Drug Policy

Making Sure the Self-Employed Keep an Eye on Their Employees


The owner and sole pilot of a small helicopter charter company meets with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector:

Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I'm subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I'm also the only "safety-sensitive employee" subject to drug testing, so basically I'm responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I'm also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I'm also the employer so really I'm learning about how I might trap myself….

Five minutes after the FAA inspector left, I received a phone call. "I'm from the FAA and we'd like to schedule an audit of your drug testing program." I remarked that a fully qualified FAA inspector was barely out of the driveway and had just gone through every document that I had on the subject. "He was from the FSDO (Flight Standards District Office)? That's a completely different department. We're going to send two inspectors up from Atlanta next month." Why two? "We always send them in pairs."

Read the whole story here.

[Via Walter Olson.]


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  1. Oh.My.God!

  2. Two by two, hands of blue…

    1. leaves of three, don’t touch me. leaves of four, eat some more.

    2. I always wondered what happened to those guys since they didn’t show up in the movie.

      1. They got chopped up by the Opertive for not getting the little girl.

        1. Makes sense; where was it explained? In one of the comic books? (Excuse me, that’s “graphic novel” nowadays isn’t it)

          1. While one did explain Books’ origins, I don’t think it explained the blue guys. I think Whedon did say he wanted to get more in depth with them before Fox shitcanned it.

            1. before Fox shitcanned it.

              In all fairness America shitcanned it.

              The show was awesome in my opinion but let us be honest, it was just to damned weird to live.

      2. They do show up, for about 3 seconds when Simon is brekaing River out. Some Blue Hands appear very briefly. They never do anything though.

        1. Hmmm I’ll take a look. Thanks.

    3. WWJGD|7.15.11 @ 10:02AM|#
      Two by two, hands of blue…

      har, I was going to make the Firefly reference… but thought maybe it was a little too dorky.

      I forget = nothing is too dorky on H&R

  3. Brazil was a documentary.

    1. So was Idiocracy.

    2. Here’s the receipt for your husband. And here’s a receipt for your receipt.

      1. Central Services!

  4. and all forms will be filled out in triplicate with reproducable black ink and maintained in a auditable fashion for a period of at least five (5) years or until the heat death of the universe whichever comes first.

  5. I’m surprised that this post even raises an eyebrow! This is why Reason exists…to relentlessly mock this very thing….and to provide masturbatory material for Tony who I expect is “busy” at the moment.

    1. Are you implying …. this ISN’T Bush’s fault … ?

  6. “We always send them in pairs.”

    He needs a wingman?

    1. They have to random drug test each other.

    2. Let’s hope they fly coach.

      1. Flying coach will endanger our national security.

        1. No… fat-cats flying corporate jets without paying Their Fair Share and not having to go through TSA screening – THAT is the real threat!

    3. Nah, one to roll the joint while the other drives to the location. It’s kinda hard to roll and drive at the same time.

      1. It’s not THAT hard..uh.. I mean…

        1. “…sent from Mainer’s iPhone, while driving and rolling a joint.”


    4. co-pilot, duh!

  7. I see that when Time Magazine told me that cutting spending just wasn’t on the table as a realistic option, this was precisely the kind of thing that they must have been thinking of.

    1. Yeah, if we reduce spending on nonsense like this it will “gut society”. Just ask Tony.

  8. The part that will be the internal HR nightmare will be when he approaches himself in confidence to snitch on himself to himself that he may have noticed his own glazed eyes the other day. Then he will have to find a way to firmly ? yet without being accusatory ? confront himself regarding this difficult subject without revealing the identity of the source of the suspicion.

    1. If he’s black, we’ll investigate him for racially discriminating against himself.

      1. If he’s white, his company obviously lacks diversity.

        1. You’re hired!!

    2. I’m reminded of “A Scanner Darkly” where the undercover police detective is assigned to watch himself.

      1. Easiest job in the world.

  9. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.

  10. As a pilot, I have always heard the FAA’s motto is “We’re not happy till you’re not happy” lol.


  11. I keep the wheels of governemnt greased!

  12. I have no sympathy for people like this selfish plutocrat who sit on their cash and refuse to create jobs.

  13. Makes me wonder what the guy is trying to hide . . .

    I kid, I kid. I’ve had numerous experiences (mostly but not entirely with the IRS) that confirm that most Federal employees are mindless boobs.

    1. I’s rather a pair of nice tits visit than a couple of boobs…just saying

  14. The government prefers two or more people in any operation like this. That’s so there is always the threat of one of them potentially informing on the other.

    1. I always thought it was along the same lines as why you always bring two Baptists to go fishing with you.

      1. to keep them from drinking your beer, right ?

        1. so….”as bait” was the wrong answer then? Huh, no, nothing, I was just leaving…

  15. Bob Arctor could give him some pointers.

  16. the paperwork inspection and drug testing program audits (this is our second) are done at a cost that would bankrupt any private enterprise that was subject to competition. My interactions with other government agencies have been much more limited, but I don’t see why they would be different, on average, than the FAA. If so, government stimulus money is not a substitute for private spending because the government spends money in ways that no private business or individual would choose to spend money.

    If the FAA didn’t do it, nobody would; that’s why we need the FAA.

  17. If mean conservatives or liberatians cut the funding of government agencies, Democrats cry because firing government employees makes the unemployment rate go up.

    1. God kills a kitten every time a government worker is laid off.

      1. I suggest that the unemployment rate calculation be modified to separate government-related employment from purely private employment. We already consider farm- vs. non-farm-employment; why not separate productive employment of labor from employment derived from non-productive, recirculative (tax-derived) employment?

  18. Ran into this as a self-employed consultant trying to do work with the Detroit city government (don’t ask). They wanted my minority hiring policy, and my statement that I didn’t employ anybody and didn’t plan to simply Did. Not. Compute. Based on my experience with them, I’d take the City of Detroit’s Human Rights Department against the FAA and give the points in a battle of pointless business-crushing bureaucracy, at times it was as if Kafka and Orwell were sharing a fever dream.

  19. Here’s betting he’ll be fined for giving his “employee” advance notice of surprise random tests.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. There is no way he can pass the audit because none of the tests will be a surprise.

  20. When I was incorporated in Massachusetts I had to buy workmen comp insurance for myself, just in case I ever decided to sue myself.

    They would even come to my home every few years to inspect me and my workplace.

    1. Same thing in California. I had an S-corp and I was the sole owner and employee. I had to pay for workman’s comp insurance. Hell, maybe I should have sued myself just to see what the courts would say about that.

      1. In California I have to pay for workman’s comp for my “household employees” as part of my renters insurance, even though there is a 0% likelihood I will hire a maid, gardener, or any other kind of employee in the future to work in my home.

        The stupid thing is that I can only opt out by choosing to have no renter’s insurance at all.

      2. I have to say that I live in California, self-employed, as an S corp and I don’t have, never have had worksman’s comp.
        Maybe they’ll show up at my door after I post this.
        And I have never had any one come to my house to inspect anything.

  21. He left out that has to give himself a drug test any time he has a reasonable suspicion that he is under the influence of drugs.

    1. But he’d have to be drugged to think that!

  22. Here’s the receipt for your husband. And here’s a receipt for your receipt.

    I work in a hospital, so believe it or not, I actually got to use that line (well, a close relative of it, anyway).

  23. The part that will be the internal HR nightmare will be when he approaches himself in confidence to snitch on himself to himself

    Well, he’ll be a whistleblower at that point, so he won’t be able to take any disciplinary action against himself.

    1. But won’t he be creating a hostile work environment for himself because he is being subjected to “bogus” allegations?

      And while we’re on that subject…he’d better be giving himself training in his right to a harassment-free workplace, and training on how not to harass his employee.

      1. And he has to make sure that he does not ask himself questions that would reveal his medical conditions to himself. We don’t want any disability discrimination here!

      2. But what if he consents to sexual advances from himself ?

        1. How ELSE is he gonna drug test himself??

  24. What’s the problem here? Why are you all upset over this?

    1. Weak spoof.

      1. It’s kinda what he would say, though, isn’t it?

        A shrike-spoofer woulda added “Christ-fag” in there somewhere, so you do have a point – it wasn’t a fleshy-enoughish Tony-spoofer what did this… but it’s still fun to read, because that’s how liberals view things.

  25. I’m surprised he doesn’t have to outsource his own drug testing so he can truly be surprised.

    1. As night follows day

  26. C’mon, people! Don’t you get how important this stuff is?

    What life would be like without government regulators to save us.

    This is what Tony worries about every single day. It’s why he cares so damn much!

    1. Fatty that was awesome! Bonus points for the missile off course and Giraffe!

  27. The owner and sole pilot of a small helicopter charter company meets with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector[.]

    “You have been deemed OBSOLETE!”


  28. Doesn’t the FAA have an office at Logan airport? Why send inspectors from ATL? It’s stupid that they need to have two different offices check the records, but having them flown out from the other side of the country is doubleplusunsmart.

    1. If they all worked locally, how would they rack up frequent flyer miles for those 8 weeks of vacation?

    2. I might actually be cheaper to send people when required, rather than maintain a whole office to hold two people who have to visit one guy twice a year.

      I’m sure it’s not and this is a big waste of money, just based on the actors, but hey, benefit of the doubt etc etc

  29. “He was from the FSDO (Flight Standards District Office)? That’s a completely different department. We’re going to send two inspectors up from Atlanta next month.” Why two? “We always send them in pairs.”

    “This is information retrieval not information dispersal”

    And of course they send two. Anything done should be always be done twice as expensive as necessary. Also, there is a concept that by sending two, you mitigate the possibility of corruption or incopetence by any single individual (rather than compounding it). In theory, it ensures some degree of false confidence that Things Will Be Done Appropriately. Of course it can expand from there. I haven’t been to the DMV in years, but there were times I asked, “why are their 6 lines for things that any one person could take care of all at once?”… the obvious answer is, “..if you have questions, take this form to line #7… next..” It may not be like that anymore, but it certainly used to be.

    Whenever you confront these blatantly bloated, overlapping, unecessary, often-needless systems, and say to the representative, “this doesn’t make any sense!”… the reaction is usually (in my experience) to force yet another layer of stupid bureaucracy on the aggreieved. “Oh you have an issue? We’ll send 2 people over from the dept of quality assurance”.

    Its like when you demand to speak to the manager at a call center. They’re just going to make it worse for you for making them have to listen to you. They know its ridiculous. But it has ceased to matter. Just play along and everything will run its course.

    Its the same reason that one question you never, ever say to a police officer is, “Why?”

    There Is No Why. So don’t ask.

    1. It is pathetic that is how gov’t operates. Your DMV example is spot on. Different lines for different services, which could be handled by one person. I don’t go to the DMV anymore. If I need their services, I go to my local AAA office, and they handle my requests in a timely and efficient manner. Go figure, a private company like AAA can do THE SAME JOB as the DMV, only better. Yet, government is the great solver of problems?

  30. I’m reminded of a quote from a Punisher comic:

    “Feds come in pairs. Like buttcheeks.”

    1. Hemorrhoids tend to bunch up too.

    2. Old soviet joke:

      Why do KGB agents travel in threes? One can read, one can write, and the other is there to keep an eye on the two intellectuals.

  31. does the govt. send a sexual harassment investigator if they find out this guy masturbated?

  32. Why? There is no why. There is only submit, or submit not.

    1. I missed that part in Empire…. Must’ve been right after the scene where Yoda extols the virtues of Social Security and teaches Luke the value of Social Contracts.

      1. Did you miss the VaderCare thread a few weeks ago?

        1. evidently I did…Link please!

          1. what CB said.

            1. Is this what Kool is talking about?


  33. I’m certain there is large contingent of somebodies at the FAA who honestly believe private owner/operators like this should be driven out of business and forcibly “consolidated” into large regional aviation services companies which will conform to the model for which the regulations were established.

  34. Given the costs of this guy’s salary, pension, government-issued car, supervisor, and office space, I estimate that the records inspection cost the U.S. taxpayer $500. Just a handful of these inspections, therefore, would have paid for an online system that would eliminate the need for inspectors to drive around to folks’ hangars and houses.

    $500? $500??

    Bwa ha ha hahaha hahaha haha haha ha!!

    Oh, mercy.

    Holy jeebus, imagine how he’d feel if he *really* knew. *Nothing costs $500!*

    They have charges for the charges, and processing expenses for the expenses. A trip from Atlanta to Boston? It would take a team of accountants from KPMG a month just to figure out the *real* cost. And they’re still going to lowball it because it just becomes impossible to believe.

    The old jokes about the pentagon paying $500 for a screwdriver? Yeah… well at least they *got a screwdriver* in the end. most of the excess-spending other depts do is on the same level… with far less utility than an actual screwdriver.

  35. BTW, 3 of the first 4 comments at that story have a generic response with the following theme:

    “”Oh yeah? Wall St is worse! At least Government is *doing something*””

    There’s also someone who defends the concept of digging holes and filling them back in again. At least that’s how it reads

    1. “Apples and oranges. I concede the point that government spending is not the most efficient, but efficiency is not the problem that keynsian economics is trying to fix. You know that Phil.

      To pharaphase, pay one group of unemployed to bury the money and pay another to dig it up. Not much efficiency there, but money is being spent, which is not happening in the private sector.”

      The stupid, it burns.

  36. That’s what the asshole deserves for not creating any jobs. What a social miscreant.

    1. What a social miscreant uneducated troglodyte.


  37. The best idea on bureaucracy Ive heard in a loooong time:

    Cesar Brea June 24, 2011 @ 8:08 pm


    So maybe have the SEC and FAA trade jobs for a while? Audits of Wall Street would then at least be done thoroughly and competently, if inflexibly, while you could fly high with impunity!

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