Three really positive things happened yesterday when I gave blood…
#1 I think the Red Cross people set a new speed record for blood donation! I had blocked out two hours for this. Sure, they SAY it takes “about an hour,” but the last several times it’s been two plus change. This seems an awful lot, considering the part where blood actually flows takes about seven minutes. I understand being busy and having to follow proper protocols, but when you make a business-process analyst sit and wait, thoughts of “throughput” and “cycle-time” go through his head. I confess; I brought a notepad so I could track activity-time vs. wait-time. This session, however, donors were heavily outnumbered by med techs; they were practically fighting over who got to take my information and draw my blood. I was out the door in 45 minutes! That was great.
#2 As I was checking in, I had a conversation with the volunteer at the front desk that went something like this:
Volunteer: You look like that actor….
Me: Brent Spiner? Data from Star Trek? (I’ve heard this before.)
Volunteer: No, did you ever see the move “Dave”? The actor that played him…
Me: Kevin Kline?
Volunteer: Yeah! You look like Kevin Kline!
Normally when people compare me to celebrities, it’s to Mel Gibson* and Dave Barry**. When it comes to looks, it’s usually to the aforementioned Brent Spiner. I try to not get hung up on my appearance, but it’s hard to be an American and never wistfully compare one’s self to the gorgeous inhabitants of TV and movies. I’ve been a fan of Kevin Kline’s acting work since “The Big Chill.” Not only is he charismatic on screen, but I get the sense he’s a decent guy in real life, too. And he’s not bad looking, so I take this comparison as a very nice compliment….
#3 I made a difference in some lives. A pint of blood can be used to help up to six people. I figure anyone in need of blood products right now, whether by illness, injury, or surgery, is having a really crappy holiday season. I am, in a small way, making things better for them. While I enjoyed the speed of my donation, it was because fewer people are donating this time of year. If you can give blood, please consider doing so. American Red Cross, Portland appointments: (503) 284-4040.
* 18 occurrences: “You’re almost as funny as Mel Gibson!”, 1 occurrence: “You’re taller than Mel Gibson.”
** 217 occurrences: “At least you have better hair than Dave Barry.”