From the Salt Mines: What Drug Questions NOT to Ask During a Job Interview (by Sasha)


During my ongoing quest for employment in Sarasota, I was recently among a group of job applicants brought in for an orientation by a Human Resource (HR) department of a large local employer. We were there to learn about policies and to fill out forms.

We were also treated to an eight-minute film on the employer’s policies regarding alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and urine testing. The HR person announced that there was “zero tolerance” for abusers, then let the film roll.

The film depicted obviously drunk or high employees (played with abandon by terrible actors) who jeopardized the safety of themselves and others. But the message was clear: Zero Tolerance. Random urine tests would be used to screen violators, and if an employee tested positive, job termination would follow. Zero tolerance. Roll the film credits.

Now in previous blogs I’ve been hard on HR departments (see my posts at this blog from the Category “Salt Mines”), but what followed the showing of the film (with only minor embellishment) gave me sympathy for HR personnel: when the HR staffer asked the perfunctory question about whether we, (the job applicants supposedly eager to be hired), had any questions in regard to the film, several hands immediately shot up in the air.

You have a question?

“Yes. Like, what if I party with weed on a Friday night and then go to work on Monday and I’m tested but I’m not high?”

Sir, as stated in the film, marijuana can stay in the system for 5 days or more. If you test positive, you will be terminated.”


“What if everyone else was smoking and I only inhaled the air?


“Yeah, how ’bout that?”

“That’s happened to me!”

Same answer.”

Pause. More hands.

“Really? Another question?”

“The movie said something about crack cocaine, but what about blow?” Continue reading “From the Salt Mines: What Drug Questions NOT to Ask During a Job Interview (by Sasha)”