Before heading to work today, I took a trip to the DNA testing lab to have my portion of the process completed. As the company we decided to use is based in Arizona, they contract with local facilities to have samples shipped directly to them. This keeps the chain of custody secure and saves us an extra swabbing and shipping fee while we are in Mumbai.
My contact at Chromosomal Labs set up the appointment for 9:00 am in Woodside, Queens, a neighborhood barely 10 minutes away from my home by car. I arrived on time and was greeted with some seriously gross accommodations. The office was dirty, with grime and black marks covering the walls, and the rep contracted by the lab mistakenly (I doubt) arrived at 9:50 assuming a 10:00 am appointment. I showed her the PDF with the date and time of the appointment, scheduled less than 48 hours earlier, and she apologized, but at that point I was already angry. She also asked if I brought passport size photos of myself for the kit, which I was never made aware of. Because she was running late, she agreed to use the digital camera and printer sitting next to me on the counter to take the picture at no additional cost beyond the $30 she would pocket for the swabbing. The whole thing was so smarmy, but I guess they are used to doing drug tests and Maury Povich type testing, so I can’t blame them for trying to make a buck.
The swabbing was quick and easy. Two buccal swabs were swiped on each side of my mouth for 20 seconds, they were sealed in an envelope that was signed by both of us, and I was on my way. The lab should receive them via FedEx in a few days. I also got a confirmation number and a tracking number for the kit that was shipped to the US Consulate in Mumbai. Due to security screening, they suggest having the kit sent at least one month in advance of your immigration appointment, so we are right on track.
At the moment, I’m on a train from New York to Boston to visit a friend who recently moved away from Queens. This weekend may potentially be my last relaxing trip for a while, so I intend to enjoy every moment of it!