“Real Life” butts in
A few weeks ago I accepted a new job in Maryland! I cannot say more at this time, as the final check (criminal history) has not been conducted. Since I know I have no such history, I can rest assured that my contract is secure. I am really excited about my new position, as I will be doing pure taxonomy, thesaurus and ontology work. However, it has felt like the proverbial carrot on a string to manage to start work!
Before signing my contract, knowing that one of two jobs was on the horizon, I contacted my landlord. Since we’d been excellent tenants he told me that he would waive the fee (3K!) for breaking the lease if we were out by July 31st. That was just 10 days! For that savings, we jumped into action and packed like maniacs.
The day I signed my contract I had a bizarre accident on the way home. You know the saying “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck”? Well, I can tell you it doesn’t feel good!
A pickup backed out of his parking space, knocked me down and ran over my foot.
I was very fortunate that he didn’t break any bones, but my foot is badly bruised.
Thank goodness for my partner, who now had to bear most of the burden for packing. I wasn’t able to be much help. We hauled up to Maryland to stay with my folks for a bit while we locate a home.
My new contract is one of those “contingent upon a drug screen and background check”. It still seems strange to me that they offer the job, have me sign a contract and then conduct the background check. Anyway, I had never had a drug screen before. That has contributed to the insanity I now call my life.
I drink a lot of water. Hello, that is healthy! I am on pain medication, so I drink even more water. Well, the first test came out “dilute” and so it was unacceptable. They didn’t like the color of my pee! So, we had to juggle schedules and get me to a drug test place again. My employer has to pay for each of these tests. This time, my pee was dark enough for them, but I tested “hot”. The doctor called me and quite solemnly informed me that they had found xyz pain medication in my sample. I responded, “Well, that would be because I’m on XYZ thanks to a truck rolling over my foot!” So, then I had to prove that I have such a prescription. Thank goodness he accepted a fax of the lable off of my bottle. Initially, he wanted a copy of the Rx from the pharmacy that filled my prescription. My problem was, that pharmacy is now 4 hours away!
All of this is for a desk job, not a job where I can injure myself or others if I was on something. Personally, I think that the policy of my previous employers makes much more sense. If you have an accident on the job, you can expect a test before they will accept any responsibility. If your performance dips and your boss suspects that you are abusing drugs, then you can expect to be tested. The way the pre-employment approach works is to assume you are guilty and waste an enormous amount of money.
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