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January 2006
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His Cup Runneth Over With Annoyance

Matt Welch is now at the Los Angeles Times:

THE NEWSPAPER you are reading has been lovingly compiled by hundreds of humans who urinated into plastic measuring cups for the privilege of bringing it to you.
I gather this is not widely known among readers, judging by the reaction from those I’ve told. “Why would the L.A. Times care whether you’ve smoked pot?” goes the typical response. It doesn’t help with the comprehension that it’s not immediately evident that anyone here actually does.
Yet it’s been company policy for at least 18 years that every new hire excrete on command while a rubber-gloved nurse waits outside with her ear plastered to the door.

Sad.
I’ve always said that I’d never work for a place that requires drug testing, on principle alone (not from an inability to pass it). And I like to believe that I’ll hold to that.
But it amazes me the number of companies that mindlessly institute drug testing policies, somehow thinking that subjecting their new employees to humiliation like some kind of frat initiation, and reducing their dignity as human beings, is the way to build a good work force.
What happened to the traditional approach of…. management? You know: make good hiring decisions based on interviews and references; create a productive work environment; provide support, incentive, encouragement, reward, correction, and discipline as appropriate; and fire someone’s ass if they show up to work stoned or drunk.
Today it’s: “Oh, yeah, we’ve got good workers. They all pissed in a cup.”

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