Red Cross My Heart.

I am getting certified in CPR thanks to the fine folks at Red Cross, LA! I’ll officially be able to revive and resuscitate the crap out of all of you. While I would like to own that skill just because, I’m taking this class so I can teach cardio kickbox professionally. Yes – that is how intense my class will be…(!)

I used to work at the Red Cross in Portland, OR. As a temp in the call center – recruiting blood donors. We were out for blood (ba-dum-kssh!) — and also donuts. Krispy Kreme donated giant boxes of those things to us every Saturday. I’m pretty sure they were for the actual blood donors, but since we were just the lowlives on the phones (and not the people with the syringes in our hands or our arms), it was more of a “good work whoever you are – widen those butts!” kind of gift.

It was a thankless job. We called too much (God bless you if you were Type O – we were like vampires lurking on the line), at weird times (“Sorry to bother you…[silverware clinking on dinner plates in background]”) and often, at really poignant moments in people’s lives. Here’s an imagined transcript of my most awkward call:

Me: “Hi, this is Lauren from Red Cross Oregon, calling for Mr. Roberts. Is he available?”

Woman: “Who is this?”

Me: “(Wanting to hang up) …Oh, um – Lauren. From the Red Cross. I’m calling to ask him if he’s available to donate blood with us this Saturday.”

Woman: “Oh…ok… Um, he’s my father. And… he died three days ago.”

Me: “Oh my god, I’m so (make a move to turn up the volume because I can hardly hear this woman, and I press the wrong button and hang up on her) — sorry. SHIT.”

(Redial the number. Ring, ring, ring…)

Woman: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi, it’s Lauren from the Red Cross again. I’m sorry, I accidentally hung up on you. I’m so sad to hear about your father. I just wanted to tell you that.”

Woman: “Thank you. He loved–”

(I hang up on her AGAIN, while trying to turn up the volume.)

(Ring, ring, ring…)

Woman: “Hello?”

Me: “I am SO sorry. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I keep – pressing buttons.”

Woman: “It’s ok. I was just saying that my father loved donating blood for the Red Cross.”

Me: “(Shocked. He was a rare breed. His only escape from the Red Cross was death, really. It’s like the mafia.) Well, I hope you are doing as well as possible. We’ll remove him from the list… and – thank you again.”

And in fond memory of Mr. Roberts, a hero I never knew, I take the Red Cross baton and wave it high and mighty over all my classmates at CPR Certification 2011! Here’s what I’m bringing to class:

A+ student: 1. Communicator Swarovski crystal bandages (you want the victim to look good) 2. Vintage 50’s first aid manual 3. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine – just in case I have to cut someone open 4. Important pages from the manual: how to make an interesting hat) 5. A little hot water bottle in a sweater! 6. Swiss Army Rescue Tool with mini saws on it. For cutting.

First image by whisperinghope

2 thoughts on “Red Cross My Heart.

  1. Hey Lauren!
    My name is Crystal and I found your blog through Yani, when she linked to it on facebook. I have been reading it for a couple of weeks now and I just wanted to say HI! and that I have been enjoying it! You are hilarious! As a recent transplant to LA from Portland myself I love reading about your adventures in this new place. Keep it up girl!

    • Crystal! Thanks so much for reading! I’m excited to find out about your blog as well! Hope to meet you in person one day – we can swap our LA stories ;) Best of luck to you too!

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