Saturday, February 28, 2015

What's going on with the drug screens?

I’ve been hearing some very interesting stories from friends getting random drug tests. It’s a given being in the oil patch, and I understand how oil related companies can be sued for millions. If an accident happens while someone is high on drugs, it could devastate a company. But, the stories I’m hearing about having to get visual drug screens are starting to get weird.
A “visual” is where an observer watches you “go” in the cup. That person is there to make sure they’re not cheating, but we all know what’s happening. Two men, who are complete strangers, have their heads pointed in one direction, well, in most cases, watching urination hit plastic.
From what I hear, the rooms can be very small. In some cases four feet by four feet. That’s the size of a stall.  Look, if you can put a hand on the observer’s shoulder and pee in the cup, that’s too close for most men, especially men in the oilfield. 
I’m now hearing they’re making men drop their underwear below their knees, lift their shirt, and spin around.
Spin around? They want a full moon, from guys in the oilfield? Are they out of their mind? When I heard this, I thought, maybe it could be the observer having some fun.
“You’re not going to believe what I got this guy from BP to do. I had him drop his pants, lift up his shirt, spin around, and stand on one foot. I told him to sing Happy Birthday while he was peeing.”
“The guy did it?”
“Freakin’ right. He makes 200k a year and they’re laying people off. Another five-thousand workers and I’ll get them to quack like a duck.”
Is this procedure?
Is not watching the stream go directly into the cup enough?
Is there one guy doing this to everybody?     
What the hell is going on here?
I have to say, my friends in the industry are starting to feel violated, some in their sixties are confused. I heard one, almost seventy, had stripped off his clothes in front of the observer and said, “Now, is this bare-assed enough to let you know I haven’t smoked marijuana since Vietnam?”
Here’s a thought. Possibly, the powers that be could make the “Testies”  (No pun intended) take off all their clothes, put on a robe, and go in another room. I think that would take a lot less time. I’m hearing even hard core men have bashful bladder in circumstances like these.
The oilfield industry is one of the most dangerous professions to be a part of. You are constantly dealing with things that can hurt you, but, when trying to stay in a profession becomes whipping it out, and borderline humiliating yourself, I have to ask, who should get hazardous pay, the guy taking the test, or the guy having to watch a parade of guys taking the test?         
I guess both are hard core.

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