Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yes, Drunken, the War on Drugs Does Indeed Suck

In a comment from a couple posts back, the Drunken Housewife writes:
Sorry about the horrors of the drug testing (isn't it all so ridiculous? This "war on drugs" crap is so nonsensical).

Yes, you are right. It's costing me a minimum of two days' pay now.

I didn't get a chance to write about this on Monday because I was in so much of a hurry , but it's worth recounting because it underscores the amount of time this little test has consumed.

As I mentioned on Friday, I attempted to take the drug test, but was unable to produce a sample of adequate volume within the hour before the collection lab closed. Because the form, once it is written upon, cannot be used for another collection time, the collector destroyed the form and told me I'd have to go get another one.

So, I made arrangements to pick up a new form from the company's HR offices up in the north burbs. At my current job, we have a bookkeeper who comes in on Mondays, and someone has to be in the office to let her in. Since I would be the only employee in town that day, I was the lucky doorkeeper. I had to stay until she wrapped up her work, which was just before 11 a.m. I drank a couple of large cups of water.

I booked it up to the office to pick up the form. That put me at 11:20. I had asked the HR person to get me a list of drug test locations nearest to their offices. The list showed one a couple miles away, but it didn't give hours of screening, only that the collection site was closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. I called the number for that site. A recorded message said that they cease screening after 11:30 and resume at 1. I knew from experience that it would be very unlikely that they would squeeze me in that quickly. So I decided to wait until after 1.

I went back to my office, went to the bathroom, and packed things up for the trip out west, and then headed over to another screen location that wasn't too far out of the way. I ate lunch and then headed over to that lab at 1 p.m. The listing for that site indicated reopening from lunch at 1. I get to the site, and there is a handwritten note on the door that reads, "Sorry, closed until 1:30." I was already starting to feel some pain in my bladder, and this just added to the stress.

At about 1:15, I decide that I can't take it anymore, and I go to the bathroom and try to let out just enough so that I'm no longer in agony. Around 1:30, the collector returns from lunch and reopens. I have to wait another 15 minutes because the person in front of me has paperwork that the collector is unfamiliar with. I do the collection, producing an adequately voluminous sample, and I'm on my way.

This morning, I got a call from my recruiter telling me that the test came back as too diluted, so they need me to do it a third time. Moreover, because of this snag, they will not be able to start me on the 17th as originally planned. At the earliest, it will be the middle of the week.

I expressed my exasperation with the amount of time that had been consumed dealing with either rude or tardy service at two of the drug testing lab's collection sites, but agreed to do the test because I'm not left with much of a choice. A form is being overnighted to my house, but it won't be here until tomorrow.

It's also worth noting that the roll served to me at my lunch at the standards body group on Tuesday was garnished with poppy seeds.

If the next test consumes as much time as my other two, I will have spent more time dealing with drug testing than I have with interviewing for them.
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