On my official second day of unemployment, I had a side hustle planned as to garner some money for the past weekend's squanders. Per usual, I signed myself up for a sesh at the EPA worth $75. Seems reasonable for coughing up sputum, right? I thought so too.
As I've been known to do in the past, I had perused the EPA website and found a general screening that I possibly might have already done that was worth a possible $75 that they might have already given me...granted it was 3 years ago this might have happened, I assumed I was due for another round. I made the appropriate calls and emails and had this baby booked 2 weeks in advance. It was like I was making a dinner reservation for my birthday; that's how on top of it I was. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this cash influx.
I got to the building 5 minutes before, my hands already itching for the cash. A French lady greets me and takes me in for a few general questions. She asks if I had participated in studies before. Me and my veteran test subject self got too cocky and told her I thought I had. I didn't think ahead and ask myself what my good friend and fellow EPA regular, Bandy (names changed to protect and help future swindlings at the EPA happen), would do (which is lie and get the money). This apparently sent up a red flag and she dialed her coworker to check the files... whoops. Who knew the EPA kept files for that long?
Unfortunately, and a good 45 minutes later, I am told I cannot participate or do anything today because my samples and results were still on file and had been labeled as "inactive" but were now changed to "active." I didn't know there was an inactive phase nor an active phase. I thought that after a year, everyone was eligible again. They should really tell you THAT instead of the possible side effects when debriefing you.
All this was told to me by another woman, who looked vaguely familiar and had an air of superiority. The French lady mentioned something about this lady cutting me a check, but was quickly put down because "well, she hasn't done anything." She told me they might need some sputum later, since I was a good producer (normally this would make me happy, but since I wasn't getting paid for my time, I was just annoyed) and I might be eligible for some blood draws. I guess that's okay.
The French lady was mega nice and promised to email me when more studies opened up or blood was needed; heck, she even gave me TWO instead of ONE parking vouchers. I suppose my next move is to sell this unused voucher to someone on the street at a reduced price that will still add money to my wallet.