Pre Employment Drug Test and Why They’re Pointless
Before I started writing this I promised myself I wouldn’t start ranting about the fact that a pre employment drug test is even a thing.
I mean it’s completely ridiculous that as a grown adult I’m being told I’m incapable of doing a job because of something so potentially arbitrary. I’ve been interviewed by someone who was hungover and literally showed me a photo of the empty bottles from the night before. He was incapable of performing his job yet told me I wouldn’t be capable because I smoked and would fail a drug test.
But I won’t rant.
People jump from planes. People climb mountains. People drink to the level where they’re passed out on the floor. Statistically these people are doing something more dangerous and debilitating than I am but because of these crazy misconceptions I’m the one being told I can’t amount to anything.
But I said I wouldn’t rant.
It’s not about what actually prevents you from doing a job. It’s about what we arbitrarily decided was illegal a long time ago and when common sense kicked in at the end of prohibition it didn’t extend to marijuana. It’s not like alcohol has caused more deaths than any other drug or anything.
But I won’t ran on why I hate the idea of a pre employment drug test. Instead I’d like to talk about how pointless they are anyway.
Now this is coming from someone who has been employed and who has employed others. Sometimes at the same time. I would like to say I’m an unbiased source but I can’t find a middle ground with misunderstanding and delusion. I will say my main issue with pre employment drug testing and screening is when it targets marijuana use for many reasons – some of which I’ll get into here.
And while I don’t condone or support the use of other drugs which a test would pick up I think there’s a question to be made there as well. If anything is that debilitating then there’s a problem with your interview if pissing in a cup is a deciding factor.
Originally we started out as a list on jobs which don’t drug test but we’ve evolved since then to instead encourage and teach people on how to get a decent job without giving up something they don’t need to. In fact in some cases smoking can improve your ability to perform in some jobs.
Since then we’ve started doing our research and a recent article we put together covered passing a drug test in 3 weeks. It was doing the research for this article which made it so painfully obvious how pointless the idea of pre employment drug screening is.
OK let’s assume I apply for a job and I know they’re likely to drug test me. I stop having a toke in the evening and switch up my diet a bit for a few weeks and instead get plastered on alcohol every night (this is not my thing at all but I exaggerate here). I’m going to pass a drug test and get the job. You’ve wasted my time, your money and guaranteed nothing.
Maybe, on the other hand, I’m perfect for the job. I’m more qualified and harder working than the alternative who does spend every night drinking but I have the odd smoke and because of this you rule me out and wind up asking her why she’s hungover at work within a week.
Sometimes a drug testing policy is just for show. Macdonalds technically has one but we all know they’re unlikely to give a damn. I can’t really imagine not being high if I’m going to shovel chips and burgers into boxes 12 hours a day. But even if I set aside my contempt for being treated like a child I’d also have to face the prospect of having a random drug test remove me from my job without warning.
And in this case I’m having to, very quickly, find new employment and the company has a higher turnover and for what? If my smoking was somehow affecting my job performance then surely they would fire me for that. So an employee they were otherwise happy with is sacked and the company faces the expense of finding someone new for what?
Because of misinformation. Because they think it’ll make a positive public image for the company – for the public who are equally misinformed and behind the times.
Of course it doesn’t help that the companies promoting and selling drug test kits and services spend a lot of time and money on marketing to convince companies that they’ll fail without drug testing. Hiring a new employee is already a costly enterprise so why not eliminate one more problem?
A strong argument if you abandon logic, reason and sign up at their low, low price of whatever the hell they decide to charge you.
I’ve hired people who have a squeaky clean history with any kind of substances. I remember having a writer on Yoga and health issues who was a complete health nut. He was also useless at his job. Another guy who was a healthy guy but enjoyed a smoke wrote some of the best guides which eventually went into a book.
Yes, this is a sample size of two people. But my belief that drug testing for employment is in any way useful isn’t based on this. It’s based on logic, reason and common sense. But if you think I’m wrong I do invite you to get involved in the discussion – tell me if you think they’ve actually done any good down in the comment section.