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July 2011
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Drug Free Workplace

Philip Greenspun details the amusingly kafkaesque inflexibility in drug testing regulations.

Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I’m subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I’m also the only “safety-sensitive employee” subject to drug testing, so basically I’m responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I’m also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I’m also the employer so really I’m learning about how I might trap myself.

Ah, but that was just the beginning.

Five minutes after the FAA inspector left, I received a phone call. “I’m from the FAA and we’d like to schedule an audit of your drug testing program.” I remarked that a fully qualified FAA inspector was barely out of the driveway and had just gone through every document that I had on the subject. “He was from the FSDO (Flight Standards District Office)? That’s a completely different department. We’re going to send two inspectors up from Atlanta next month.” Why two? “We always send them in pairs.”

Terry Gilliam couldn’t have written it better.

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10 comments to Drug Free Workplace

  • Cannabis

    Wow, that sounds like a scene out of A Scanner Darkly!

  • Ben

    That’s pretty freaking hilarious right there. Government bureaucracy at its finest.

  • chris

    Just got the call a few hours ago – nothing to worry about with my recent pre-employment piss test I took on Wednesday. I stopped for a month and I can tell you the worst withdrawl symptom was the reoccurance of dreams. Yep, weed is that hard to kick. I just like lying down and falling right asleep, then having a blank mind until I wake up. I start Monday!

    • Randy

      Great… good luck!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Poor chris has learned the horrors of merrywanna addiction first hand. Not only are the withdrawal symptoms excruciatingly devastating, they cause a case of complete and total memory loss so the victim doesn’t even recall the extreme pain of his suffering! Didn’t you think something was peculiar when you woke up on the front porch at the Casa del Wackos?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMR8QvH1588

      (let’s see the Know Nothings match that nonsense!)

      (Seriously) chris, have you ever heard of QuickFix Plus? Unless you’re being observed it’s foolproof.
      http://urineluck.com/

      • Chris

        Yes, I know about quickfix and will be buying some just to have on hand, but the break was good.

  • ezrydn

    Hey, Chris, congrats. Did you ask them how many they screen for alcohol abuse also? LOL

    • darkcycle

      Yeah, and how often do ‘the suits’ get tested? I assume management has those same requirements…..

    • Chris

      I drank way more for the entire month than I usually do. It’s a poor substitute in my opinion, you don’t get the mental stimulation you get from weed at all.

      • darkcycle

        Well, congratulations. Jobs are rarer in this economy that penguins in Saudi Arabia. I hope that your duties will be light and that they will overpay you well.