In an allegedly proactive attempt to keep us teachers healthy or make us healthier, our insurance has hosted various health initiatives. Of course, there are little contests and incentives along the way because otherwise none of us would give a fuck and would happily continue to do what we’ve been doing. As long as we’re alive at the end of the day and most of the kids are cognizant at the end of the day, we’re golden.
One of the most desirable incentives is the$25 Target gift card. If we are willing to put up with about 10 minutes of poking, prodding and questioning, we can capture the brass ring of “freebies”.
***Side note: We are tragic creatures. Offer us free food regardless of food quality; $2 Starbuck gift cards, which can’t actually afford anything at Starbucks; or pedometers that are impossible to hide in your dress and we are over the moon. Take that, critics who say teachers are spoiled and overpaid. You douse the entire front of your navy pants with blackberry Chobani yogurt and keep teaching the rest of the day, jerkfaces.***
Having that gift card is the only reason (well, maybe free Chipotle but insurance says that is counterproductive) that I spent time during my planning period being publically weighed and stabbed. First, I forgot my original appointment because of the industrial clean up from the yogurt incident. Then when I finally remembered it, I was trapped in my room with a student making up a quiz. Somewhere in my pea brain, I thought I remembered that the biometric screening crew was scheduled to depart at 2:00 which gave me a 40 minute window. As soon as the kid was done with the quiz, I darted downstairs to the makeshift clinic, watching the clock. I only had 20 minutes until it was time to change lives again.
The greeter set me up with one page of paperwork. Yes, high cholesterol- you have no idea, lady. No to tobacco use unless I’m shitfaced and since no one wants to have sex with me, I might as well have one little cigarette. No to fasting. Are you kidding me? It’s almost 1:30 and I spend my whole day with teenagers! If I was starving that entire time there would be no end to the screaming.
She then dragged me behind a tiny curtain that hid me from absolutely no one in the room, weighed me, got my height and spun me in a circle to measure my waist. I already knew my weight and height and I’m just going to choose to never think about the waist measurement again.
My paperwork and I were then shuttled over to another woman who repeatedly told me to relax while she stabbed my finger with a needle and then poked the stabby area some more with a metal prod. I know it’s just a little needle prick, but seriously, I considered passing out anyway and I could hear the band practicing a One Direction song over and over again while the German nurse-woman across the table talked about how much she loved swing music on the radio back in the day.
“Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,…”
Well, that will be trapped in my head for the rest of the week now.
I was told it takes roughly 7 minutes for the machine to process and analyze my magical blood drop. Meanwhile, I was watching the minutes tick down and wondering if I should just excuse myself entirely and sprint back to my classroom and, if I did that, would I still get the $25 Target gift card?
Here’s the thing. I see my regular doctor about every three months. She weighs me, pokes me, prods me, takes A LOT more blood than just a finger stab and routinely runs a variety of tests on it. I have to fast before all of this so that those test are accurate. After I see her, I go see a nutritionist who also looks at those test results. Every 6 months I get poked, prodded and manhandled by my thyroid doctor. Sometimes she likes my blood too. You cannot tell me that the weight, height, waist measurement done at top speed plus the 7 minute blood drop test after I’ve eaten a full lunch means shit as far as accuracy or new and exciting medical information. The difference is that none of my regular bitches are offering me a $25 Target gift card.
Finally my blood was cooked or done or transformed and I was paired with the oldest woman alive to review my test results. She put my paperwork between us with an air of someone who knows that she is delivering bad news on the level of: “Your puppy just died. Actually I had to kill it and I’m pretty sure it is your fault that I had to perform such an act.”
Sliding her finger across the result chart she said, “Here’s your weight, height and, ahem, your BMI. Are you familiar with BMI?”
Jesus, lady, what female doesn’t know about BMI? I can clearly see that my BMI exceeds the “optimal” number. Did she think that I was suddenly going to realize that I’m not super model sized because of her awesome chart?
Me:”Yes, ma’am, I’m fat.”
Oh, how she tittered at my boldness. Yes, I’m fat, but at least I had ALL of my teeth in today. Move it along.
Oldest Woman Alive: “Well, now here’s your waist measurement and as you can see…”
Me: “Yes, ma’am, I know. Most dangerous fatty area, hardest to get rid of etc…” Exceeds the optimal number, no shit. I think we’ve all seen that infomercial.
The bell for my next class is quickly approaching. $25 Target gift card.
Oldest Woman Alive: “Okay, well, your cholesterol and triglycerides are high, You need to…”
I proceed to tell her about my various cholesterol medications, blood tests, thyroid, doctors, nutritionist etc…The fact that I have recommendations to follow for food and exercise, but ha, ha, ha aren’t we just the best of friends, you know how that goes sometimes.
She is unimpressed. This cannot outrank her need to get through her goddamn chart.
Oldest Woman Alive: “So you say you don’t follow your program?”
Bitch sucked her teeth at me!
It would be one thing if I was looking at the Jane Fonda of old ladies, but this was just your run of the mill lumpy grandma with, did I mention, some major fucking oral hygiene issues! She then lectured me on the evils of bacon and sugar.
Yes, all I eat is fried bacon coated in sugar!!! Sometimes I just skip the frying process and roll the raw bacon around in a giant vat of sugar!! The sugar sticks better that way anyhow!!
$25 Target gift card.
She then enlightened me to the secrets of the food industry: they put sugar and fat in stuff to make it taste good. I should read labels carefully.
$25 Target gift card.
I made it back to my room with a minute left before the bell. The only good and useful thing to come out of the process (aside from the day that the gift card gets here), was the fact that the multiple numerical reminders of how much I exceed the “optimal” standards of weight and size, did push me to go to my afternoon workout, another school incentive program. I rolled around in the grass and pushed myself off of walls for an hour while some thin blonde thing clapped at me to “Push it more!”
In the midst of the clapping sweating, I remembered that I had a coupon for a free Jeni’s ice cream-some of the most glorious local mouth magic ever– that expired today. And I considered how pleased the Oldest Woman Alive would be to know that, as far as I know, Jeni’s doesn’t have any bacon flavored ice cream.