I went through a pre-hire drug screen process this afternoon (I'm changing from contract to full-time where I've been working).
Not only is it an impersonal & invasive process that serves little social purpose, but the "collection" agent drops the supposedly sealed cup, spilling my urine all over the floor. Which necessitates a return to the waiting room and drinking 4+ cups of water in 10 minutes, looking at all the losers who couldn't pee on demand, who in turn are looking at me like "heh, the yuppie couldn't get his dingle to work"
September 6th, 2006 5:23pm
What's the job?
September 6th, 2006 5:25pm
I thought that to. Companies pay all that money, go through all that trouble and we have to wait for an hour or more all to see if drugs are in our system.
If we are light drug users, what is the big deal anyway. If you are a serious crack-head wouldnt it show during the course of the work and you can fire that person based on their inability to do work (hence the crack-headness).
Microsoft doesn't do drug screening.
Nobody should. It should all be about job performance. If you shoot up a custom heroin/ecstacy/draino concotion every Friday afternoon and lie on the kitchen floor comatose until 2am Monday morning, when you get up, shower, and go to work, who the fuck cares as long as your code gets written on time?
Fucking companies and their fucking conservative drug bug-a-boo scary monsters. And don't get me started on the myspace witchhunts.
September 6th, 2006 5:35pm
A drug test is cheaper than hiring someone and waiting a week to find out they're doped up.
victim of my own drugs
September 6th, 2006 5:35pm
Haha. "Collection" agent eh? I could definitely get creative with my aiming on that one. Woops.
Not a job in the world worth that.
September 6th, 2006 5:36pm
Job performance is the best test but it's too expensive for employers to administer. Drug test is a decent though imperfect proxy. (After all, if you're cheating on your wife ....)
Saying that people can handle their cocaine use, is, of course, laughably against the data.
victim of my own drugs
September 6th, 2006 5:43pm
What about hiring someone and finding out a week later they're an alcoholic? Or have Crohn's and are out all the time? Or get migraines? Or are just chronically lazy and don't finish assignments?
Hiring is a gamble. Deal with it. I'm also a strong proponent of 60-day temp-to-perm before negotiating salary.
September 6th, 2006 5:44pm
20 years ago nobody cared if you were coked up on the trading floor. It was expected. Pretty much necessary.
"Saying that people can handle their cocaine use, is, of course, laughably against the data."
If they only screened for cocaine and crystal meth, you might be able to argue that point. However, they also screen for THC (and probably X these days, too)
My favorite was a guy who almost got kicked out of the Navy for opium use in the late 80's. His doctor got the charges dropped with "I'll bet my career he ate a poppyseed bagel. Nobody does opium these days."
September 6th, 2006 5:46pm
Poppyseed bagels do make for reasonable doubt.
If the employer doesn't want stoners working for him, isn't that his choice? I can see some industries where being pot-high could be an advantage.
I thought they tested for opiates not opiUM, per se.
victim of my own victimhood
September 6th, 2006 5:50pm
C#/.NET working on medical software. Fairly high level of process involved, as it's a class-II medical device. So we're using Rational MDA tools to give us tracability from our UML analysis & design diagrams to code.
Need to figure out a clean way to tie Risk-related requirements to unit tests.
September 6th, 2006 6:11pm
The screening companies (LabCorp, et al) have a license to print money with these things, as society pretty much is demanding that employees get tested.
The legal system is in on it, too. Imagine if a UPS truck driver runs a redlight by accident, and hits a car. When the lawyers find out he didn't have a pre-employment drug screen -- Why gosh! He *must* be a coke-head, then! How *could* the company have hired a known coke-head?
It's also that whole presumption of guilt thing too.
September 6th, 2006 6:16pm
I've said this before; unless the organization can show a compelling case for drug testing (rare, but possible), I charge a 25% premium for the invasion of my privacy. In general, I wouldn't even apply to a company with that kind of policy.
If you refuse, after all, you must "have something to hide". At least I can refute _that_ silliness. Not everyone has the luxury of turning down possible work, but I wish I could start a movement to act the same way.
September 6th, 2006 6:45pm
I was surprised to find out that in Ohio where I live, the state government provides kickbacks to companies that drug test in the form of dramatically reduced Workmans Comp premiums. In my experience it was about $300 per head in savings a year. That's significant money, especially if the company has low attrition or isn't planning on doing much hiring.
Basically the State bribing the companies to do what it cannot do. Complete bullshit. But I try to stay positive. After twenty years of GOP control it's better then it could be... I was expecting the Ministry of Truth by now.
September 6th, 2006 8:26pm
I've had 2 this year. Piss test for the client from hell (who also required a background check from hell as well - almost as bad a DoD clearance check). Hair test for the company I've been a contractor at all year. The hair tests run about $95.
In the past, I would have bitched and moaned and probably declined the job, but now, wtf, it is all falling out anyway.
September 6th, 2006 10:45pm