Thursday, January 19, 2006

Urine Big Trouble and Other BS

CONTINUING on my theme of the pervasiveness of bullshit in American society: my recent attempt to earn extra money by doing product demonstrations has landed me smack dab in the middle of corporate America. There, I have hit the Comstock Lode of Bullshit.

I was told that in order to satisfy that bastion of Safe and Sober Employees (aka BEST BUY) I would have to take an extremely invasive and inconvenient drug test and submit to a background investigation.

While I really was not concerned about passing it I was incensed that Best Buy was asking me, as a third party vendor, to provide them with something so private as my urine. Additionally, they wanted an extensive background report. Plain and simple: I just believe it is none of their business. If they cannot trust their contracted companies to do an adequate job of screening employees, then they should just not use outside vendors to sell for them.

Moreover, Best Buy does not have the most pristine reputation when it comes to taking care of their own employees, much less those of a partner company. Once the private information garnered through a background check has been received by them, what assurances do I have that said information will not be poorly safeguarded? I am especially concerned about the integrity of a company who would subject outside vendors to "training" manuals which contain such meaningless bullshit as:

"Customer Centricity is a values-based transformation. (HUH??? Does that say anything? Must have been written by a former politician.) " In fact, changing leadership behaviors to enable more learning and innovation is arguably much more important than the implementation of any specific customer solution." Wooooheee... that smells like a steaming load of horse manure!

More humorous examples of Best Buy nonsense abound at After reading posts there, my resistance to giving Best Buy any information about myself has solidified. After being told that Lexmark INSISTED on my providing a background check and drug screen (kowtowing to Best Buy and other corporate bullies, no doubt), I sent the following email to the TP hiring company. (excerpt)

"Even if I did not have philosophical issues, the sheer inconvenience of having to drive all the way to Concord during commute traffic hours just to pee in a cup is ridiculous. There is ABSOLUTELY no good reason for Lexmark to require either a background check or a urine test. I am not employed by them and enjoy none of their benefits.

If they are willing to pay XXXX bigbucks to market for them, then they should trust XXXX's ability to hire quality people and leave it at that. That you would allow a third party to dictate to you who you can and cannot hire is repugnant.

I absolutely WOULD pass a drug test and I have a perfect background. I am a certificated teacher for the State of California and have had two FBI fingerprint scans. BUT I DID NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE MY FINANCIAL INFORMATION OR A DRUG TEST!!

...since Best Buy is more concerned with invading peoples' privacy than making money, I suppose the only thing left to me now is the presidency of the United States. (I swear, I never inhaled!) As a former customer of BEST BUY- I think they would be better served by administering a "Sloth and Apathy" test to their prospective employees as they have some of the worst customer service around.

It would also help if they proofread that silly certification test. I found about three or four misspelled words and some horrific grammar. They brag about being the leaders in reducing SHRINK. Yipppeee! Bully for them, but try and find a salesperson who actually knows anything, gives a flip, or is more than a couple of years out of puberty, and you will have a hard time. This appears to be the norm chainwide.

Doing the XXXX demos, I was much more impressed with Bed Bath and Beyond. Maybe Lexmark should sell printers there, next to the 150 thread count sheets.. Bet they WOULD SELL since BBB has more mature employees who have a semblance of work ethic. There, off my chest now. I am so sorry. I really and truly was looking forward to doing this. But if some of us do not stand up and say NO! then we shall all be subject to the whims of corporations, insurance companies, and ah yes,the Dear Old Nanny States of America."

Someone has to do something to turn the tide of privacy invasion, abuse of power, and bullshit. Isn't it about time we all just say NO!?

posted by TD at 10:26 PM 0 comments

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