Over the years, several of my friends have either applied for jobs at now soon-to-close CompUSA, or have known people who have wanted to work there.
I'm told, though, that CompUSA has had a strict drug testing policy in place for some 20 years or so. Pot use is included on that list.
Look, I don't favor illegal drug use. I haven't gone there in decades. But as much as I abhor even "recreational" drugs, I dislike invasion of privacy even more.
I'm not alone in that belief.
Bear with me, then, as I articulate a contrarian view about drug-testing policies such as CompUSA's.
To stay away from applying to drug-testing organizations, you don't have to be a drug user with something to hide. You need only to give a sheet about your rights. And if you do partake a doobie on a Saturday night after work, what business is it of CompUSA's or any other retailer that you've done so? Especially if you show up to work alert and sober?
The harmful effects of such a policy, it seems to me, would be to discourage independent, out-of-the-box thinkers from applying to work in such places. Unfortunately, those are skill sets that some of the best tech and customer service problem solvers often have.
If you discourage people with these capabilities from applying to work in your store or your company, you are likely to find yourselves stuck with obedient, by-the-book types who are incapable of thinking outside the box, the policy manual, the rulebook.
You also short-changing yourself by barring the door to adventurous types whose creativity can be nurtured as a win-win for your organization.
Go to any software lab where significant work is being done, and tell me that at least some of these techs sometimes party a bit too hard. Others, who don't party, do value their privacy in an era where privacy is at grave risk.
It's a matter of trust. If I hire you, and your references check out, all I want is the best you can give when you are on the clock. Nothing more.
Unfortunately, the realizations I have just reviewed never seemed to have entered the rigid minds of a succession of CompUSA owners and managers. Instead of applying these truisms on a case-by-case basis, the thinking seems to have been:
If you use illegal drugs you are more likely to steal. And because pot is an illegal drug, we won't hire you if we find pot in your system.
Such rigid thinking does not allow for the flexibility you need to exercise in order to work with creative, tech-savvy people.
I wonder how many of those creative, tech-savvy people would have worked for CompUSA if not for the moronic drug testing policies so many of my friends - and their friends- have encountered over the years?