Here we go….the federal government is overhauling the way it drug tests employees. It is moving from urine tests to saliva, hair testing and sweat tests. Major corporations are expected to follow suit. Here’s what’s planned:Saliva testing, done using a swab that looks much like a toothbrush but with a pad instead of bristles, is best at detecting drug use within the past one or two days.
Hair testing, in which a sample about the thickness of a shoelace is clipped at the root from the back of the head, allows detection of many drugs used as far back as 3 months.
Sweat testing, in which workers are fitted with a patch that is worn for two weeks, is used to screen people who have returned to work after drug treatment.
Note that none of these intrusions test for the most important thing: impairment at the time of testing.
Now I’ve worked in quite a few jobs, and I’ve almost always been a supervisor — of everyone from casual day laborers to factory workers to student interns to professional government employees.
I’ve never used or needed urine, saliva, hair, or sweat drug tests for my employees. I had a very simple method that worked every time. If an employee didn’t do their job, I fired them. The amazing thing is — I apparently have some kind of magical ability that allows me to determine if someone is doing their job without making them pee in a cup. And my method worked for a whole range of problems, including drugs, alcohol, lack of sleep, apathy, and incompetence.
If only I could teach the government how to do that.
Have you peed in a cup for your government today?