Some skin scrapings too?....
January 16, 2004 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Hello Gattaca : "The federal government is planning to overhaul its employee drug testing program to include scrutiny of workers' hair, saliva and sweat, a shift that could spur more businesses to revise screening for millions of their own workers."
posted by troutfishing (31 comments total)
Clearly, the time has come to invest in a small desktop vacuum cleaner and prosthetic genitalia.
posted by namespan at 9:43 PM on January 16, 2004

Can I now mention an impeccable investment opportunity?
posted by troutfishing at 9:48 PM on January 16, 2004

These would replace urine tests, namespan. And a nitpick: these aren't really genetic tests.

Of course, the SSN wasn't ever going to be used for anything else, either...
posted by weston at 9:49 PM on January 16, 2004

When citizens have to wear prosthetic genitalia the terrorists will have won.
posted by bshort at 10:06 PM on January 16, 2004

So, civil service jobs are being outsourced to the prison industrial complex...
posted by y2karl at 10:07 PM on January 16, 2004

War on Drugs


Gay Rights

The War on Lungs, Wombs, and Anuses.
posted by McBain at 10:33 PM on January 16, 2004

I'm mailing the White House a sample of my feces immediately.
posted by keswick at 10:42 PM on January 16, 2004

Don't play into their hands, Keswick!
posted by interrobang at 11:15 PM on January 16, 2004

Will the new National Anthem at least be written by Michael Nyman? That'd be showing some class.
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:20 PM on January 16, 2004

Haha, you spelled gattaca wrong troutfishing! (Ok, ok, ok, not trolling, just being silly).

Seriously, though, this is more an attempt to refine drug tests. In a country where hiring a drug addict can cause one to have to re-arrange office hours, turn off lighting, and other such insane things it only makes sense to ensure you don't hire them.

Oh wait, did I just prove that the disability act reduces the ability of a disabled person to get a job? Yikes! I'd better keep quiet! :-)
posted by shepd at 4:42 AM on January 17, 2004

shepd - we'll be expecting samples of your skin scrapings, urine, feces, saliva and sweat when you show up for work tomorrow morning. Don't worry. It's routine.

Oh, I forgot to mention - we need a quick brain scan too.

You can, of course, opt to bar us from selling this information to advertising research firms and other commercial interests, as we see fit. We are also not legally obliged to tell you this, but to prove our good faith we are informing you that all personal information we gather may be secretly provided to the Department of Homeland Security, per the provisions of the Patriot ll Act. This is merely routine.

But really now - are you a team player? What do you have to hide, anyway? Team players have nothing to hide.
posted by troutfishing at 6:04 AM on January 17, 2004

Very troubling news, especially the suggestion that this might spread outside the government.
posted by mert at 6:31 AM on January 17, 2004

I guess I must be the only one who hasn't seen the movie. What do the CBS story and the Google Search Results page have to do with each other?
posted by kozad at 7:18 AM on January 17, 2004

I can't believe you folk put up with this shit. What an utterly intolerable level of distrust.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:01 AM on January 17, 2004

kozad, see this.

Minus the part about genetic engineering, this is what it looks like we're coming to, in a nutshell.

i will impotently express my displeasure by voting with my brain and writing to my congressman. this is starting to get worse and worse everyday.
posted by schlaager at 11:40 AM on January 17, 2004

And a nitpick: these aren't really genetic tests.

Patriot Act I - Passed
Patriot Act II - Stealth Passed
Now this.

How can you really be sure what they're testing for?
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:41 AM on January 17, 2004

When I hired in at a global Fortune 500 company back in 1998 (I no longer work there, by the way), they insisted on a hair test for drugs. At the time I had a very short double-processed platinum 'do, and by insisting on taking hair as close to the root as possible, I was left with an inch sqaure area of missing hair on the back of my head. Of course, I didn't realize that until it was over, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I really wonder if they could've gotten anything out of my super-bleached and toned hair... I did find it both offensive and horrifying, but at the time I really needed the job. I'm happy to say that my current employer (a much smaller business) does no drug testing at all. They (apparently) trust their employees.
posted by greengrl at 12:23 PM on January 17, 2004

thanks, schlaager

Although urine testing has always seemed disgustingly invasive, hair testing is way more (though less disgustingly) invasive. Corporations and governments interpreting - and inevitably misinterpreting - chemical evidence from months of your personal history points toward the kind of world Orwell and Huxley and Dick warned us about.
posted by kozad at 12:35 PM on January 17, 2004

And you guys are accepting that Orwellian/Huxleyan/Dickian world with nary a protest! That's what is most offensive: how complacently y'all go with what your corporate and government overlords tell you to do.

I keep hoping that America snaps out of it and starts taking action about these invasions of privacy, limitations of freedom, Diebold elections, adminstration lies, etcetera.

But, no, American roll over and wags their tails.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:00 PM on January 17, 2004

I don't know about you all, but there will be a new item in my bathroom if this gets widespread: the headblade.

In a few months I am going to a country where smoking pot is legal in designated places. I'm damn sure going to enjoy that, and when I get back to the office if they want a drug test I'll be happy to fail it for them. What I do with my free time is none of my employer's business. Period. End of story. If I want to host orgies for middle aged big beautiful women on the weekends, it's none of my boss's business.

What is is business? What I do from 8 til 5 when I'm on the clock.
posted by DragonBoy at 1:20 PM on January 17, 2004

American roll over and wags their tails.

perhaps we await your leadership in storming the white house with automatic weapons. after you, sir.
posted by quonsar at 1:26 PM on January 17, 2004

I don't think Americans will start protesting until the roaring white balloons are in place.
posted by ed at 2:12 PM on January 17, 2004

Its too bad they have overturned every bill requiring senators to take a drug test on capital hill.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:10 PM on January 17, 2004

And you guys are accepting that Orwellian/Huxleyan/Dickian world with nary a protest!

Some of us have gotten past the apathetic a.k.a. "sitting on your ass and crying in despair" phase, thanks.

If you were in Philadelphia 'round 10th and Market and saw a bunch of crazy kids protesting, passing out leaflets, singing "Jesu Meine Freude" and engaging the passersby in discussions about physics, humanity and the economy from 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m., I was the chick with blue hair. Next time, feel free to join in.
posted by precocious at 5:45 PM on January 17, 2004

when i lived in DeKalb, IL, there were always students on the town square on Friday afternoons, holding signs and chanting and whatnot. Trouble is, anywhere west of the suburbs is not a good place to catch people walking around. We are for the most part a state of cars. So i always got a good eyeful of a blurry sign.
posted by schlaager at 10:05 PM on January 17, 2004

But, no, American roll over and wags their tails.

I've come to realize that there won't be the rioting in the streets that our government so richly deserves until the government mind control waves start interfering with the TV remote.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:30 PM on January 17, 2004

IshmaelGraves - You could be right, but I think the mind control mechanisms are much more subtly organic. Americans everywhere are too moody, depressed, tired, spaced out and generally ill from high sugar diets of crappy processed food (and far too much of it), lots of alcohol, a lack of exercise, and a constant diet of brain shrivelling television (the #1 Alzheimer's risk factor, by the way) to put up much of a fight.

I don't think this was at all intentional, on the part of the US government. This sad state of affairs came about without much planning - if any - I would say. But, still, it is rather convenient.
posted by troutfishing at 9:08 AM on January 18, 2004

Whatever you think about this, don't see Gattaca. It's a miserable movie filled with pee. No, really.
posted by agregoli at 7:55 AM on January 19, 2004

I liked it. But there is a lot of pee.
posted by troutfishing at 8:42 AM on January 19, 2004

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