Friday, March 20, 2009

come on baby, can you bleed like me?

so guess what my lovelies - i'm employed! i have a job! i'm making money! of course, i'm selling a bit of myself, literally, but who cares? zaz! or kind of...

in this fabulous little community here, the hottest craze is to make money the easy way - shake your money maker, baby! midwesterners are hard workers and it is all too true in fargo, where people can make money dancing, submitting to science experiments or selling their blood. that's right. i am now selling my plasma. or rather, selling my blood which they take the plasma out of and then give me my blood back. yippee! i tried to do the higher money maker in the area, a pracs study (basically giving your body to science for 36 hours on the weekends while they inject, prod and poke you with things and then let you leave a thousand bucks richer). they didn't want me. i'm just to crazy for them, so i didn't qualify. but biolife nary turns a healthy twenty-something like me away! so now, the first time i go each week, i will receive $20. not bad for less than 1.5 hours of sitting there with an uncomfortable needle stuck in your arm. the best part, though?? the SECOND time you go in a week, you get FIFTY dollars! woo hoo! so that's like 70 bucks for 3 hours of work. not a bad use of my platelets which i hardly use anyway.

so today was my first time - i was a platlet-giving virgin. i've donated blood tons of times before (until new england wouldn't take my blood because i lived in europe for too long - i didn't eat red meat anyway! there's NO WAY i could have mad cow disease! but thats ok because then i moved to california and they aren't quite as picky with their blood - they took mine all night long) but this process is slightly longer and since it's illegal to sell your blood, much more lucrative. i go to my appointment and get asked all sorts of fun questions that make me think 1) my life is REALLY boring and 2) i might need some new life experiences:
  • have you had a neurosurgical procedure involving the head, brain or spinal cord between 1972 and 1989? no, although i don't remember much of 1999, but i guess that's not in your range.
  • have you had sex with a man who had sex with a man at any time since 1977 in the past 12 months? no, but sounds fun.
  • have you shared needles with anyone in the past 12 months? i've tried to but no one will give me any.
  • in the last 12 months, have you had an illness with swollen glands and a rash, with or without a fever? 12 months you ask? nope. 13 months ago, but not 12.
  • have you ever been in prison for 72 hours in a row? ??? i actually had to ask why this was a risk factor - in case you get raped? yes, AND because inmates might have a cut or there might be blood in the toilet that you share. prison is a super scary place now!
they also asked me if i had spent 6 months in scotland, wales, ireland, n. ireland, or england between 1989 and now. i paused and then said no. not six months total. then they asked me if i had spent 4 years in france. i took my time answering because i had to answer truthfully. i think it comes out to less than 3 years total. i said, "noo..." i like to answer fishy like that and let them think "hmmm, what sort of interesting person do we have here??"

aside from answering silly questions and getting poked all the time (not in that way), the other fun of my new job is that i get to talk to phlebotomists. mostly, i just like saying that word. phlebotomist. phlebotomy. phleb. he he. phleb.

the center has really great hours, so i should definitely be able to fit it into my jam-packed schedule. there are a few things that aren't so great, though. 1) they're constantly checking me for track marks. i'm gonna have to start injecting myself between the toes and i have an anti-feet thing. 2) when you're done, they give you an ounce (or something like that - i'm not good with measurements) of "liquid" back to hydrate you and since it's stored at room temperature, it's really cold and kind of painful and 3) i just read in this fancy packet they gave me "some tips for before and after every plasma donation" - down those fluids. got it. i'm a fast drinker anyway. eat a healthy meal. ummm... ok. avoid fatty foods. hmm.... ok... skip the caffeine and alcohol. woah. hold on, nelly. "avoid drinking alcoholic beverages the night before and the day of your donation, and at least four hours after your donation." this might be a deal breaker. i thought selling yourself and alcohol went hand in hand. (upon reflection and logging in to bank account...) i guess i'll try it for a few weeks and see how it goes.

in any case, $280 a month is clearly not going to fully fund my 401k for the year. i still need to find another job. and i feel slightly guilty, as well. see, i am in possession of a nice blood type: O negative, baby. that's right, all y'all can get my blood (universal donor) and i get to be the rarest of the rare. why? because i also have something in my blood that is not common and is given to newborn babies and burn victims. i forget what it's called but when i was donating blood once, the woman took my hand and said, "you are doing an EXCEPTIONALLY good service" and then showed me on my sheet that i had this fancy thing cursing through my body. so yeah, i could be giving it up for free, but instead i choose to be paid. maybe in time i will become re-benevolent.


  1. awesome. answering those super personal questions is pretty fun. not to mention all the awesome snacks you get afterward. i also have multiple XXL t-shirts emblazoned with the red cross logo on them (seriously, why do all free tees have to be made for giants?!). i'm an O+ here, btw.

  2. subject: this is by my favorite band: garbage. LOVE them.