Before he has even started his workday, George Muller has driven over an hour. Once he gets to IU Health’s pathology lab, he sets his course for a day filled with multiple stops collecting and delivering lab samples.
The first time he was behind the wheel of a car, George Muller was getting driving instructions from a high school wresting coach who also taught driver’s education. It’s one of the best lessons he learned during high school.
“We did a lot of simulations to learn the braking time and response time,” said Muller, who was 15 at the time. “I was lucky enough to take the course during the winter so he took us to the parking lot and we did donuts so we could see just how quickly we can spin out.”
Today, Muller uses those lessons when he couriers from Lafayette, and around Indianapolis picking up urine, blood, and tissue samples to deliver to the pathology lab. It’s a second career of sorts. Before coming to IU Health he worked as a parts manager.
Between his daily commute, stops at the Rehab Hospital of Indianapolis and IU Health Eagle Highlands, Muller estimates he puts about 200 miles on his hospital-issued electric car. An average of 27,000 daily steps have resulted in a weight loss of about 11 pounds.
“George is our favorite guy. He’s personable and he has a big smile every day,” said Sharon Jiles, a lab assistant. When he arrives at his various stops, Muller puts on a pair of protective gloves, collects samples – frozen, refrigerated, and room temperature – logs them and loads them. Sometimes he makes up to 60 stops a day.
When he’s behind the wheel he passes time listening to his favorite podcasts – mostly focused on his hobbies – woodworking and hunting.
Time is of essence.
“I know there are people waiting to find out the results of the samples and there are people waiting to get busy testing them,” said Muller who has been married to his wife Sharon for 26 years.
There’s not much that slows him down – no road rage, no potholes, no breakdowns.
“Once in awhile the country roads can be slick in the winter. I just go at the speed the roads permit and do the best I can,” said Muller. “I like meeting people but I don’t have a lot of time for chit-chat. I know I need to get to my next stop.”
— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.