Target Loses all Evidence of Your Application, Thinks You Were Never Hired

Tipster William was ready to start his seasonal job at Target when he was told that there was no record of him ever being scheduled, taking a drug test, or ever being hired.

What do you do in a situation like this? William tried to contact ChoicePoint (the agency that handles private data for drug testing, background searches, etc) but they had no record of the drug test – or even the request for a drug test – on file. Thinking it might be a Social Security Number mixup, ChoicePoint tried to get them in contact with Target HR, which gave him their own little run around.

So, I try to call Target today but their phone was constantly busy. When I got there, I heard one of the managers talking about how their phone system was down. I gave the lady at HR the number to call, but she looked into the computer and they couldn’t find any record of me at all — that I never applied, never was interviewed, never had a drug test, nothing. The lady said she would ask around to find out where all the records on me went.

“Ask around”? This is a Fortune 500 company, not the local paper route. They put you through the hiring process, and told you when you’d be working. You put in time, effort, and money that could have been spent looking elsewhere, and they owe it to you to follow through. Go into target, speak with the General Manager (or, preferably the Manager who interviewed you) and demand an answer. We’ll all be rooting for you, William!

(Photo: Baslercast)

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  1. gmoney says:

    Bizarro George Costanza?

    • rpm773 says:

      @gmoney: Are you thinking of Costanza’s Play Now experience, or Kramer at Brant, Leeland?

    • sassbrown74 says:

      @gmoney: Damn you for beating me to it! He’s referring to the time when George interviewed for a job at Sanalac but he’s not sure if he got hired. The new boss is away so George shows up and just starts “working.” Nobody knows what to do with him so they give him the Penske File, with which he has no idea what to do.

  2. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Am I the only who thinks that this is a sign from god? Listen dude, if you keep jumping through hoops then yeah, you’ll get your job but that manager isnt going to forget how “eager” you were to work there.

    “Hey William, vomit on eisles 4 and 7. And when you’re done with that you have to take care of underware returns, dont forget your gloves.”

  3. penuspenuspenus says:

    Sounds like someone is going through a lot of trouble to avoid a drug test.

    • penuspenuspenus says:

      @sodomanaz: Retaking a drug test, I should say.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @sodomanaz: Drug tests suck, but I highly doubt that’s what he’s doing. When I was in charge of hiring for my previous employer, people tried all kinds of things to get out of taking drugs… this just seems like it would be far too easy to get caught.

      I hope William updates us on what happens here. It would be very interesting to hear the (corporate version of the) story (as watered down by the HR rep or GM) of how they fucked up his paperwork.

    • postmodernism says:

      @sodomanaz: Even for the non-drug using among us, drug tests are an invasion of your privacy and no one should work or interview at a place that has mandatory drug testing. It is a degrading practice that should be ceased immediately.

      Employees need to be judged on their work performance; anyone fucking up AT WORK should be fired, you know, like common sense would dictate. If you’re on drugs AT WORK, you should be fired, like your employee handbook says.

      You could argue it’s a gamble for places to hire without MDT, except for that other places do it and their stoner cokehead meth-zombie employees seem to do okay. Ask any company based in California.

      Whatever substances are in my urine are my business and they will no way reflect my quality of work, I assure you.

      • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

        @postmodernism: Hear hear. My employer is paying for the skills and experience that I have, not the contents of my bladder. If you don’t trust someone to not show up at work high, that person shouldn’t be working for you in the first place, in my opinion.

        That, and the fact that you can get a positive result from a poppyseed bagel, being in the same room as someone smoking pot, et cetera. The commonly used test is engineered to be cheap, not accurate.

        • pinkbunnyslippers says:

          @Evil_Otto: So I, as an employer, would want to hire someone who spends enough time around other pot smokers that it would create a positive result on a drug test, even if HE himself doesn’t do the drug?

          Uh, no thanks.

          You might think a drug test is a “huge invasion of privacy”, but stats don’t lie. There are of course the extremes, but the majority of people who are habitual drug users aren’t what we here in the corporate world would call “reliable”.

          • kayfouroh says:

            @pinkbunnyslippers:

            Wrong. I am the first to admit that I am a heavy user, and I work my ass off. I work 10 hour days writing code, sometimes straight through the weekend, and I would say I am pretty reliable. My girlfriend is the same way — heavy user, runs a small business.

            This mistaken ideology that marijuana users are the laziest people around needs to stop.

      • Phexerian says:

        @postmodernism: You may think its is an invasion of privacy, but when the person consents to it, it is not an invasion. It was invited.

        Some jobs, like mine (pharmacy), require us to be drug tested or even polygraphed at any time PURSUANT TO LAW. Would you want someone working in a pharmacy where you picked up your drugs with a positive lab test for cocaine, ganja, herion, and/or meth? I sure wouldn’t. Perhaps you would like your airplane pilot or local nuclear reactor technician to test positive for these substances?

        A blanket statement demanding the cease and desisting of drug tests is asinine.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @sodomanaz: for the job i have now i had to take a day off work from my previous job to take the drug test. about 4 hours of sitting in the lab/clinic waiting to be called. it was a pain in my ass. if the job wasn’t so great, it wouldn’t be worth it to go through it again.

  4. Gokuhouse says:

    I think for anti-discrimination things they have to at least keep his application on record for a certain time. If he can prove somehow he filled it out maybe with a witness I think they can get into trouble.

    • penuspenuspenus says:

      @Gokuhouse: I think you are crossing two different things here. He was already employed by Target, but he was only seasonal.

      • Gokuhouse says:

        @sodomanaz: What I’m talking about was the lack of his application even being present at Target. He could say they were discriminating him and threw his application in the garbage.

        • SudhamayiKabong says:

          @Gokuhouse: Actually he can’t. They only keep applications on file for a short time, like three months or so, before they chuck ‘em. I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case with seasonal employees, but yeah, I doubt he’d have much of a case there.

    • fjordtjie says:

      @Gokuhouse: i applied to target a few years ago. it was on a computer at the front of the store. i never got anything on paper, only words. i ended up not getting hired because i didn’t have any experience, which was ironic because i didn’t think you could start lower than a crappy retail job?

      anyway, that’s probably why he has no paper record of it.

    • Zorantor says:

      @Gokuhouse: Target keeps video records of just about everything that ever happens in their stores, plus their application process is totally computerized.

      I can’t imagine how this could occur.

      Though, having worked for that company, I shouldn’t be surprised at them dropping the ball hard like this.

  5. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

    Don’t they give you a slip when you do your test like telling you where to go? I have a lot paperwork from jobs I have applied for. Does William have ANY paperwork from Target? I admit I have never applied to Target itself, so I’m not sure what the hiring process entails, but I would think he should have some paperwork from going through whatever process they have for hiring such as appointment times.

    • Pink Puppet says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>: I’ve not worked for Target, but based on my experiences with various big retail stores during seasonal hiring, it’s entirely possible he wouldn’t have much in the way of paperwork that he got to keep. At Toys R Us, for example, the only proof I got to keep that I was hired was given to me on my very first scheduled day–my timecard and nametag.

      And I sincerely doubt the manager that hired me initially would have remembered me, for that matter.

      • CColdsmoke says:

        @pinkpuppet:

        Same here. I did two holidays at TRU and I disappeared from the schedule one February. No one even bothered to tell me that I’d been fired. Holiday help is the lowest form of retail slave. At least they let me keep my nametag….

        • fratgirl says:

          @CColdsmoke: The exact same thing happened to me when i worked holiday my senior year of high school. I asked my manager and she said she “forgot” to tell me.

    • Rhayader says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>: Yeah that makes sense. Seems like he would have at least SOMETHING Target-related to show he had in fact applied.

    • rainbowsandkittens says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy–>: Each time I have had to submit to a drug test, the testing agency has given me a receipt with a clinician’s signature to prove I was there and at what date and time.

      Oddly enough, I went to a pre-employment screening just this morning for a new job that I am really excited about. Not that one can judge a drug user by their appearance, but I am 7 months pregnant. Kudos to them for hiring a pregnant candidate, but I had to drive to a bad part of our city to sit in a waiting room with 2 or 3 people who were pre-screening like me and about 25 crack heads who were probably sent because of an incident. (And I know that some women use during pregnancy and you can’t discriminate, but still. It was overkill.)

      • Julia789 says:

        @rainbowsandkittens: When I was quite pregnant, I went to the blood lab to have the standard gestational diabetes testing done. The one where you go in on an empty stomach, they take your blood, you drink a measured orange sugar drink, wait an hour, and they take your blood again.

        I went first thing in the morning and it was quiet, they took the blood, and I drank the drink. I went back to the waiting room to wait the specific amount of time for the next test.

        Just as I sat back down, a local halfway house of about 10 drug addicted women was driven up in a huge white van, right in front of the window. They all came in for urine testing because, as they loudly screamed and argued, SOMEONE hid drugs in the bathroom and no one would admit to it. I was already in the middle of my test and couldn’t leave.

        They were apparently not scheduled, but had some kind of contract with the lab to come in for random urine tests. It threw the lab into chaos. They yelled and argued amongst each other, accusing each other of being the one to hide the drugs. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. It was tense and miserable for the next hour.

        Anyhow, your story about being pregnant in the lab with a bunch of crackheads reminded me of that incident! Although I’m happy I stayed for the test even though I wanted to leave. It came back positive and I had to take insulin shots for the remainder of the pregnancy. Anything for a healthy baby, including a waiting room full of crackheads!

    • lauy says:

      @Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★:

      When I recently took a pre-employment drug test through Choicepoint, I was given one of the carbons from the form. There were also several people in the throng of test takers that were in the employment process at Target and that day (overheard them talking) and each one walked out of the back room with a portion of the test form.

  6. Corporate_guy says:

    Who interviewed you? Call that person up. Surely you have caught the name of someone you were dealing with and have mail or email records.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The drug testing company would have provided the candidate with paperwork upon completion of the test. This paperwork would have included a unique number that matches his drug test sample.

  8. HFC says:

    I think he imagined the entire application and hiring process. How do two companies lose all data on an individual? Did he recently go to a comedy hypnotist show?

    • midwestkel says:

      @HFC: Thats what I was thinking either that or its like one of those movies that Sandra Bullock was in pretty soon he will be replaced and no one will think he exist!

  9. yellowspaced says:

    I had something like this happen to me once. Got a job offer on thursday, called back friday to accept it. Was told the person who this job reported to had been fired along with every boss above him in the department…. They call back the next week let me know i can still have the job. Great! i turn in my notice and move to the new town. Only to find out once i start that they goofed and didn’t have the position funded. So no pay…

    Funny how fast they find the money when you start talking to a lawyer.

    • Wormfather is Wormfather says:

      @yellowspaced: OMG, the same thing happened to me. They called 2 weeks before I was to start and told me the boss had been fired and the department was consolodated.

      I just went to my old boss and asked to recend my letter of resignation.

      Damn, never thought about the lawyer.

    • shorty63136 says:

      @yellowspaced: Holy crap, man! I’da been PISSED!!!

    • Skybolt says:

      @yellowspaced: This also happens in a lesser-known Richard Pryor movie called Moving. It’s not a great movie, but it’s worth it just to see Richard Pryor fight King Kong Bundy.

  10. Mary says:

    I’m not sure why his first instinct, when told that Target had no record of hiring him, was to contact the outside contractor and not the person who interviewed him. My first move would have been to call the person who offered me the job and ask them for help. At least having someone on the inside who vouches for you would be helpful in getting things moving. And certainly there must be some correspondence he has saved. And I have never heard of someone taking a drug test without being given some sort of “receipt”. This seems a bit odd to me.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @Mary:

      Yep, where is the request form for the drug test? Where is HIS form from the drug testing company saying he had completed his test?

      • lizk says:

        @Corporate-Shill: That’s what I was thinking, too–the company that did the drug test should’ve given him a form with an identification number on it so he could prove he went in for his sample. Every time I’ve taken a drug test for a job, I’ve had to bring that test paperwork in to the company later–I get a copy, they get a copy, they use my ID number to get results.

        I’m also wondering if their phone system being down could be related. If one system’s down, usually a bunch of them are–at least in big box stores they are, IME.

  11. howie_in_az says:

    Target has OP’s SSN and DNA and will create an army of seasonal workers.

    Seriously though, I’d be more than a little concerned if any company “lost” my hiring record bearing my SSN. Or maybe this was an elaborate scam to get his SSN, and the person he was dealing with prior isn’t even related to Target?

  12. Ashground says:

    O_O

    Drug test?

    You have to pass a drug test to work at Target? Is this some sort of crazy American thing? In Canada, I don’t know a single person who had to do a drug test for any sort of job, ever.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      @Ashground: Yup, you have to pass a drug test for MANY different jobs before they hire you. Complete rubbish, imo. I don’t care if you have an ongoing cocaine dependency as long as you show up no high, do your work, and then leave. IMO, it’s an invasion of privacy, esp. since more clearly dangerous drugs are out of your system w/in a few days while something harmless like pot remains for a month.

      I thought it was hilarious that I didn’t need a drug test to do childcare, but when I applied to Blockbuster they requested it…

    • Rhayader says:

      @Ashground: Oh man, I need to move to Canada.

      They drug test for everything down here. Not literally everything, but yeah many “menial” jobs require drug testing. Employers often get discounts on health care if they test.

      I’m an engineer, and I’ve been tested several times. I feel lucky I haven’t had to take a hair test yet.

      It’s a huge, for-profit industry, and one of the big reasons our drug laws remain crushingly draconian.

    • mk says:

      @Ashground: yes, it is sad that lots of retail employers ask for drug tests. they drug test at blockbuster too and I say you’d have to be high to endure working there.

    • VigilanteKitteh says:

      @Ashground: I know. How strange is that? Even for my government job, we don’t have drug tests…just security clearnace forms that you have to fill out.

    • edosan says:

      @Ashground: “In Canada, I don’t know a single person who had to do a drug test for any sort of job, ever.”

      I’ve had to pass a drug test for every job in my adult life.

    • failurate says:

      @Ashground: I would guess the rate of people with missing fingers is higher in Canada.

      • Rhayader says:

        @failurate: That assumes that drug testing helps prevent workplace accident. There has never been a single study demonstrating or even hinting at that.

    • jeebussez says:

      @Ashground: The great thing about my job is that they used the oral swab, which detects usage of most major substances in the past 72 hours. They also had a two to three tier application process which included a “oh hey come in on (a few days later) so we can sign the paperwork and do your drug test, so it wasn’t real hard to get clean for it (just stop for three days).

      Piss tests suck and make everyone paranoid and nervous.

      • chatterboxwriting says:

        @jeebussez: I got called in for random testing the day after I went to see Dave Matthews Band in concert. I don’t do drugs, but it seemed like everyone around me had been smoking pot, and I was so nervous that it would come up in my test! I have an HR background, and even I think drug testing is mostly stupid (unless it is for positions like driver, surgeon, etc.).

      • Rhayader says:

        @jeebussez: Yeah, the saliva and blood tests only test back like 3 days max, even for heavy users. Nice, as long as you have a few days’ notice, although not all jobs give you that.

        Urine tests can test back a lot longer for pot, but its real easy to pass those just by drinking plenty of water before your test (I’ve personally passed 4 of 4 tests this way, without taking much time away from the peace pipe).

        Hair tests are the real scary ones. I’d run and hide if I was asked to take a hair test.

    • number13 says:

      @Ashground: i am not an employee of target, but work for a small company that provides user experience services for their technical department… and could not begin work with them until after i passed a pee test…

    • econobiker says:

      @Ashground: Random hair test at the factory of a multinational company where I work. HR publishes and then forwards an email document of the “winners” who are to report to the medical area to give a sample.

      Many chuckles were had when the mature, church-going, staid lady, who is the administrative assistant to the factory manager, was listed for a drug test. The plant floor employees wondered if Catholic church incense would show up…

      As for the shaven bald guys they have had to give chest hair…we wondered what would happen if they didn’t have chest hair…

    • ionerox says:

      @Ashground: I’ve never had to take one either, despite working a few part-time retail jobs in the past 15 years and having a corporate job with a large financial institution.

      The only people I know who’ve had to take them for a job were working as a temp for the USPS and as a manager at Best Buy.

    • Jetgirly says:

      @Ashground: I teach in the public school system in Canada. When I was in university, the local (publicly-funded) Catholic board came to a career info session. Their hiring policy was full medical and drug test from one of their approved doctors as part of the application! I questioned them (just for fun, I would/could never work for them as I’m not Catholic and I strongly oppose a publicly-funded seperate religious board) and they said that EVERY board requires it upon hiring, they just “make it easier” (ummm?) by having it as part of the application process. To me, it sounded like a scam to drum up business for floundering Catholic doctors. Surprise surprise, the public system never asked me for any health information and hasn’t drug-tested me. And I have a friend who was just hired by the Catholic board without drug testing, a medical, or even being Catholic… I guess they got pretty desperate!

      • Green Goth Brit Chick - AlternatEve says:

        @Jetgirly: As someone who’s on a whackload of prescribed medication, I’d tell them to stick it – I don’t necisaraly (can’t spell today) want my employer knowing that I’ve been prescribed anti-psychotics and opiate derived painkillers.

        Plus, because of the latter I’d probably fail. Its just not worth the crap that would end up happening.

        • "I Like Potatoes" says:

          @Green Goth Brit Chick:
          My husband is an Army officer – Army does drug tests all the time. What my husband hates is when his job is to stand there and watch the guys pee in the cup. I mean, that has to be the worst.

    • trk182 says:

      @Ashground: In Canada, I don’t know a single person who had to do a drug test for any sort of job, ever.

      Because if they did Canada would have a 90% unemployment rate, buncha stoners….:(

  13. CrazyMann says:

    Target? Bet he was hired to ensure that the truck containing shopping carts had a closed door. (Next consumerist posting)

  14. dorianh49 says:

    I walked into a Target the other day… but I missed.

  15. tmlfan81 says:

    I think the Bob’s interviewed him and after realizing their mistake they “fixed the glitch”.

  16. Anonymous says:

    This exact thing happened to me when I applied during high school. Since I just wanted some extra cash and was busy with school, I eventually gave up contacting people.

    Now I’m out of college and just got a job at Target’s pharmacy, where they again lost half my paperwork. They called me a month into my job and asked me “if I ever applied” and “if I was officially hired.” Luckily all I had to do was sign a couple of disclosure forms that were missing. I don’t know what they do with their paperwork, but they need to stop and slap themselves.

  17. i_love_life says:

    Sounds like the good ole “I accidentally hired the wrong person, so let’s make it all disappear” trick

    I’m sure that if someone applied via the internet, or in a computerized way that they block out the SSN except the last four, but I’m not sure exactly how Target’s application process operates.

  18. DeeJayQueue says:

    I worked at Target for like 2 weeks.

    You apply by sitting at a computer kiosk in the corner, usually either on the way out of the store or over near customer service. It takes about 10 minutes, and then you have to call in to some bat-phone thing to finish it up. It’s all electronic. Which means that unless the server that handles the applications barfed (which would mean they lost a lot more than HIS records) there’s a copy of his app somewhere, but someone is being lazy.

    If he survived that and actually had a sit-down interview with a manager, that person would have a printout of the application data, which they’d have to have lost as well.

    I would recommend finding the manager who interviewed you and speaking with them to get the mess sorted out.

    If they give you too much more trouble, go look somewhere else for a job, and return your red shirt and khakis to the store.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @DeeJayQueue: i don’t know if they still do it but shortly after i went to work for kaybee toys they instituted an ‘honesty test’ by one of those phone follow up things. one of the questions was ‘if you found a large sum of cash lying out in the street with no one around, would you think about keeping it?’
      and the only correct answer was apparently ‘yes!’ because people who answered ‘no’ got failed on the test and didn’t get hired. the logic was that EVERYONE would THINK about keeping it and anyone who said differently was lying.
      funny thing is, over half the people that got hired for seasonal help that year got fired before christmas day for stealing. cash, video game consoles, remote control boats….
      the phone interviews only lasted a few months

  19. Rhayader says:

    I know this isn’t the point of the story or anything, but I need to say, DRUG TESTING IS EVIL!!!

    It’s unconstitutional (unlawful search and seizure) and completely ineffective (a drug test is really a weed test).

    Pee for enjoyment, not for employment.

    • VigilanteKitteh says:

      @Rhayader: just move to Canada. No drug tests here, unless you want to be a cop or something.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Rhayader: I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had good experiences working with pot-heads or addicts of any sort.

      • katylostherart says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: i don’t knwo about you but i have had better experience with potheads than i have alcoholics. drinking being legal, i find it harder to work with legal addicts as opposed to illicit ones because they think they can get away with it.

      • failurate says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Is it because they steal stuff, forget things, irritate customers, or simply don’t show up for work? Or is it because it’s illegal to operate pretty much anything while intoxicated?

        There are reasons why companies drug test… they are not just trying to get all up in your bidness.

        • Rhayader says:

          @failurate: Stealing stuff, forgetting things, irritating customers, no-showing, and operating machinery while intoxicated are all DIRECTLY related to work and are certainly under the purview of an employer. What I decide to smoke on Friday night is not.

          Besides, the claim that drug users are worse workers is a fallacy that has never been statistically demonstrated.

          • Rhayader says:

            @All: The idea that employment is entirely “at will”, and that employers can require any candidate to divulge any amount of information and agree to any procedure is patently false.

            There are all kinds of laws regulating what employers are allowed to ascertain about an employee’s personal life. Americans with Disabilities act, Equal Opportunity Employment Act, etc.

            Why is personal drug use so different from other lifestyle choices? As long as you do your job well, there should be no problem.

            • katylostherart says:

              @Rhayader: because personal drug use IS ILLEGAL it’s not a disability. and i’m all for legalizing every drug out there purely for tax revenue. but currently, it’s illegal for recreational use. that’s that. get over it. you flout a law, even if you think it’s unfair, be prepared to get judged for it.

              employment is at will. they can at will not freaking hire you. just like you can, at will, not abide by their rules and not get hired. if you don’t feel like filling out tax and work eligibility forms you can also, not get hired.

              • Rhayader says:

                @katylostherart: As I said in my other reply, people commit crimes every day. But I don’t need to submit my hard drive to my employer before a job so they can make sure I don’t download copyrighted material.

                • katylostherart says:

                  @Rhayader: and there ARE jobs where you have to bring in your personal things like harddrives and paperwork for scrutiny.

                • brent_r says:

                  @Rhayader: If I’m an employer, I don’t want to hire your dumb pot-head ass. Period. Get over it.

                  And if you’re going to selectively flaunt laws. Odds are you’re going to come into my workplace and selectively flaunt my policies. No thanks, I choose which policies are valid … not you.

                  • coren says:

                    @brent_r: I think you mean flout.

                  • Rhayader says:

                    @brent_r: I’m not dumb. I also don’t want to work for you.

                    I think that’s the core of this big fallacy. People love to label others, whether it be by race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or choice of intoxicant. Someone who smokes is no more likely to be stupid than someone who has a few beers after work.

                    My main point here is that what should matter to my employer is how well I perform my job duties. Yes, if I have personal issues that encroach upon my job performance, my employer has the right to address that. But if I show up every day, do my job well, and stay out of trouble, why should my off-hours activities matter in the least?

            • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

              @Rhayader: Because the drugs in question are ILLEGAL.

            • trk182 says:

              @Rhayader: Has anyone asked if you were on Crack yet?

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          @failurate: Dude I’m on your side. I want them to get up all in their “bidness” because its bad for the company, the other workers, AND most of all the customers to be served by idiots.

          You have a choice to work there, you have a choice to take the drug test, and you have the choice to do the drugs.

          You need a job so badly? Clean up your fucking act and be responsible.

    • altryan says:

      @Rhayader: Employment is “at will”. No one is forcing you to work the job, hence no one is forcing you to take the drug test, if you want the job, you take the test. If you don’t want the job, you don’t take the test.

    • benbell says:

      @Rhayader:

      You clearly don’t understand the rights granted to you by the constitution. The 4th amendment applies to police and government not to corporations. Just like the right to bear arms does not mean you can take a gun in to any establishment.

      Also, a drug test is a drug test, not just weed but all drugs.

      • Rhayader says:

        @benbell: A drug test is for all drugs, yes. But most “hard” substances (cocaine, heroin, PCP, LSD, etc etc) are out of your system within a couple days. Cannabis is the only drug that has metabolites hanging around in your system for months, so drug testing is mostly weed testing.

        As for the constitutionality, I admit it’s a bit of a gray area since you need to grant consent, and it’s a corporation and not a government. That being said, there are laws about what your employer can ask about your personal life. A mere question about political affiliation or racial background will get an employer sued instantly. However, requiring a worker to donate his or her bodily fluids to investigate what he or she does on the weekends is fair game.

        I get that a workplace needs to be safe and productive; that’s important. However, there is no proven link between off-hours drug use of any kind and workplace effectiveness. If you’re a good worker you should keep your job, no matter what your weekend intoxicant of choice is.

        • katylostherart says:

          @Rhayader: do you realize that pot is still illegal in all 50 states when used recreationally? so you can complain all you want how it unfairly targets potheads but the fact is unless you have a prescription for it you’re breaking a law and employers don’t generally want to hire people that are currently, by any legal definition, criminals.

          • Rhayader says:

            @katylostherart: First of all, employers who drug test do not differentiate between recreational and medicinal use. If you legally use pot for medical purposes and test positive on a drug test, you won’t get the job. Plus, people break the law every day: going over the speed limit, not declaring money spent on Amazon for tax purposed, downloading movies off bittorrent, etc etc. These activities are not monitored by employers. So it’s not only about legality.

            Certainly, if I am convicted for a crime, I can expect to be fired. That doesn’t give my employer the right to short-circuit the legal system and play police.

            • katylostherart says:

              @Rhayader: if you were dumb enough to forget to mention that you have a prescription for marijuana before taking a drug test, because they do generally ASK if you’ve taken anything recently precribed, then you’re probably too stupid to work.

              and they aren’t playing police. if they were, they’d report all the positive results to the cops. if they find out you are knowingly breaking the law, how can you be indignant? and speeding tickets aren’t felonies, on top of that, they are penalized with a fine generally. and in some jobs speeding tickets are enough to make you lose your job. in the military, if you have too many moving violations you can even lose your security clearance and get discharged. possession of some drugs in most states is. people get fined now for stealing on p2p by the copyright owners, they don’t generally have criminal charges brought against them. that is actually another thing i actually support. i don’t know what in the world you’re talking about money spent on amazon going to taxes as those would be private purchases.

              fact is, if you break a law, whether or not you get criminal charges brought against you YOU ARE STILL BREAKING THE LAW. you can’t just whine that you’re being unfairly treated just because you’re paying consequences for your actions. stop smoking pot. stop speeding. stop p2p. stop doing whatever it is you’re doing that’s illegal if you don’t want to pay consequences. it’s really that simple.

              • Rhayader says:

                @katylostherart: First of all, the hostility really isn’t necessary. This is an interesting and valid discussion, and I am not whining. I’m not disparaging your viewpoint, and I would like the same level of courtesy.

                The Amazon thing was a reference to a law in New York (and probably other states, I’m not sure) relating to online sales tax. Amazon doesn’t have to charge it since they have no piece of their business in New York, but NY citizens who buy off Amazon are supposed to declare those purchases and pay sales tax on them. Failure to do so constitutes tax evasion.

                Finally, I agree that an employer has the right to fire a criminal. If you are arrested and convicted, you’re caught. To me though, that doesn’t give the employer the right to rifle through my private life looking for instances in which I broke the law. And yes, I know background checks are almost always required, but that only would show when the legal system caught me breaking the law.

                In the end, I just don’t think the invasion of privacy involved in a drug test is justified. Yes, I know the law disagrees with me (for the record, I have passed 4 of 4 drug tests that I have taken). Again, I am not “whining” here, but I think there are valid privacy concerns that shouldn’t be dismissed simply because they are currently not considered by employers.

                • katylostherart says:

                  @Rhayader: sorry for any and all hostility. it’s not intentional, i just swear a lot and working around trying to lessen that is difficult.

                  being found not guilty is different from being innocent. if you commit a crime knowingly, whether or not you are convicted it is not unreasonable to have that noted as a con against hiring you. having a record and having committed a crime are two different things. and evidence of a crime does not necessarily lead to criminal charges.

                  as you said, a background check would only show when you get caught. i’m not saying people who pass drug tests with flying colors can’t be criminals, but people who fail them with substances that aren’t prescribed are committing a crime. if you know someone is breaking a law for a fact, why wouldn’t you hire the person that has passed the tests you threw at them over the person who used?

                  and if you’re ever out of work you’re a tard for doing drugs while searching for employment when you KNOW it’s illegal and you may be up for a test. seriously, that’s a special kind of stupid.

                  • Rhayader says:

                    @katylostherart: I would agree if urine testing was effective at detecting drugs.

                    Like I said, I passed 4 of 4 tests. I wasn’t actually clean for any of them. No Whizzinator, no tubing or pouches, just good old fashioned water.

                    Smoking when you might have a urine test coming up isn’t all that stupid unless you don’t like pot, or you don’t know how to look things up on the internet. Unless of course you might be facing a random test with no advance notice.

                    Using other, harder drugs, by the way, is almost completely safe since you need about 2 days’ notice to get clean. So the coke head with a weekend to prepare looks like the model employee, and the guy who tokes on weekends is the criminal.

                    • katylostherart says:

                      @Rhayader: this depends on how they test.

                      but do you think that someone who failed a drug test should have equal standing as someone who passed it? someone you know did something illegal and have proof of said illegal action vs no proof.

                    • BlondeGrlz says:

                      @Rhayader: Just fyi, when I hired people at Target you had to go in for the drug test within 24 hours of the interview – NO EXCEPTIONS. Of course a smart employee knew enough to lay off the drugs a few days before coming in but we eliminated a ton of potential employees who either “couldn’t make it” to the drug testing place or never even bothered to show. Also, part of the employment contract allowed for random testing – although in those people usually just quit rather than take the test.

              • Illiterati says:

                @katylostherart: You said, “i don’t know what in the world you’re talking about money spent on amazon going to taxes as those would be private purchases.”

                Then technically you’re breaking the law (or BREAKING THE LAW, as you exclaim) if you aren’t paying sales tax on your 1040 form for untaxed online purchases. The IRS leaves it up to your honest nature to admit how much sales tax you owe on those purchases.

                Stupid law, I know. Just like drug testing is stupid. I’m not peeing for any potential employer, and I would never ask an employee to pee for me. Unless maybe we were dating, of course.

      • parad0x360 says:

        @benbell: Thats not true, it is more or less a weed test.

        I got hurt at work one day and had to take a drug test. I had been on narcotic pain killers for a month at that point so my test should have shown positive for opiates (like heroin) but they never questioned me once to ask for proof of prescription. Since Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are converted in your liver to a certain percent of morphine there is no way to tell if I was using RX pills or an injectable street drug.

        Its a weed test.

    • katylostherart says:

      @Rhayader: you have to consent to a drug test, it’s not unlawful search or seizure. you can say no, they can refuse to hire you.

    • rickinsthelens says:

      @Rhayader: Here is one of the main reasons for drug testing in the US (outside of federally mandated indutries like transportation): If you employ workers who use and possibly abuse unlawful drugs, and said workers are involved in an accident or behaivior that adversly affects someone, the company or corparation is exposed to possible lawsuits that could affect it. It is cheaper and wiser to eliminate drug users from employment on the application process than it is to defend the actions of drug users in litagation.

    • econobiker says:

      @Rhayader: Problem is the dopers smoking away on work time by escaping to the top of the building or behind the dumpsters and then being toasted for the rest of the shift.

      In the pre-drug test, mid-1980’s I worked the night shift at a grocery store stocking the shelves. This was before 24 hour stores so we were closed from 11pm-7am. The manager hired on a total burnout guy who I later found out was probably related to someone else at the store.

      This guy was so fried that he literaly put can food on the shelves upside down. The night shift manager called me over to the canned tomatos where I had to upright over 4 cases (probably 100-125 cans) of the small cans that burnout guy had put in upside down. Burnout guy would walk around searching for the correct spot to put a case of goods in- never mind that the product pallets were packed and then dropped in the correct aisles.

      During our breaktimes, he told stories of being in rehab with famous people,injecting heroin directly to his neck vein, stealing his 10 year old twin sisters piggy banks for drug money, and then selling his one year old 280ZX (which mommy and daddy purchased) for a gram of coke and 12 pack of beer while on a binge. The burnout worked the first two weeks until receiving his first paycheck when he bailed and probably went to tweak more.

      Yeah, drug tests are probably ok in the aggregate as I would not have wanted burnout guy driving a forklift, etc…

      • Rhayader says:

        @econobiker: OK well it sounds like that dude had some real issues and probably was not the best employee. For the record though, an alcoholic could just as easily be a poor employee as “burnout guy” could.

        Also, I have no issue with an employer requiring workers to be sober during working hours. That only makes sense. What my employer shouldn’t care about is what I decide to do after my shift is over.

        Just FYI, I used to work in a grocery store too. Crappy pay, but a pretty fun job actually.

    • Green Goth Brit Chick - AlternatEve says:

      @Rhayader: My main issue with drugs testing is that – theoretically – it can tell your employer not just if you’re taking any illegal substances, but if you’re taking ANYTHING. I don’t always want my employers to know if I’m taking anti-depressants or anti-psychotics. If it was a long-term employment then maybe, but just Christmas work? Fuck no.

    • jenl1625 says:

      @Rhayader: What does “unconstitutional” have to do with “if you want to work for us (a non-governmental entity), then you will consent to take a drug test. If you’re unwilling to consent to a drug test, then we’re unwilling to hire you”?

      • Rhayader says:

        @jenl1625: Yeah I addressed that in an earlier reply. I admit it is at best a gray area, which is why no successful legal challenges have been mounted against it.

        I will say for the record though that there are many laws describing what an employer can and cannot base personnel decisions on. Americans with Disabilities Act, Equal Opportunity Employment Act, etc. I know these don’t apply in this specific case, but my point is that it is not a completely unregulated process.

  20. ekthesy says:

    William, they just wanted to watch you pee.

  21. MyPetFly says:

    1. EECB (It is retail after all, and the muckety mucks are probably expecting it.)

    2. Does that pretty young thang with the dark hair in the front row of the photo have to pee?

  22. celticgina says:

    My first job out of college was seasonal help for a major ny dept store, (now closed).

    LOL we all knew we were being fired on Christmas Eve, so we delighted in telling customers all sorts of crazy information…..

    Joke was on me though, *I* got hired as a perm employee!!

    Seasonal help is the bottom of the retail food chain….can you imagine being at the bottom of THAT food chain? YIKES!

  23. frodo_35 says:

    My sister is an office manager at a temp place. The poor bastards have to pay for there own piss test to get a job. They take 75$ out of their 1st check and they own the machine and it takes 5 minutes right there at the office. What a scam

  24. katylostherart says:

    target most likely doesn’t owe him anything. i mean sure, it’d be courteous to find out what the hell happened, but most states are “at will” for employment meaning neither the employee or the employer needs to give more notice than “goodbye” for termination of employment if there isn’t a contract involved.

  25. failurate says:

    I once went to a Target while wearing a red shirt and khakis. I helped a couple people before I realized that there was something wrong with my clothes and that folks weren’t just friendly, bold, and needy.

    • summerbee says:

      @failurate: I read this comment when it was collapsed, and I didn’t realize it was collapsed. All I saw was “I once went to a Target while wearing a red shirt…”. That, alone, was all that needed to be said.

    • oneandone says:

      @failurate: I’ve helped a couple people while shopping at the grocery store. Random questions about which kind of pasta might cook faster or if I thought the breadcrumbs might have too much seasoning. Very friendly people, but I’m not used to chattiness from strangers. I will definitely avoid the red shirt + khakis on days I’m going to Target!

  26. van_line says:

    you should have received a receipt from the drug testing place.

  27. dwneylonsr says:

    Both Target and the drug test agency have lost his paperwork? Yea, don’t think so.

  28. BlondeGrlz says:

    Three years ago, I could have been the person who lost his application. I worked in Target HR for years and have some advice for this guy.

    The applications are kept in the computer that either the Team Relations Lead (HR in Target-speak) or the Clerical Level 2 (the TRL’s assistant who usually handles the applications) can access. Each application was marked as either a yes, no or maybe, but they didn’t fall out of the system for 90 days no matter how they were rated. William must have been at least a “maybe” because he had an interview and a drug test. They only send you to the following after you’ve been given a preliminary job offer. He would have signed an actual paper copy of his application at that time, so it did exist. He also would have been given paperwork to take to the drug testing location, one carbon copy of which he should still have.

    In my experience, he is right to think it could be a social security mix up, but it probably happened when he typed it into the application computer. The TRL should be able to find his application with his name even with a faulty SSN.

    I also do not believe he was every scheduled. You have to go through orientation before that can happen, and there is a ton of paperwork involved. Without the drug test results – can’t have those if there’s no record of him taking it – you cannot participate.

    To summarize, Target HQ ain’t gonna help. If it means that much to you, talk to the Team Relations Lead at that particular store.

  29. waybaker says:

    The piss test I had to do for my current job was the most embarassing thing I have ever had to endure.

    I was warned up front, but still…

    The company I work for uses a company that requires that a person be in direct view of your genitals so that they can verify that you are not using a fake organ to provide your urine. They also require that you hold your shirt up past your belly button so that they can verify that there is no tube taped there.

    Being that you have to use your hands to hold up your shirt, that means the person in the room with you has to hold your penis (if you are a guy) while you urinate so that it doesn’t spray everywhere.

    I have never felt so embarassed, but I really wanted the job, so I went through with it.

    • DerangedRoleModel says:

      @waybaker: Pretty soon, they’ll they’ll ask to blow you to “extract samples.”

    • CaffiendCA says:

      @waybaker: Sorry to break it to you dude, but that’s not how my drug test went. I think someone just wanted to cop a feel!

    • Rhayader says:

      @waybaker: Ugh, that’s awful. And yet somehow not considered an invasion of privacy.

      The funny thing is, you could still have easily passed the test if you were dirty. It’s simple enough to dilute your urine by drinking plenty of water. It’s your real pee, but it’s clean.

      Yes, this works. I’ve passed 4 test this way, when I never would have passed without some planning.

    • BlondeGrlz says:

      @waybaker: That’s not how they do pants!!

    • weakdome says:

      @waybaker: I can’t piss if someone is watching…let alone holding my junk for me… that would have been the longest, most awkward day of my life. I hope you don’t have to pass that guy in the hall every day. What do you do? Do you stop and give him a hug, or a handshake, or just turn the other way and walk quicker to avoid eye contact…?

    • geoelectric says:

      @waybaker: …you couldn’t hold up your shirt with one hand?

      • failurate says:

        @geoelectric: Geeeez… it’s about time someone called B.S. on this one. I don’t even think the NFL, parol boards, or even prisons have people touch your junk to take a drug test.

    • blazenbu says:

      @waybaker: A personal penis vs. pee raining down, that is fantastic!

      However, they should have taken you out for dinner if they held your penis, especially if they didn’t even hold your hand.

      Drug tests are an invasion of privacy and reflect that a company has little regard to their workers private life. What will they want next? A fecal test to see my eating habits? Next thing you know, Target is a quarter step above Wal-Mart, is how much they value their customers. To believe any of that, you need drugs.

      Now, can we get back to bailing out businesses and not concentrating on the consumer who voted us into office?

      • failurate says:

        @blazenbu: People with illegal drug habits tend to have other undesirable or illegal habits… like stealing stuff, taking unsafe risks, and being careless/dangerous with equipment. Try getting your insurance company to pay for a damage or liability claim when one of your coked out/doped up employees drives a forklift through some old lady’s Sedan Deville!

    • SunnyLea says:

      @waybaker:

      Er, couldn’t they hold your shirt while *you* held your own penis?

      That just doesn’t make sense.

  30. VOIDMunashii says:

    Clearly this William is the William of another reality who has switched places with our William. In that dimension Target keeps calling our William to ask why he isn’t showing up for his shift.

  31. Smashville says:

    I call bullshit. I get one company losing the application or mishandling the drug screen. But magically, two separate companies have lost everything on him? I work in HR…I’ve had these people…they find out when orientation is, they show up…talk about how their paperwork must have been lost…

  32. DanKelley98 says:

    With all due respect, why would you publish any claim from someone who has presented no evidence that he was ever given a clue that he was hired?

    There’s been a few jobs over the years that “I’ve been ready to start”, but unfortunately I wasn’t hired for.

    Somethings not right here, but I don’t think its with Target. The dude apparently doesn’t even remember who he talked to…

  33. Demonbird says:

    I had this happen at a blockbuster, but before I had officially started or been drug screened.

  34. Anonymous says:

    There is a way to prove you were hired there. I applied at Target about a month or two ago and they had me take a drug test. When I took the drug test they gave me a copy of the paper I had to take for the drug test (like a receipt). It will have the Target store you applied at address and contact information. So will the Doctor’s office you took the test at. I ended up turning this job down for Best Buy, it pays more :-)

  35. Charmander says:

    Is it always a piss test?

    When I applied for a seasonal job at a retail establishment, the drug test was a swab that you put in your mouth for 30 seconds, then it gets sent off to some lab somewhere.

  36. puka_pai says:

    It’s not always a piss test, no.

    I’ve taken 3 drug tests in the past 5 years and one of them was the swab test. It’s not any more accurate than the urine test, though.

    I take (legally prescribed) amphetamines and only once has it shown up on a test, my most recent urine test. The first time I was all set to declare my meds, brought my bottle with me, and they told me that if it came up positive they’d call me. I didn’t get called. Neither did another family member who also took amphetamines.

    My theory is that grocery stores don’t care if you’re a speed freak, you’ll just work faster. But they don’t want any potheads with the munchies helping themselves to the stock. Also, as I understand it from a friend who worked in a lab, the marijuana test the is the cheapest to administer, so it makes sense that employers would go the cheap way.

  37. InsertBullets says:

    I applied for a job at my local target a few years back and was called in for an interview. A few days later I was called again, thinking I had got the job I went back up there and waited for 45 minutes only to have the same person who interviewed me previously interview me again until she recognized me for a job they already filled. I’m not suprised that Target doesn’t have their shit together.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The same thing happened to me two years ago. I was told I had a job as long as I passed the drug test, took the drug test, and never heard from them again. I tried calling them back a week later and got the same runaround, “we have no record of you”. Fortunately getting a job wasn’t terribly urgent for me and I managed to find a better one at Barnes and Noble, but that was the weirdest thing ever to happen.

  39. Human947 says:

    I will say this about Target. They will talk with you . And if they do not want to hire you they send a postcard to you says sorry we can not hire you now. Unlike most employers were the app and resume go into a black hole of we will call you and hear nothing. It is like you never applyed. Yes i am looking for work and most employers lack a go way call or or post card punks heeh

  40. Urgleglurk says:

    At this point, I would have said “Aloha” and run for the door without looking back. Do you really want to work for a company this incompetent? the next thing they lose may well be your paycheck.

  41. friedduck says:

    Wait, what?

  42. Parting says:

    Drug test? Are you sure you want to work for that kind of company?

  43. Anonymous says:

    Target calls managers Team Leaders. If you are still trying to find things out ask for the ETL of HR. That’s who would be able to help. Also try to find out who interviewed you. There are alot of people at every store who can do interviews.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Regarding paperwork from the drug test, it all depends on where you go. I applied at Target and took mine at a local clinic, which was entirely unprofessional. For example, immediately after my piss test, I was asked to sit at the desk across from the nurse-type lady and to use “that pen, not this one” to sign off on the papers. I noticed she was wearing gloves, but I hadn’t even been able to wash my hands. No telling how many different things were living on that pen. I reached across and grabbed a glove from her side of the desk before signing. In the end, I never got a copy of the paper.

    Also, Target didn’t give me any kind of paperwork until after orientation. Did William get as far as orientation? That’s when they hand out the schedules, at least at the store where I’m from.