comedy / science education

A Week Closing Rant about the Importance of Closing Lids

Finally, after a long week of poops, pees and in betweens: my weekend begins 😀

To celebrate this special occurrence I would like to issue forth a public message of a somewhat taboo nature. I’m talking about poo. Now, sometimes people have problems with their poop and they need to have it tested. This is normal and, if there is a potential issue, it is wise. One should never be embarrassed to speak to a doctor regarding ones poop. It is a normal bodily function and unattended issues with a colon or intestine can cause more trouble than an unattended child with ADHD being fed Red Bull by well-meaning strangers. So it is important that tests be available to detect anomalies in poop which may lead to diagnosis (or the ruling out) of an ailment. This is where pathology comes into play. This is where my job begins.


The maniacal laughter your imagining right now is a pre-requisite for graduation from any medical science degree

Now, when you send in a medical specimen for testing you, of course, need to get the specimen into a suitable container. We understand that the collection of certain materials can be kind of gross, but for us to be able to assist a collection needs to occur. By following the non-invasive instructions (and they are non-invasive – stop sticking the poop scoop inside the lid of your container up your arse – we’ll only laugh if you complain), collection can be simple and efficient. We make a promise, here and now, to do our job if you do yours. Your job is a simple one, a common sense one, a highly appreciated one.

Screw the damn lids of your specimen jars on properly.

For the love of all that is holy, if you think your poop is gross imagine what I’m going to think when your poop jar comes into my place of work with a half screwed on lid. Or worse – a cross-threaded lid. Half screwed on lids mean odour escapees, but cross-threaded means poop escapees. These poops, once entering the confines of the jar, should remain imprisoned until such a time when we, the mysterious pathology team, remove them from their jail cell. If I sent you a bag with poop in it, you’d be disgusted. So please don’t do it to me while I’m at work. I know poop isn’t nice but it’s your own damn poop! Screw the lid on THE WHOLE WAY. Not so tight that even the Hulk won’t be able to unscrew it (this will only cause a build up of poop gas and cause an explosion… the memories… I don’t want to talk about it), just make sure it’s firmly twisted on. This goes for urine samples also. The last thing I want when I go to work is to reach into a specimen bag and be greeted by the wet feel and easily discernible pong of your urine.

Take a moment to ponder on that scenario. Close your eyes and, in your mind’s eye, imagine yourself there: the cold damp on your thinly-gloved hand, the acrid stench as it curls through your olfactory system, the cross-threaded lid observed as you pull the jar from the bag. The muttering under your breath about how this is the billionth one today and can people not complete such a simple task as screwing on a damn lid. Do you have this vision? This urine-themed vision?

Now imagine that was poop.

Pause with that image a moment.

Imagine further that it is sputum (aka what you just coughed up).

If you’re not already completely disgusted, continue to imagine that it’s blood. Or semen. Or the juices from swabs of various locale. Or pap smear slime. Or formaldehyde from a biopsy. Now imagine me making this face.


Except you don’t have to imagine it: I just showed it to you. This face is made at least ten or twenty times each and every shift. When you don’t close lids properly, you release all manner of upsettedness out into the world. It collides with people (like me) who are just trying to do their jobs. People who are just trying to help you. You make us sad and angry and uncomfortable. You make me question why I’m cleaning up someone’s poop when I haven’t any children.

So if you want to make a difference in life, if you want to make the world a brighter place, if you want to help a fellow Earthling (help a Terran out, yo!): please, please, PLEASE make sure you do up the lids on your specimen jars tightly. Do them all the way up – not half way, not three quarters of the way, not ‘eww this is gross, I can’t bear to touch it’ way (meaning it’s so loose it’ll fall off in the bag and goes everywhere). Do it up the whole way. Your behind-the-scenes pathology team will love you dearly!

On a final, closing note, it would also be nice if you use the containers that the surgery provides you with. Putting your dump in a jam jar doesn’t help anyone’s mental health. There’s a reason the poop containers aren’t see-through.

And to the man who wrote ‘Vintage: 2013’ on the top of his urine pot – thank you for making my day 😀

2 thoughts on “A Week Closing Rant about the Importance of Closing Lids

    • Only the mysterious rulers of private enterprise can authorise such measures. But that would likely lose the company precious business dollars, so it’s unlikely that kind of a call will be made given the negative profit direction of pathology businesses across Australia. But that won’t stop me dreaming of a world without pee on my hands! What a brave new world that would be.

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