It all started in the end of my internship, after working 19 days in a row to have the last days of the month dismissed. I was finally in vacations in Greece when Mr. Babis, the human resources manager, asked me if I wanted to give blood, the next day. Trying to be a good person, I said ‘of course’. After all, it would be a kind of a new experience: giving blood in a foreign country.
I convinced my partner and Alina, a super cool ukrainian girl, to do the same. So, Mr. Babis told us to be early in the morning at the hotel, to have a good breakfast and to rest properly. That’s what we did.
We had to wait for a long time until Mr. Timos, our beloved hotel manager, was ready to go. (He was also volunteering to give blood.) But what we didn’t know was that he was going to drive us there. The blood donation took place in one of the other Sani Resort hotels and we could only get there in time by car, but we thought we would go by the hotel bus or something. We weren’t expecting at all we would get in our hotel manager’s BMW.
How many people who work in hotels can say that they took a ride from their hotel manager, feeling the summer breeze in their face, getting their hair all messy because of the wind and having fun?
When we arrived, Mr. Timos made us a little guide visit in the hotel before we got to the blood donation room. Then, I had to fulfill the form with the usual questions about if I have any kind of disease or if I’m a lesbian (what is the point of this one?!). The thing is… It was all in greek! Greek in a way that I couldn’t even try to decode. Mr. Timos translated it all for us.
Then, Mr. Timos was called by the nurse to answer to even more private questions and was dismissed. He couldn’t give blood because he had made a tattoo in the last six months. (Yeah, an hotel manager with a tattoo, how cool is that?)
Next, my turn. The nurse measured my blood pressure and said it was a bit low, so I could only give 100 ml of blood. Ok, better something than nothing, I thought.
I sat on the chair, the nurse put the needle in my arm and started to prepare Miguel, who was next. I started to see everything blurred and to feel a bit dizzy, when Alina looked at me and asked if I was okay. I couldn’t even answer and I only remember the terrified face she made thinking I was about to die. She called the nurse, who immediatelly took the needle from my arm and put my chair almost upside down, so I wouldn’t faint. They say I was white as a ghost.
The nurse had just measured my blood pressure again, when Miguel got suddenly white. Soon we were both upside down, feeling like zombies. Alina started to laugh – “You portuguese are so weak!” – and Mr. Timos even took us a picture!
About 40 minutes later, we sat on a bar drinking juice, fresh chocolate and frappé with our boss, laughing at this episode and talking about careers. It is impossible to forget moments like these.