Not Safe For Work

This post could possibly become Not Safe For Work. I wouldn’t know. My concept of Not Safe For Work has been drastically altered since I began my job here in Hawaii. It’s one of those jobs that is perfectly legitimate, perfectly respectable, and yet you don’t go bragging about it at family reunions. To them, I work with the Department of Health. I do data entry.

The dirty truth is, I work at an STD clinic.

I’ll be honest. I’m naive. I mean, sure, in high school my friends and I would crack dirty jokes– the majority of the people I hung out with were gutter-minded guys. But we were innocently dirty minded, our knowledge acquired from friends of friends of friends, television and the internet. High school wasn’t that long ago, but already in retrospection I think kids these days are a lot older than I was when I was that young.

My job mostly involves entering data for tests and vaccinations. Since many of the test forms are filled by clients, I’ve been exposed to a wealth of slang I’d never heard of before. What is the difference between crack and coke? I should have paid more attention during D.A.R.E.

The office space is separated by a door that says “Authorized Personnel Only”. I get a childish little thrill out of going through that door. Although I work in the main office, the restrooms are in the clinic area. There is one for the general public and one for Employees Only. My boss recommended I use the Employees Only restroom. “We are an STD clinic.”

If you run into someone you know in the clinic, it’s company policy to not acknowledge them unless they speak to you first. It’s not exactly the place you want to run into people. I think of other people who brag about meeting celebrities at their workplace. I’m not sure what I would say. “Love that movie you were in. Hope your rash clears up!”

The other week my boss asked me to type up some STD brochures to be translated into other languages. I grabbed a stack from the clinic and set to work, but quickly realized I was missing one. “Oh shoot,” I cried aloud. “I don’t have Gonorrhea!” My mother would be so proud.

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3 Responses to Not Safe For Work

  1. MJ says:

    Ah. To be innocently dirty minded once again…

    *sigh wistfully*

  2. Penny says:

    Ha! My standard answer used to be, “I work in public health.” If people pushed the issue, I would add, “In HIV Prevention.” And if they really wanted to know exactly what I did, then I would tell them, “I work with active injection drug users to help reduce their risk of HIV and other communicable diseases.” People either were interested or taken aback.

    You are doing very good work for the community…and with some great, dedicated people!

  3. Penny says:

    Your mother should be proud! šŸ˜€ (I was supposed to add that to the previous comment).

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