Today we’re bringing you another round of He Said/She Said. These posts are really your chance as readers to hear how discussions (and sometimes disagreements) play out when managing our lives with each other. For a look at some of the past He Said/She Said discussions – check ‘em out here.
Ever have one of those conversations where at the end you find that no one can remember what tangent led you down that path? That was this week’s He Said / She Said. The most interesting part of our discussion was just how different our experiences with drug screening (and other pre-employment screening) have been even though we both assumed our experiences were pretty par for the course.
So what are those experiences?
I can only remember being drug screened once, for a job at a roofing company where everybody was (surprise!) constantly smoking weed while on the job. Along with roofing, I’ve been in construction, retail, and sales – three areas notorious for narcotics use, but I’ve never had to take another drug test, pass a polygraph test, or do any kind of back-ground checks.
Why? Well, if anybody started doing random drug testing at my current IT-sales job I’m pretty sure the office would be empty within a week. As for background checks, nobody really cares what your previous life was, as long as you are making this quarter’s sales figures. The idea of polygraphing sales people sounds like some sort of sick joke as well…
Maybe it’s my lack of exposure, but I would take offense to a drug test, polygraph test or background check. I’m probably clean on all three accounts, but I know many people who do recreational drugs or have made mistakes in the past who are at least as capable at their job as I am at mine.
I’m at the complete opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to pre-employment screening. I’ve had to do drug screening for every position I’ve ever had since “becoming a grown-up“, and far more comprehensive screening including polygraph, background check, and extensive psychological and aptitude testing. A lot, right? But at least it’s been a while since having to do so since I’ve finally been at a job long enough to vest.
I guess some people might be bothered by this type of screening, but I’m really not. I’ve never done drugs – the sheer amount of television I watched in the 80s means this commercial was seared into my brain at an early age.
And my background is boring enough that it wouldn’t raise any red flags. On the whole, I don’t have anything to hide. I’ve never really thought about why the jobs I’ve taken have had pretty rigorous pre-employment screening, but it is true that with pretty much all of them I’ve dealt with confidential information that’s expected to stay confidential.
If peeing in a cup and asking me multiple times (though worded in various ways) if I am “fascinated by fire”* gives my prospective employer a sense of well being that I’m not going to spill corporate secrets, then I’m happy to oblige.
Where do you fall on the pre-employment “pee in a cup” spectrum?
* Yes, that is a question that gets repeated on the psych profiles. And no, I’m not.