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People talk a lot about rescession proof industries, jobs, or investments especially in economic times like these. While the Dow may be soaring I personally think it's due for a re-adjustment downward which will hit many peoples 401ks and lead to more pain for average Americans. Truth is there are very few companies that are truely insulated in economic times like these but there is one that has done well for itself and it's investors over the past few years.

CSL has been on a tear since August 2011, when it was trading just above $27. Consistent growth in both profits and margins, as well as shareholder friendly buybacks have seen earnings per share rise by an average 14% over the past five years.

   This past November for the second time since 2008 I found myself unexpectedly unemployed. As the saying goes, act like you've been here before, this time I viewed my unemployment with much less trepidation and worry. Fact is I was downright happy. When  
you're employed at or below a living wage it is very hard to find the time, time off and funds to travel to see family. Being eligible for unemployment and knowing how to budget my expenses the loss of my job afforded me the ability to come home for the holidays. Not just come home, but come home for over a month, and go to Vegas for a week when I got back. Vacation Time! That being said, I always will look for a any kind of hustle or extra work to supplement my income for UE to do things I like to do without hurting my finances. This is how I came to find myself at a CSL plasma donation center on Christmas Eve.
   For those who have never had the misfortune to find yourself donating your life juices for money before, let me describe the process a bit for you. There is a process you go through before you are allowed to donate, you can't just walk in, lay down and get stuck. For first time donors the process can take several hours longer as you must be fully tested and inspected as to make sure you aren't defective and will be rejected. This involves reading various documents about certain deseasaes you may have been exposed to through either travel or risky behavior. Can't have someone with Mad Cow, HIV or hepatitis donating plasma and guys if you love and have sex with men you will find yourself on the permanent deferral list. They also want to know if you've had major surgery or tattoos or piercings or acupuncture in the last 12 month, if so you're rejected. After reading about all these wonderful things that will disqualify you it's time to watch a video about them and the possible risks involved in donating plasma up to and including death. Once the video is finished you go into a little room to get entered into their system, this involves your name, address, birthdate and thumbscan. Now you're almost to where regular donors are except for the physical performed by a nurse that stops just short of turn your head and cough.
   Now you're at the point of being a regular donor. You stand in line to use a kiosk you log into and answer various questions about things you've read about and watched. You log in with your birthdate and thumb scan (twice) and when you're finished you get to go stand in line for your pre-donation inspection. The pre-donation inspection performed every time you donate consists of taking your temp, reading your blood pressure, weighing, inspection of your arms (veins/track marks) and fingers (for a black light visible mark to make sure you aren't donating at another center). They also stick your finger to measure blood proteins and your thumb is scanned again. Assuming you've passed your inspection thus far and haven't been rejected you get to go stand in line and wait to get stuck. The process of donation takes anywhere between 35 min to an hour and a half as long as there are no complication (up to and including death).
First they stick you with an IV and hook you up to the machine. The machine's job is to separate the plasma from the whole blood so they can return your red and white blood cells and what not back to you with saline to replace the plasma. There is a cycle of draining, separation and return. When they return your blood a cool sensation runs up your arm as the blood has cooled significantly in the machine. All in all it takes about 5 to 6 cycles to get your life juices from you and your money is loaded on a credit card as they disconnect you from the machine.
   Since I was a first time donor I received 50 dollars and yesterday was my second donation but regular donors receive between 20 to 35. It took about 25 minutes waiting for a bed because they were slam packed, on Christmas Eve, at least 50 people in beds at a time. Waiting out front just beginning his process was a man who was drug in by his wife no doubt who was very agitated by the whole process and wait. He must've been a first time donor and I could overhear him say "I'm gonna slap the shit out of someone." His wife had to usher him outside to calm him down so he wasn't deferred for a bad attitude. While donating a woman in the bed across the aisle from me started bleeding out from around her IV and they asked her if she wanted to stop or continue with her other arm. She must've been a regular donor, it's probably why she was bleeding out from around her IV. She told them to stick her in her other arm because if she stopped she wouldn't be paid, and she only got 20 bucks. For me I really don't care about all the unpleasantries. I played myVegas slots on my phone while waiting to build credit for room nights and food in Vegas. While donating I watched 2 episodes of It's Always Sunny on my tablet that were recently added to Netflix. I'd ask myself why someone would put themselves through the process regularly but I already know the answer, there is very real pain and desperation out there.
   My point in writing this diary is in no way to denigrate CSL or it's employees. CSL does make life saving drugs with the plasma donations. They also as a company do a pretty decent job taking care of their employee's. They pay decently if you stick around, promote from within offering advancement to quality employees and they also offer good benefits. I know all this because both my brother in laws work for CSL on either coast, one just started and has received three raises. My point is to denigrate our society that has created an economic condition that has failed so many.
  And don't anyone spend a minute worrying about old Drewid. I am a big boy, I take care of myself and I am blessed with family and loved ones.
Merry Christmas Kossacks.

Update: My brother in law informed me that the lady across the way from me didn't have to get stuck again to get paid. If there's a problem like that you can stop the donation and still get paid. Wonder if the woman realized that.

Originally posted to Drewid on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 09:55 AM PST.

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