How much is that baby in the window?

Despite our worries and fears that we were walking into a condo-time share presentation my wife and I went to the monthly “seminar” at a reproductive medicine clinic. We expected high pressure sales tactics. We expected to be the least attractive people there. We expected to be the least affluent people there. We expected to be the ONLY people there since no other cars could be seen in the parking lot.

As we got ushered back to the waiting room I can honestly say I had never been happier to see a more overweight, more poorly dressed, more socially awkward couple already waiting. (Yes, I know that is a terrible thing for me to say and it makes me really shallow.) Seeing them was like having a heavy weight lifted from our shoulders. Suddenly we knew this wasn’t going to be so terrible. Suddenly we knew that as socially awkward and weird as we were going to feel there was another couple there to make us feel better about ourselves.

I even felt bad for the other couple as  we were waiting and she awkwardly ran out of places to look and picked up the plastic uterus on the coffee table, fiddled with it for a moment, the quietly put it back down as she turned red. Woo hoo! They are “that” couple and we’re suddenly the confident ones.

As we awkwardly stood around (again, still not as awkward as them) for about another 10 minutes more couples joined us. We were “that” couple to some of them I’m sure. But at least we had “that” couple to put us at ease.

The presentation itself was “enjoyable” (?) i guess. I mean as “enjoyable” as a thirty minute power point on reproductive medicine can be. Certainly it wasn’t as exciting as “Employment Laws and You” but it far surpassed the intricacies, plot depth, and sweeping grandiose of “The History of the National Labor Relations Board”. I mean really the only thing I kept thinking was “that’s cheaper than I thought” and “not so expensive”.  The great thing about this clinic was as they discussed each option they included the approximate cost.

I thought it was neat too that it wasn’t just a salesman giving the entire presentation. It was actually about five different people from the head doctor, to the head nurse, billing manager, and some of the “fertility coaches”. So each different person came in to talk about a different portion. A fertility coach, by the way in case you were wondering, is a nurse who helps the parents to be with everything from questions, to how to take some of the medications, to encouraging them if they get discouraged, etc. The fertility coach is NOT someone who yells at you while you’re having sex trying to get you to perform better. “Pick up Smith! Looks like you’re asleep out there! Wake up! Push! Push!

We also got a tour of their facility. It was small but pretty neat. I don’t know if it was good or bad that they had colorful sperms painted on the floor leading to the “happy room”. I shit you not that is what they actually call it. The “Happy Room”. If you don’t know, the “Happy Room” is where men make love to a cup. For the really dense crowd out there – men masturbate in to to a cup to provide a sample. I, of course, being the mature 11 year old in a 41 year old body actually went into the room and announced loudly to my wife’s horror (and the other touring folks’ entertainment) “Look honey, they’ve got dirty movies.” That earned me simultaneous giggles from the others and swift eye roll and punch to the arm from my wife.

Sorry, I’m not used to seeing movies like “Butt Busters 3” and “Wild, Wet & Horny” in a top rate medical facility. It strikes me as embarassing, funny, and awkward all at the same time.

There are some professions that define who a person is. It defines and shapes a way of thinking that becomes second nature to them long after they take off the uniform. A cop who always has a cop’s suspicion eye for detail. A fireman who is willing to jump into harm’s way to help others. And me. My occupational thought process? My keen sense that never leaves me? Why, Human Resources of course. My super human ability is to immediately react and respond to violations of employment law. I can’t help it. It is who I am. (Aren’t you jealous?)

I knew I have spent too much time in HR when, after the presentation, we were talking with a doctor and nurse. I mentioned my boss’s name and the nurse gets so happy and says “Yes! I did her ICSI!”. I couldn’t think here is the nurse that helped my boss with her fertility. I couldn’t think “great! I’m in capable hands!”. Nope. Me? The HR nerd? All I can think is “That is the biggest HIPAA violation I’ve ever heard! How dare you tell me the exact medical procedure she had to undergo to get pregnant! How dare you madame! Good day!” Of course I didn’t really say that. I did just tell you I thought it not said it. It really wasn’t a huge deal to me. What was more of a huge deal was that it was the first thing popping into head. It was the realization that my wife if right and I am the biggest HR nerd this side of Texas.

All around it was a remarkably good experience. Imagine my shock when my wife who was openly reluctant (reluctant = nice way of saying pissed off she was getting dragged here) to attend asked the nurse “Can we make an appointment now?”. Wow! That was fast.


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