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for November 10, 2004

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Give, And Take No Junk
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love made a list, checked it twice and wished she had a more Santa-size budget for Christmas presents, Hanukkah gifts, and Solstice some-suches for her special-someones. A person of action has two options: moonlight for some extra money or bake one's whole family an Olympic-size tub of pumpkin seeds, so apply for a second job it was. Over the weekend, there was an excursion to a department store Your Cinnamon Bun wouldn't mind dropping a paycheck-minus-an-employee-discount in because she's thrifty and who doesn't love giving loved ones exactly what they want? Nevertheless, there's a fine line between picking up a little pin money and propelling oneself willy-nilly into a workaholic no-time-to-shop holiday misery that simultaneously betrays one's principles, and one has to remember one's boots were made for walking.
Life is full of surprises, as when one sits down to talk with the busy, personable person accepting applications in the store and a condition of employment violates one's ideas of right and wrong. The brain may take a brief journey back to Mother's - or Grandmother's - knee, where small children learn to treat one another decently and take crap from no one, no how, but this leaves the mouth unfettered enough for The Blurt. You know The Blurt: when your brain inexplicably goes on walkabout and your mouth says, "That's nothing. THIS is a knife."
In this case, Your Adorable One refused to take a company policy-mandated drug test - not that Your Frou Frou would've used such a strong word as refused. It was more like she politely declined. Thank you ever so much for asking, but a girl only makes so much blood and barring medical emergency involving a desperate cancer patient with the same improbable blood type, this girl would prefer to keep using hers. Only it sounded a lot more like, "Nope. Drug tests violate my Constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure."
Your Beloved has never attended law school, and even feels reasonably certain she's never stumbled through a law school admiring the Federal Period architecture; yet, she knows drug testing by employers is perfectly legal or no one would be taking them. That doesn't make them any less invasive, or even right. The irony of being asked to take a drug test for a part-time gig folding sweaters while a friend's job with a government contractor to save the Feds from determined hackers and keep zillions of dollars in place didn't require so much as peeing in a cup is not lost on Your Delight. Standing up for a principle - that drug tests may be reasonable for surgeons or pilots but sinister when used against the ordinary American worker - is the right thing to do but is a lot like eating a bowlful of sugar: sure, it's riveting to watch, but if you're the one doing it you feel a little queasy.
Also, driving to and from the store provided adventures in themselves. With all the construction and intervening years, the roads are completely different from what one might remember. Passing Busch Campus on Route 18 North is like waiting to fall off the edge of the Earth; supermodern Autobahn-y asphalt and concrete gave way to backward little Metlars Lane. And the way back seemed sure until the road unexpectedly T-split and the signs for Route 18 South went perpendicular to where Route 18 should've gone, and all above 50 miles per hour and bumper to bumper on a Sunday. It was a miracle Your Sweetie didn't fly off the edge of the overpass she'd never seen before during the cloverleaf that made no sense.
For those who say, "You'd take the drug test if you had nothing to hide," that's just silly. Silly? Of course it is. Your Koo-Koo-Ca-Chu doesn't touch the stuff, but that's not the issue. She has an expectation of privacy, wherever she is and goes and does in her private life (despite Supreme Court judgments to the contrary) even though she may not pick up a Christmas boon this way. She hopes you expect the same. One's life is one's business.
If you don't agree, that's your business, too. And your business should be private.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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