I guess the ostracizing of Michael Phelps has fired me up on this whole drug thing. Tonight's rant is well, my title says it all, Drug Testing.
One site pushing these stupid and expensive tests leads in with, "Don't hire an Accident". Fine. Great idea. To try and weed out potential losers before they even come on board. But it seems to me that unless a test can be made that is absolutely accurate as to the present condition of the potential employee, they are not useful in the slightest.
At this point there is no test for Alcoholism. That is only found through previous records, admitting it, or by watching ensuing behaviour. A blood sample, a breathalyzer, a piss test, all of them only indicate a few hours of what is going on inside that person. A pot test on the other hand only tells the potential employer that it has been in the system at some point. Of the two types of tests most use, one shows a thirty day window. The other can show pot in the system as far back as the oldest hair they test. None of the tests confirm nor deny modes of behaviour. A smart abuser will find ways around them.
The failings of the tests themselves are one thing. But what about the fact that most drug tests are only used on employees below a certain level. Unless every employee, including the president is tested and tested regularly, then the idea of a drug free workplace is garbage. A drunk or drugged machine operator has the potential to cause harm in a very localized manner. A drunk or drugged manager has the potential through poor or unethical decision making to spread that harm much further. Yet most drug tests are only performed at the factory floor level. Mid managers and upper management all too often get to skate. It is not even about fairness, it's about who has the potential to do the most damage. While I do not want machine operators operating drunk or stoned, I definitely do not want drunk or stoned managers releasing the fruit of the factory labors onto the unsuspecting public more I think.
When my first bike shop closed, I was in a panic. I needed an income and needed one as soon as possible. So I went to the local temp service. The nice lady gave me an application to fill out. On this application were many blanks to fill. What type of experience I had. What type of equipment I could operate. What type of work I was looking for. On and on. Near the bottom where I signed my name was a blank that wanted me to initial as having read the brief rule and agreed to it. It stated that I would agree to a drug test should the employer I was assigned to require it.
Standard stuff I am sure. But I hesitated there for the longest period. I was not afraid of a drug test. But I balked at having to agree to taking one. It pissed me off. So I left it blank and handed the almost complete app to the nice lady. She went over the application with a fine tooth comb. She asked me some questions about previous experience. And then she spotted the blank drug test blank.
"Sir, you missed this one blank."
"Uh, which blank?"
"The one about agreeing to a drug test if one is requested."
"No, I did not miss it. I chose to not fill it out. I won't agree to a drug test."
"So sir, this makes it look like you use drugs."
"I see. My failure to agree to a drug test means I am a drug user?"
"Uh yes sir that would be how I read it."
"I see. So drug tests are assumptions of guilt rather than presumptions of innocence? In this country it used to be proof was needed to prove someone guilty. Now I guess that is no longer the case. Take your application and shove it up your ass."
And I walked out.
Some ideals are more important than a paycheck.
And this is my biggest beef with drug tests. Their very existence means we have to prove our innocence. In my opinion this idea runs so far off what our forefathers meant when they set this all up, I cannot believe that we take this crap like it is no more than an inconvenient pain in the ass. Each time you take a drug test you are giving away some of the rights you had when you were born.
I will be the first one to concede that any private company has the right to drug test in any manner they want. It is up to them. It is also my right to not work there without assholes like that woman automatically assuming I am a drug user and am afraid of being caught. What I do not understand is how the working public is so blind to this fundamental ceding of one of our basic rights. I do not understand how we allow the private sector to get away with this type of crap that does nothing but intimidate and makes no real headway in solving the problem of substance abuse at work.
I will not work for any company who uses drug tests to intimidate the employees. And I would strongly support anyone else who makes the same committment. They are un-American in my opinion.
(923 / 3212)