Sep 252015

Lab -article-testtubeI hadn’t noticed the sign before though it had been right in front of me every time we went to the hospital lab.

“Please Do Not Leave Specimens On The Counter”.

We have been to the lab a lot, lately.

Trey and I are now on a first name basis with those who draw blood and other substances for medical testing.


It’s a painful way to make new friends…

Now that I had seen it, I couldn’t stop laughing.

In a faux stern voice I held up the sign and instructed Trey to never, ever, ever, leave a cup of urine or any other bodily discharge on the counter, but wait to be helped.

When the worker came to check us in, I asked if that sign was really necessary.

Within seconds we had a whole staff telling us stories.

People leave all manner of specimens and then leave themselves…leaving behind anonymous specimens for the lab.

Sometimes they spill them.

Sometimes they throw them at the staff.

It was funny, but it wasn’t funny at all at the same time.

The consensus was that when you work in a job where you serve the public, you become less than human and the humans you’re serving believe they can abuse you at will.

You are their servant and servants can be used and abused.

(And everyone who has ever worked in retail said “amen”….)

There is a sickness in our souls that demands that we find people to feel superior to.

When we find them (and we all do) we reveal how sick we truly are.

It may come by just having a hint of an attitude, it may explode in outright abuse.

However it manifests, it is a denial of the faith and a lie about who we really are.

“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”

(Matthew 20:26 ESV)

Our place is to be a servants to each other and to a world waiting to be served in love.

We are servants of the One who took the form of a servant to serve us.

The path to greatness is paved through serving others who want to use the road.

I’m not even mediocre yet…but I don’t leave my specimens on the counter.

At least not at the lab…

Make your own application…

  24 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. Another great TGIF!

    I’ve always tried to remember the phrase that says (I’m paraphrasing) character is something expressed in how you treat others that can’t do anything for you.

    [As someone who visits a lab every three months, I have often thought about who is that unknown person that collects these specimens that I leave (be it blood, or “other stuff”) and what are their thoughts. Do they like their job? Do they find it interesting? Is it a “beep” job (literally)?]

  2. Pam,

    At this lab you hand over the goods to a real person.
    Sometimes you have to wait for a minute or two…and that’s too long for some.

    There are days when it truly is a “beep’ job for them. 🙂

  3. Amen. Excellent observation and writing.
    Thank you…and I hope you and Trey are getting some helpful answers to whatever issues you are being tested for…..

  4. Thank you, Paige…we’re getting closer to some answers.

  5. Michael,
    I can relate to the rudeness, remembering back to my years working retail. It took my years to recover enough to start enjoying Christmas again- the customers were that bad every December.

    By the way- for those who want to support Phoenix Preacher and get a great deal, you need to click on Michael’s Amazon link to the left side of the page. Amazon is offering their Prime membership for only $67, instead of the usual $99. The sale is just for today- Friday. Get to that discount by using Michael’s link on the left and he can get a little bit of money back to him to help support the website. A win-win for both sides.

  6. Good article Michael.

    Sometimes even when I help people, it is so that I can feel smug and superior.

  7. Josh,

    It’s always in us to do so.
    I thought I was being sanctified until I noted how superior I felt to those who were abusing the staff…

  8. everyone should do a stint in retail or some such job that requires dealing with the general public – at least a year – it is quite an education… not all are “bad,” not by a long shot, but it is surprising sometimes to see behind the facades of the folk who are nice, the important and the low-lifes, too …

  9. A great story and great application. We Christians are called to be different because we are called to serve. Church should be the place where we serve each other. But it often does not work that way. Most of us have not matured one bit since the church at Corinth. Yet God still has mercy on us.

  10. Randy,

    Thank you and amen!

  11. ***everyone should do a stint in retail or some such job that requires dealing with the general public – at least a year – it is quite an education… not all are “bad,” not by a long shot, but it is surprising sometimes to see behind the facades of the folk who are nice, the important and the low-lifes, too …***

    I think that whether retail jobs are positive experiences or not (and any job for that matter) really depends on how management treats the employees and not so much on how the general public treats the employees. Dealing with a few trouble customers a day isn’t a big deal if management has your back. But dealing with bad management all day every day is a recipe for discontent.

  12. Just curious, Michael, what % of Amazon purchases do you get? I understand if you decline to answer.

  13. It depends on the product and I’ve never really figured out how they decide.
    It’s a very small percent, but if you do enough volume it adds up.

    My average monthly take is about thirty bucks…which is very helpful right now.

  14. This month we’ve had about 150.00 in purchases…and I’ve earned a little less than 8.00 on that.

    It’s been a slow month.

  15. great zinger at the end of a fine article.

    we educators agree with our retail comrades about open season large caliber critiques…

  16. Thanks, fil. 🙂

  17. j2, if you can deal with a customer without the management then they aren’t really all that bad 🙂 or you are that good 🙂
    it’s the ones who say, “let me speak to the manager” who are the real pains (not always) and, yes, if the manager doesn’t have your back, you are either not doing your job correctly or the manager isn’t and that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish

  18. okay, i’m ignert, but i just bought a new toilet seat (blush) and didn’t realize that i could have got it thru Amazon and cheaper, too – posting this because i might not, probably am, but i might not be the only dumb one who visits the PhxP … i apologize
    next time….

  19. Well add $3.57 to that bc I just got the Prime deal. Thanks EricL! Dexter, here I come…💉🔪

  20. Em,

    You’re awesome.

  21. LL,

    Thank you…and enjoy your show!

  22. why thank you, Michael … 🙂 i’ll just sit here and pretend it’s true…

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