Ah, that most dreaded of employment rites of passage, the in-house drug screen, that wonderful time when employers and future employees who barely know each other are forced through the distasteful process of getting to know each other more than they ever wanted to… EVER… (can anyone say TMI??)

Most staffing agencies conduct their own drug screens because they are quick, relatively easy, and cost effective. They are also smelly, disgusting, and uncomfortable. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to look at another person’s urine in a cup, much less (if you buy the cheap tests) hold the cup, examine the temperature strip, and dip the tester into it for the 10 seconds it takes to render an accurate result, all the while turning blue because you’re trying not to breathe.

Often, drug testing is one of the last things an associate does before heading out on assignment. Staffers want them to pass. We NEED them to pass. We’ve worked really hard to get them to this point. It can seem that the validation of our jobs, our very livelihoods, depends on that person, standing there, whose urine we are hoping and praying is THC free.

And yet we know that sending a druggie to work can have consequences that go far beyond an unfilled job order, distasteful as that might be, so we try to take precautions to ensure the integrity of each and every test. It’s a constant battle, a back and forth game, between tester and testee. People are always looking for ways to beat the test, or, if the test ends up positive, render lame excuses for why they really aren’t a bong-smoking pot-head.

Here at AtWork Personnel, although we understand that it’s literally impossible for anyone to ‘see it all,’ we’ve probably come pretty darn close. The crazy reasons people give for failing their drug tests, and the silly ways they try to cheat, are the stuff of legends and… hilarious blog posts.

So without further ado, here are some drug testing tales from a few of our branches. If you are in staffing and none of these have happened to you, count yourself among the fortunate.

During the application process, one would-be employee kept going outside to his car. We assumed it had to do with some sort of tobacco-related habit or maybe just a penchant for the great outdoors but, given the fact that he eventually came in with his jeans entirely soaked in urine, apparently he was just looking for a place to relieve himself??

Don’t worry, we’ve got indoor plumbing, but if you’re drug testing please leave your urine-bag in the car!


One of our staffers drug tested someone who failed for THC (pot, in the vernacular). When questioned about this, the gentleman insisted that he didn’t smoke pot, but his neighbors did and it must have blown over from their house into his window, thus causing him to fail our test.


Lions and tigers and doobies, oh my!


One post-accident drug screen, performed by a lab, came back ‘not consistent with human urine.’


ummm…. no


If we had a dime for every time we’ve heard, “I was in the room with all my friends when they were doing it, so it must have gotten into my lungs when I breathed the air,” we’d all be millionaires, or at least rich enough to afford the coming Obamacare-caused insurance hikes. The last person who used that excuse was advised by our branch manager to either find different friends or emulate our illustrious ex-president and don’t inhale!


I did NOT have relations with that joint!


One guy who failed his drug test for meth said it must have been because he took a lot of Coricidin D the night before.


Redneck News Flash: Taking Coridicin D is NOT the same as using it as an ingredient in your meth lab!


One gentleman, after failing his drug test, insisted that the reason had to be because his family cooks with a lot of poppy seeds.


Don’t believe everything you see on TV

(Editor’s note: See comment below – apparently poppy is or at least used to be a legitimate fail reason, causing the US gov’t to increase the opiate threshold from .3 micrograms per milliliter to 2 micrograms per milliliter. This weeds out most false positives these days.)

Didn’t think all this could get any lamer? Think again! After failing a test for marijuana, one brilliant mind promptly brought in a receipt from Burger King. Apparently he had heard that sesame seeds could make your drug test positive.


yeah, that and smoking weed!


Famous last pre-test words, “Pot isn’t a drug, is it?”




One older gentleman, after failing his test, told us that some ‘young-uns’ played a joke on him and gave him a marijuana brownie!


delicious and refreshing, but with a little kick!


One potential employee, after testing positive for almost everything on the test, told us he went to a party and doesn’t remember anything beyond that. So obviously, since he would NEVER have done the things he tested positive for, his friends MUST have drugged him.


time to find new friends?


And finally, for all the empty condoms we find laying around this place (people use them to store urine to try to beat the test), you’d have a hard time convincing authorities we run a legitimate business!

(Yeah, we’ll spare you and skip the picture here!)


Written by Scott Morefield

Scott started with AtWork as a Staffing Manager in 1999, eventually taking over the Bristol, TN office as Branch Manager in 2005. After a two year stint as both Branch Manager and social media manager, he assumed the role of Director of Marketing in October of 2014. By night, Scott is a news and opinion columnist for BizPac Review. His work has also been featured on the Drudge Report, Fox Nation, Breitbart, TheBlaze, WND, Staffing Talk, among others. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and an MBA from East Tennessee State University. He and his wife, Kim, live in Bristol, Tennessee with their four children.

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