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Author: golfwaymore Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 740227  
Subject: Responsibility Date: 2/16/2001 11:05 PM
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I wanted to post this "real life" example, hot of the presses of my factory, from today.

Our drug policy is very clear, we strive to have a drug free environment. Employees sign a document upon hire stating that they understand this policy, that they may be subjected to screening, and that the remedy for failing a drug screen is termination.

Let me first state why drug screening is important in my business, without even considering the legality of substance use, or any personal moral standards that may be at play. We are in manufacturing - simply put, the machinery could be dangerous, and could be lethal, if the persons operating those machines arent clearly focused.

If someone decides to get high, via any means, and then come to the job, I suppose they can make that choice. Where it becomes the problem of the employer, is in the cases where an employee is impaired from drug use, gets hurt on the job because of such, and guess who is still liable? Yes, the employer. My company has, more than once, bore the burden of legal action from employees hurt on the job, even though they were breaking company policy, and were impaired from substance use during the accident.

If my plant were not OSHA compliant, and was a dangerous place to work, I could possibly see some logic in this. However, it's not very dangerous for sober people; OSHA inspects frequently, we have never received one violation, and our equipment is considered "low hazard".

Today, after 3 weeks of secret planning, we tested the employees of one of our weekend shift assembly lines; our latest installment in random screening.

Of 20 employees tested, 5 failed. Two of them flat out refused to take the screen, and walked off the job, claiming they knew they would fail.

One of the five refused to urinate, but after sitting in my conference room alone for two hours waiting to be "so moved", his bladder got the best of him. He still refused to do so in a cup however, and after relieving himself, walked off the job as well.

The other two of the five failures did take the test willingly, I suppose just playing the odds. But as the report that came across the fax tonight stated in black and white, they were high content users.

Someone who is not familiar with the drug screening process in manufacturing might say that these results are specific to a high drug use region, or poor employee candidate selection, etc. I disagree. I speak with HR managers across the country every day, and on average, their random drug screens showing positive from the hourly manufacturing work force runs 20% ~ 30%.

These people werent pot smokers. For whatever reason, I dont see marijuana use as a major drug violation. I know alot of professionals who use it recreationally with it never impacting their families or careers. However, I can also say that I probably know more pot smokers who fit the typical sterotype as "deadheads". (For the record, I think marijuana should be legalized, and taxed, by damn, though I havent used it in 15 years)

In any event, the laws of Georgia do not allow employers to specify which substances are allowed and which ones arent. An illegal drug is an illegal drug, and the screen tests must be "pass or fail".

The five that failed the drug screen were using crank, crystal meth, and the like. One of them at levels so high that, unbelievably, they could not scale the PPM.

I should also point out that these jobs that they lost arent minimum wage jobs. Of these five employees, the hourly pay range was $11 ~ $15.50 per hour. One of the persons failing the drug test grossed $38,000 last year, with overtime included.

This is not the first time I've been through this, and it wont be the last. But my heart aches for these people's families, and their children, but in no way for them in particular.

Ironically, the good folks over at the Georgia Dept of Labor advised me, again, that it is very likely that these former employees may qualify to draw unemployment. Isnt socialism grand?

For the truly liberal folk on this board, who respond in ire to some of us "more conservative" board members, I want you to understand part of why we feel the way we do about our "Great Society". I beleive we feel this way based on real life examples like I illustrated from today.

The same employees who made this choice to NOT play by the rules will now, for whatever length of time, and whether directly or indirectly, be living at the expense of the responsible work force, because they couldnt manage to demonstrate a little discipline. One of the departing failures made that very clear to me by saying "Screw It. I just got $3500 back on my tax refund". Who pays for that?

Every time I see many of the liberal responses, I cringe. And frankly, I question how much "real world" experience some of those people have? It seems that every time those of us cry "there's too much waste of the responsible citizens money, and too little personal responsibility", we are met with a long list of excuses why people act the way they do, and why we should be tolerant of such actions.

Maybe she got high because her parents did?

Maybe she got high because she has an emotional disorder?

Maybe she got high because, while getting ready for work, she got a run in her panty hose, and needed a pick me up to brighten her day?

Whatever the excuses, they're not acceptable to me; the rules are pretty clear. The choice is to be a responsible adult or not, and it's not my fault if you dont do so.

I'll not make the mistake of pigeon holing all the liberals. But for those of you in the excuse making business, I'm putting you on notice. Every time you make excuses for these leeches of society, you just give them reason to continue living as children.

I'm also not saying that all, or any liberal is in favor of substance abuse. But you can apply this pattern to any social issue you wish, because I think your crowd is quite adept at "excuse manufacturing".

I dont want to start another tax thread, and I dont want to get into politics. It seems though, as Clarence Thomas recently stated, that when we are passionate in our social ideas, we are instantly branded as being aligned with one political extreme or another. That's an unfair characterization,IMHO, because I think most of it is simply American, or maybe just human.

Simple concepts like choices, consequences, and personal responsibility. I'm tired of being labeled as right wing, too white, or in the top 1% because I've made responsible choices.
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