Two weeks ago, walking home from CVS, I noticed a sign advertising a blood drive being held in the Old Town Hall the same night. Let me preface by saying that the first time I gave blood I was 17 and had to obtain a permission slip from my mother to participate in the Red Cross blood drive being held at my school. I have always felt a sense of responsibility and have tried in the past to donate when I can. I stopped in and was given a form to fill out and told to wait 'over there'. The place was hectic and lacking direction but it was going to get worse. Once I was finally called upon by the exhausted and stressed out woman who was to do my intake interview, I was horrified to be sitting across from someone who was speaking so fast I could hardly understand her. I had been through it before and knew I was not to be considered a high risk donor so I tried to answer accordingly. Once she was through she sent me on my way to wait for a table. From the time that I was called upon to the time the needle was taken out of my arm I was hardly spoken to and had to lay there listening to how overworked and understaffed they were. I noticed that the guy next to me got a nice shoulder rub when he was sent to the waiting area. I was just sent. Infact when I stood up one of the girls looked at me and said "are you okay?".
I waited the recommended 15 minutes, had some cookies, juice and even a piece of pizza. Again, this whole time I was not spoken to at all. I got up to go and made it half way down the stairs. I thought I was going to pass out. I've never had such a reaction to donating blood and it was terrifying. I finally made it to the bottom, as I figured in that state it was easier than climbing back up, and sat. I was passed a few times by I don't know who. I was walking home anyway but a walk that normally takes me 5 minutes from there took 20 as I had to keep sitting down. I am surprised I made it!
How disappointing. I emailed the Red Cross and got a response from the Director, if you will, and when I responded in detail as she asked, got nothing in return. Not even acknowledgement.