ware engineers might be counter-productive.

What do they do with the piss afterwards? Extract the DNA and store it in a National Crime Computer in case you, for instance, become the next Beltway Sniper?

Posted by: Lonewacko at November 1, 2002 12:59 PM

There's another type of person you weed out (get it!) with drug tests -- me. And I use drugs at the rate of about one Clintonesque inhalation per 18 months. Admittedly, the pool of "me" is pretty shallow, but you are announcing to your potential hires that you think of them as either A) potential criminals, or B) people who are willing to wink and nudge (i.e., put up with bullshit and lie about it).

In industries that depend on independent thinking and iconoclastic brainpower (newspapers, theoretically, fall under this category), such an approach seems to me disastrous.

Posted by: Matt Welch at November 1, 2002 01:31 PM

That's a good point. You could put somebody in a situation where they are forced to lie or scuttle a drug test. In essence, a new hire becomes somebody they didn't want in the first place.

I remember watching an interview with Jack Jermond(The guy who wrote Fat Guy in the Middle Seat) a few years ago where he lamented the changes which had taken place in the type of reporters. He said nobody hung out at the end of the campaign day to drink till the early morning. I would imagine this is a result of the corporate screening which goes into the new hire process. They may be more "professional" but the resulting product is boring. They probably aren't looking for your type of creativity. Most coorporation don't want somebody who will rock the boat.

How about drug testing for employers? I went to Amsterdam to work for a bank to trade on the local options exchange. My boss was an American who had been there for twenty years. The guy would smoke pot every day and show up obnoxious and sloppy drunk on the exchange floor about once a week. It was a nightmare. We figured that the twenty years of smoking pot had fried his brain.

Posted by: Bob at November 1, 2002 02:25 PM
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