would that be proof enough of who I am? Is my very genetic fabric not stamp enough of who I am? WTF?

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