It’s already been established up and down that drug testing does not increase productivity—quite the opposite, in fact—but right now I’m going to assume for argument’s sake that it does increase productivity. Then I would like to ask this question of those who still believe this testing industry lie: What of it?
Seriously, just because something increases productivity does not mean it is something the boss should be allowed to do. And to illustrate this, I would like to submit that we should return to the days when employers could use corporal punishment on their employees, ranging from paddlings and canings all the way up to floggings. Yes, at one point in history this was accepted practice, and I’m not talking about slavery! There was a time in history where you could cane and/or whip your employees for any number of infractions, including some rather minor ones. And since the pro-drug testing side is not coming from a position of actual peer-reviewed research and evidence, we’re going to assume that flogging one’s employees will raise their productivity level—because, like drug testing, it is intuitively “true”, isn’t it? Like drug testing, it just “makes sense” that employees will be much more productive if the consequence for getting a customer complaint or not making their quota or breaking any company rules would be getting a certain number of lashes on their back or their butt rather than just a neutered little verbal or written warning. That is the spurious evidence-free reasoning that was used (and is still used) to enforce drug testing into the workplace, so it’s fair play to use it for corporate corporal punishment on employees. In this exercise, we’re not going to test the efficacy of Workplace Whipping programs on productivity or safety, we’re just going to explode them into the workplace using arguments that appeal to common intuitive thought, just like the drug testing industry did in the eighties.
(And don’t get me started on how the drug testing industry deliberately skewed, distorted, and otherwise lied about the “data” they did get by doing this, because I’m not going to derail my own post. But it’s an interesting history—go to the “Helpful Links” post helpfully linked on the sidebar to read all about it.)
Corporate CEOs, business-owners, managers, lend me your ears! Imagine how fast your workers could be moving to make your products, stock your shelves, clean your bathrooms, or cook your food with the proper motivation! Imagine how servile they would be to customers if they knew a displeased customer would result in physical pain and humiliation! Imagine not only higher productivity but a better safety record, since you could also use this to enforce safety rules and punish anyone who is failing to follow those safe workplace policies! Imagine how much could get done if your employees were afraid to speak to one another, for fear of a lashing! Even better than ending their non-productive fraternization, your workers would find it virtually impossible to unionize or organize against you! And since we’re increasing the power of the employer to govern the employee’s private life outside of work…well, you see where this is going.
And, as with the arguments for allowing employers to drug test their employees, you can also justify it based on the “at-will” employment laws—if you don’t like bending over for a caning for being five minutes late, or talking a little too long with a co-worker, or missing your quota by one piece, or just because your boss doesn’t like your beliefs, politics, or your face, you can always just go to some other employer who doesn’t whip his employees. That is, until they all end up doing it and your level of control is limited to whose hand holds the whip over your shoulders (just as your only control regarding drug testing now is who is holding the cup between your legs as if they own what’s in your pants), because all the companies are being given the scaremongering speech from the whip companies that if they don’t adopt a pro-whipping disciplinary policy then all the “lazy” and “non-productive” workers will hide out in their companies and bleed them dry. Because the only reason someone could have a problem with being flogged or caned by their boss as a disciplinary measure is if they are lazy, non-productive workers, and there is literally no other reason one might object to such a policy.
Just like anyone who opposes drug testing must, by necessity, be a drug user, because there is absolutely no other logical reason someone would object to handing an employer or potential employer (who is, by right of demanding a no-cause drug test, starting your relationship off with a show of obscene distrust and calling you an a priori criminal) a sampler platter of intimate bodily fluids and be expected to trust them to use those fluids ONLY for the stated purpose despite there being almost no regulations or oversight on such activities* (effectively demanding a greater trust than the one they have denied to you, by the way.) Just like anyone who is concerned about being observed while providing a sample must by necessity be a user, because there is no possible logical reason anyone could object to having someone squat down and stare at their bare genitalia as they urinate unless they were planning to adulterate the sample, right? No possible reason to object to that unless you’re a user trying to pull something! The only thing a Proper Honest Upstanding Non-Drug-Using Citizen would do when told to pull down their pants and display their bare genitals for a total stranger while urinating is to say “Yes, Sir (or Ma’am) and start unzipping those pants! (What scares me is that so many people have been brainwashed into genuinely thinking this very thing. This needs to change, and it will.)
And no, you have no leg to stand on trying to say “well, you see, flogging is disfiguring and drug testing isn’t, so you can’t do it” because we don’t have to flog. We could instead use a paddling or a caning, as mentioned above, which is not disfiguring, any welts or bruises will heal without scarring, and for crying out loud so many benighted individuals support that exact same punishment for errant children and teenagers on the grounds that it’s incredibly effective and totally “not abusive”. If it's not too abusive for children, then it's not to abusive for adult workers.
So what are we all waiting for? If productivity is the only argument we need to justify a personal violation of the employee’s body by the employer, reinforced by the “at-will” employment law, why don’t we add the cat o’ nine tails to the specimen jar in our toolbox of employee management? Let’s adopt workplace whipping policies across the board, and start a “slacker-free workplace”!
Let’s face it, you can’t support drug testing policies and make any serious arguments against workplace whipping policies. The only reason anyone would try is that they don’t like the idea of being whipped as a disciplinary measure in the workplace but they have been acclimated to the idea of pissing in a cup for an employer after drug testing has been enforced for thirty years and counting. You’re just used to drug testing and haven’t really given it any serious thought before (unless you’re one of those profiteers who works for the drug testing industry, in which case you’re something else, but this post isn’t about dishonest charlatans like you, so I’ll hold back the stream of abuse. You’re welcome.)
And I would invite anyone who doubts that I could possibly be a non-user for the above ignorant reasons to imagine they actually live that world they don’t like as described above, a world where nearly every single solitary employer has a Workplace Whipping policy and part of the "Slacker-Free Workplace Program", a world where they can be given a number of lashes for failing to meet quota at work by any amount or any number of other offenses, where this practice is supported, encouraged, and even taxpayer subsidized by government “Slackers Don’t Work” programs, where all the evidence showing this is a good business practice has been conducted by or paid for by whip and cane companies (or companies that provide whipping and caning services for companies) while all the unbiased evidence showing it to be ineffective and unreliable goes ignored, and where anyone who objects for any reason is immediately considered to be a lazy non-productive worker who is only objecting so they can protect their lifestyle of workplace sloth—and is therefore considered a prime candidate for the whip, regardless of how hard they actually work or how great their actual work record is.
Then you will know my pain.
*From the ACLU link: "In 1988, the Washington, D.C. Police Department admitted it used urine samples collected for drug tests to screen female employees for pregnancy - without their knowledge or consent."