Why I work in a factory

in #life4 years ago

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Let me tell you all about a great tragedy in my life. I lost the best job of my life so far back in October due to a failed drug test. I know what some may say, "But Ace you're a psychonaut, it's normal to have drugs in your system." Yes, but I don't use them every day or week, maybe every couple of months, if that. Even then I'm careful with how I handle the days following a trip; I flush my system by drinking plenty of water, eating healthy, and carrying a bottle of good-quality fake urine.

The job I had filled my life with purpose. It gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. That guy in the mirror was always pumped to go to work, damn near reaching a hand through the glass, placing it on my shoulder, and saying, "Cheer up buttercup, today's gonna be great. You've got great mentors to teach you and coworkers to joke with. This is your forever job, bud, all those years of searching are over, man. The work can challenge your abilities, but I know you can persevere with a smile. Every driver on the lot takes you seriously, even with your young face and that ridiculous "man-bun." Now get in that shower so we can be in early enough to buy donuts for all those beloved fuck-heads."

There was never a boss cussing you out—it was always a friend you could joke with who would tell you what you were screwing up on. Everybody in the place was a genuine character, no one ever got on my nerves. The office staff always put maintenance first and understood all of our lingo. One of my coworkers was like a father figure to me; he was a retired specialist from the army, always giving me pointers and joking around with me. He knew deep down that I was intelligent and worthwhile, and showed it in the best ways possible.

That job gave my life balance in many ways. I was able to stretch my mind when coming across problems I'd never encountered. I was able to experience the beauty of having a daily schedule that allowed me a social life outside of work. My wallet had never been happier. Money was always there when I needed it. Now I'm stuck rationing food for the week and wearing blankets to keep the heat bill low.

The day I came to pick up my toolbox was filled with gloom, but I wore a smile and joked around. That was my best way to cope with the awful situation. I couldn't help but feel like an outsider, not just because I didn't work there anymore, but because the expressions on all of their faces displayed a deep disinterest. What hurt the most was the disappointment in the eyes of that father-like coworker and the little he spoke to me.

Unfortunately I tested positive for THC, "I was smoking it for a friend, I swear!" and the call from the doctor’s office telling me this sent me into a tizzy. I hadn't consumed that stuff in almost a year. I was hit by a brick wall of uncertainty. I mentally ran through every place I had visited, all the food and drink I had consumed, yet nothing shed any light onto this.

On the way home from getting the boot from that dream job I stopped at a pharmacy and picked up a drug test. I took it back home and used it to only find out that it also stated I had THC in my system. It had to be wrong. I knew something was up, so I went to a different lab than the one my previous employer sent me to, and I had them do a full GC-MS (gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) lab analysis on it. Clean as a whistle. I still didn't understand.

Using Google-fu I found that a high dose of naproxen-sodium or ibuprofen could cause a false positive on an immunoassay screening. I felt like this was the answer. I had sprained a muscle in my back and like a stubborn jack-wagon I didn't report it—I just kept it to myself and popped NSAID pain relievers all day for three weeks leading up to the test.

The DOT test I took for my previous employer must have used an immunoassay screen, but shouldn't there have been a GC-MS to confirm this? To this day I still don't know if a GC-MS test was conducted, or what level of THC was found in my urine as I haven't been able to get ahold of the "chain of custody" paperwork.

What worries me is that the test result was sent to the DOT and is probably nesting within one of their databases, ready to be called upon by a potential employer doing a DAC background check on me. There's stress instilled by knowing that most shops that pay a great wage hold their mechanics to the same DOT standards as their drivers. I have to tell potential employers about this so they don't hear it from the last employer first.

On the upside, ketosis is great for a creative boost and meditating. I'm just trying to make the best of this situation, laughing at everything that comes my way. I've got a job in a factory that squeezes every ounce of labor out of you for the least amount of money possible. Everyone in that place looks down upon you like you're a hopeless, ignorant child. I've got a roommate now that helps with the bills. He's a cool dude and good person to talk to and pull me out of the dumps.

I know I shouldn't dwell on the past, we can't change it, but god dammit sometimes we need to look back, swim through the negative emotions, and try to learn something from it.

I want to thank @lenadr and The Writers Block for reviewing and critiquing my work.

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That is the pits. Perhaps you should ask the lab to send the results of the GC-MS test to your former employer. Even if they don't rehire you, perhaps it would clear your name for a future employment referral? GOOD LUCK, whatever you decide to do!

They're a zero tolerance facility. They refused to have the second sample from the original DOT drug test tested, and they wouldn't take me back after I proved I was clean. A DOT random will be on my record forever. In a way you could call me blacklisted. The chances of this all happening to form this perfect storm were so low yet here I am. I think I won the anti-lottery, lol.

That just doesn't seem fair, if you proved you were clean. B_frown.gif
With that attitude, you're probably better-off without them.

Oh my, this is such a touching story. Didn’t you ever go back to the employer with the results you received that should have cleared your name? At any rate, I applaud you for turning your life challenges to art with your writing. I believe that approach can give us new perspective and help us craft new dreams. And it’s great you’ve found community at The Writers’ Block!

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