Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Collector

So I was recently contacted by a person that told me that she had been hired by my new health insurance carrier to come to my house TO COLLECT MY URINE. She didn't give me any credentials or ID or references.

Apparently this is quite normal, but I've never had to do this for anyone outside of a doctor's office or a midwives collective.

The lady came to my house this morning and gave me a little cup (you guys know the kind) and two little test tubes. While I was in the loo (thank god she didn't have to watch) I could hear her chatting my cat up. When I came out she told me all about her three cats at home and how well they all get along.

I suppose that it shouldn't surprise me that someone who's job it is to collect strangers' bodily fluids is somewhat of a cat lady.

When I told her I was pregnant she mentioned that she may have to come back and take my blood. I told her that it would be over my dead body that I let someone literally off the street come into my house and take a vial of my blood. I'm just that paranoid.

First the Nestle Babyclub and now this?? I feel like I'm in the Matrix right now.

Has this happened to anyone else?


j. said...

I've had that (not the Nestle Baby Club thing; I didn't get crap like that until afterwards). However, I am apparently more trusting than you are, because I think I let her take my blood.

At least, that's my vague recollection.

It's all very fuzzy now.

I remember... hey! who are you? how did you get in he---WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT SYRINGE???!!?!

Wannietta said...

This a a health insurance carrier through your work? Never heard of such a thing!! It sounds shady - Big Brother and all - is it for random drug testing or to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
How bizarre.

Not An Artist said...

Woah. That is so scary! You are working for a US company, correct? They are allowed to do all kinds of insane stuff to their workers down there... hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come, I'm sure 90% of my staff wouldn't pass a drug test ;)

Jillian said...

Strange. And kind of funny at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen,
The clients I work with have these people come to their houses all the time to take their urine for screening.
CAS and CCAS usually use a mobile unit like GammaDynacare or MDS to cut down on stress to the medical system. You know, people having tests for important medical reasons instead of insurance company crap.
But I've never heard of anyone taking blood before. Or anyone not showing up with ID and a requisition slip. I even think you're supposed to be able to see the slip or even sign off on it.

Me, urine's one thing, but I'm not letting anyone near my arm with a needle unless I know they're credentialed (sp?) and using proper procedure for collection and storage. Especially if pregnant. How do you know she's versed on Universal Precautions? Could she contaminate you? Shit, just go to a lab!

Delighted you're knocked up, BTW.
Leslie - knitting therapist

Maria said...

I once signed up for this group health insurance (with Desjardins) and this woman called me and came to my house and took my urine. It was on my birthday! So it's not the first I've heard of it.

denny Mcmillan said...

yipes I am so screwed.

oh wait I work in a yarn store

Craftygrrrl said...

The Company you work for is American right?

Urinalysis is common practice amongst US companies in the States...even if you are applying for a cashier job at Walmart.

I just finished reading Nickle and Dimed and the author talks about the urine testing a fair bit in one of the chapters.

mjm knitting said...

WTF? That's just crazy! Without proper paperwork I wouldn't let her past the front door next time. Hell I wouldn't have let inside the first time. No ID or references? WTF?

Congrats on the baby news!

Kim said...

So very odd. It makes me think of a Shonen Knife song called "Insect Collector." Just substitute "urine." Urine Collectors must be a Canadian thing as we don't have then in the states.

Lynn said...

Jennifer, just be careful they don't microchip you when you're not looking!

So glad the baby news is now in the public domain.

Stephieface said...

Yeah, door to door urine collectors are not a norm here in there states. You have to go to a lab for that kind of stuff, you also have to have a form stating you are there specifically to pee, and you get to leave with a form saying you were there and you did indeed pee.
I would rather eat rusty nails before I allowed a door to door whatever to stick me with a needle (that's right up there with the flea market tattooist, you know?)

If I recall, doesn't Nestle own Carnation which makes the Good Start Baby Formula?

Dr. Steph said...

You certainly are in [insert favourite dystopia pop culture reference here].

I wouldn't have given her the pee without some checking with insurance company. Since pregnancy is often considered a "pre-existing condition" they may not cover any drugs/tests etc that arise from the pregnancy if they can prove it happened before you started on the insurance plan.

So ask a lot of questions before you give any blood to anyone related to your work.

I would also ask to see their privacy statement. I'm not real crazy about door-to-door sample collection. How will it be used? What control do you have over its use etc.

So much angst over pee is funny, but also rather serious.

Jen said...

I guess I should have cleared some things up - she did have forms from the insurance company and I did confirm with my boss that this wasn't some fetishist insurance freak. So there was some back up checks done.

But still. there will be no blood letting done at home...

Thanks for all your thoughts Ladies! Will keep you posted.

pest blogger said...

Yeah, apparently my dad is signing up for new insurance and I'm the only one who has to do it.

I turn 20 tuesday and then have to pee in a cup on weds.

My brother is 18 and he does not have to do it.

I am the only female who has to do it.

I guess it's a female thing. I just feel paranoid about it is all.