Who wants to go to the lab first thing in the morning? Especially when you have to fast, which means no coffee (yikes). Surprisingly I had a very pleasant experience. ***The purpose for pointing out our DIFFERENCES is to show they really don't matter and how I enjoy the diversity of my area.
I got in the elevator and held the door for a Caucasian man. When we arrived at the lab he held the door for me. "You held the elevator, I'll hold the door." [Yes, my community is courteous and friendly.] I signed in on the new electric sign in devices and sat down. A Caucasian man who might have had developmental delays rotely asked me, "How are you today?" "I'm fine." In walks an African American man. The young man with developmental delays asks him, "How are you today?" He responds and then asks, "What's your name? I'm Brian." The young man answered. I spoke out and said, "That is really nice to see people greeting each other. Can you believe they are calling for snow tomorrow?" Brian then asked if we were from around here. The light, cheerful conversation continued.
Now an older gentleman who appeared to be Asian walks into the lab. He attempts to sign in on the electric pad but appears confused. He looks around at the waiting room full of people with a confused look on his face. I got up to help him. (Hey, I can mostly work my smart phone now. I can handle this.) I point to the space and say "first name." I quickly figured out he could speak and understand English fairly, but couldn't read it. "Last name." Him, "Where is the 'l'? Now I have two h's." We edited his input and I continued to read the prompts to him. It really didn't take long and he was quite appreciative.
I get called back to the "in-person" sign in desk. I say, "Good morning. I am a frequent flyer." The lab tech responds, "You are. You can probably do this yourself." I get my blood drawn and as I leave, the two gentlemen are still waiting their turn (always best to make at appointment at Quest Diagnostics or you could be sitting there all day). I tell them, "Have a great day, gentlemen." The both respond, "you too."
I take the elevator down to the first floor and there is an elderly African American woman with a walker who appears to be struggling. I ask, "Do you need any help?" She responds, "I'm ok."
I walk to my car thinking, "I live in such a nice place. Who would think going to the lab would lift my spirits." Kindness is contagious.
Caveat: I wish I could learn how to write about diversity without "labeling." I can't claim "I don't see our differences," because I do. But I rejoice in it. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.