The day was finally upon us, Flu Camp Saturday! I arrived at London Euston at approximately 8.30am. Early I know, but Im obviously going to make the most out of my all expenses paid (well, £25 train fair) day out in London. The plan was to hit the shops early before my 11.15am appointment, however I failed to take into consideration the fact that the shops do not open until 9.00am..dammit! So my friend and I found a nice little cafe just off Oxford street and had breakfast.
I would bore you with all of the details of our exciting escapades around primark and topshop, however I know you are probably reading this for the gruesome drug testing details, weirdo’s.
Well I hate to disappoint, but there isn’t all too much to report back, however here is what happened...
We took the tube to Whitechapel station, and made the 10 minute walk to the Queen Mary Bio enterprises building. The building itself was not hard to find at all, the real quest came into play in finding the door! I must have lapped (the surprisingly large) facility a good 3 times, all the while panicking that my appointment would be cancelled due to my lack of efficiency.
Fortunately I found a back door. I use the word fortunately extremely loosely. Upon entering the building we were welcomed with an array of white corridors, lined from end to end with doors. Remember the bottom bunks on the film titanic? Well, it struck a worrying similarity to that.
Fortunately we were whisked back into the 21st century after coming across lift. After a good 10 minutes of aimlessly riding it up and down, we eventually came across reception. And guess what? After all that panic, we were made to wait an agonising 45 minutes.
When finally summoned, I was made to fill out a mass amount of forms, agreeing that my name could be used on their database, however with no obligation to take part in any form of clinical trials. I then entered a board room that was already filled with around 8 angry looking 20 something’s. (I later went onto discover that they had been in there waiting since 10am, so their lack of enthusiasm was forgivable.)
Two men entered the room, one doctor and a spokesperson for the company. The spokesman began to read from a booklet, filled with a variety of facts about the trials. In all honesty he seemed rather nervous and unsure of himself, which was reassuring. It would not surprise me if it was his first day. So here are the key details I learned..
- 200 people try out every day for flu camp.
- Not all of them get put onto Retroscreen’s database.
- Of the people that do get put onto the database, 25% of them get chosen.
- If you get chosen, you do not have to participate.
- The amount of money they offer depends on the amount of time you spend in quarantine.
- You are made aware before hand, how long you will be staying in the facility.
- If you are still ill at the end of the trial, they may hold you for an extra 1 or 2 days.
- No one has ever had any side effects from these trials, which have been performed on a previous 900 people.
So all of these facts are pretty reassuring right? Although the 25% statistic is a little disheartening to all the money grabbing post-graduates such as myself..
After this we were taken one by one for a blood test to check our antibody count and then sent on our way.
I will find out the results in 2 to 3 weeks, keep your fingers crossed for me followers, I need all the luck I can get!