I’m paying for this?!?!

So, I am working towards my degree online.  In the beginning, I found this to be a great option.  Convenient, although a bit pricey.  I am about three months from receiving my AA (and I might need the other AA after these classes).

I am beginning to become very concerned about the validity of a degree from this institution considering my classmates.  I do not understand how these people are staying in this school and that leads me to thinking that my degree won't be worth the paper it's on. :-(  Sure, the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools who are the same agency that say that the University of Miami, Auburn University, and Clemson among others, but why does it not make me feel any better.

I read on MSN (yeah, I know, it's not like MSN is gospel) quite often about getting a degree online being a great thing to do.  But now that I'm almost halfway there, I'm concerned that I just picked the wrong school and that they are just letting everyone slide by so they can collect their money.

<this is about to get long, so grab a coffee or come back when you're really bored>

I am going to share with you something that exemplifies what I mean.  We were discussing whether or not it is an invasion of privacy for an employer to require drug testing.  Everyone was saying yes, so I took the other side of the fence, but not just to be ornery, but because it's how I feel.  It went something like this:

I said:

I believe that an employer can claim a right to know about drug use but only in exceptional cases.  These cases would include instances wherein the employee's life or the life of others may be put in jeopardy due to irresponsible behavior.  Also included would be where an employee knowingly and willingly accepts a position wherein it has been stated up front that drug test will be conducted.  Outside of these instances, it is an invasion of an employee's privacy to insist upon having this information.

 

     Granted, a company needs to protect its interests, but it does not get to do so at the expense of the privacy of its employees.  There is no guarantee that an employee who is taking or has taken any sort of drug is more likely to commit a life-threatening error over an employee who has not but may simply be otherwise mentally occupied. 

 

     While there are no laws to protect the privacy of the employee in this matter, there are regulations regarding drug testing in each state.  For example, in Florida, "testing authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, as a part of a routine fitness-for-duty exam, or a follow-up to employee's participation in counseling or rehabilitation.  Written notice of testing program must be given 60 days in advance."  (American Civil Liberties Union)  Notice that the employer's right covers suspicion of abuse but not use.

 

     In week one, I stated that I believed the utility principle was the best way to make business decisions.  I continue to stand by that and do not believe that my stance on drug testing conflicts with that.  If an employer is to do what produces the best consequences for everyone, then the employer is testing those in certain positions and those who agree to the testing.  Random, or not so random testing only brings stress to the workplace and singling out an employee, whose results may come back negative, only makes for an uncomfortable workplace for the employees.

 

A classmate responded:

Interesting post, though I have never done drug, but my understanding is that you are not in the right state of mind. So why would you want a person who do drugs working in for your company? No matter what the position is I feel that if you are doing drugs you are not thinking clearly and your body isn't functioning at it best. Who is to say what a person on drug might do, because there are people who don't do drug do crazy things such as jeopardize the business and the life of other people. If I was in a business drug testing will be mandatory for hiring and random checks just like the military will occur, yet this will be in a contract. If a person has nothing to hide what is the big deal, take the test at least you can know that you will have a drug free environment, but we all know that if they want to do drugs they will and some get away with it.

 

I responded: (lengthy)

     The military is an entirely different situation.  Those are the proud men and women who serve and protect our country.  Often they must make decisions that will certainly affect lives.  They also often drive heavy machinery.  Do I think that military personnel should do drugs?  No.  But I also think that when you join the military, you know what you are in for and if you have a penchant for recreational drugs, then the military isn't for you in the first place.

 

     This is not an issue of whether drug testing is right or wrong or if I want it or not.  It is an issue of respecting the privacy of others.  What I do or what anyone else does in the privacy of their own home is their own business as long as it is not affecting others.  For me, what the state of Florida does regarding policies is respect people's privacy.  If there is not a policy in place, employees must be given 60 days notice that the policy will go into effect.  Therefore, they have time to either clean up their act or look for a position that does not require drug testing.

 

     As I stated, there are people who are fully functional, even with recreational drug use.  From my point of view, if you come into my business and you do what you are expected to do in the timeframe expected to do it, then you are not harming me or my customers.  I will even go as far as saying that many, but not all,  "creative" types of workers might be indulging.  If and when that behavior changes, then there is a problem.  Until that time, I will respect your privacy and not ask you what you do at home.  Do you trust everyone to do the right thing?  Including those controlling your sample specimen?  What if your boss has it in for you?  It is quite difficult to prove that a boss coerced people to change your results.  How do you know what else is being done with your specimen?  We live in an age of cloning and all sorts of other medical madness.  How do you know that they are not testing you for HIV when they test you for drugs?  It's the same amount of blood drawn.  What if you were positive and you didn't even know?  Is that considered privacy to find out like that?  Do you think you would be treated the same way by your employer/co-workers if that particular bit of information got out?  Probably not, and all because someone invaded your privacy.

 

     Thank you for adding to this very debatable point. 🙂

 

Response:

If you would have read my post clearly I stated "that there are people out there who do not do drug but they do crazy things." For instances the example you used, so I am not understanding your points made towards my comment, but I do agree with what you are saying. I think you just misread my post. But to answer your questions, no I don't think everyone should go psychiatric evaluation before they are hired but I do agree with the drug testing before and random test if hired. No matter what the job entail, a person can jeopardize it, by any means and who is to say that drug will not be the cause. I have never done drugs but I have heard that you are not in the right state of mind. So that tell me that a person who are on drug are capable of doing anything. Eliminate the cause I say, drug policy zero tolerance no matter if it military or not your business especially and at some point maybe your life can still be at jeopardy. Therefore I don't think drug testing invades anyone's privacy when it comes down to running a business and it should be implemented in every business policy that drug use is prohibited. Even if it's done in the privacy of your own home, when it affect work then it becomes your problem.

 

After I wanted to say nasty things, I calmed down and responded:

Please do not insinuate that I did not read what you wrote because I did.  I may not have completely understood the point that you were trying to make.  I am sure that it is not necessary to place your quote in red.  It is obvious that we have different viewpoints on this matter and we have really strayed off the topic of the question of does it violate the employee's privacy.  Therefore, let us agree to disagree.

 

<sigh>

Am I alone in thinking that if one is in “college” that said person should be able to communicate in English?

 

So scared that I’m wasting both time and money.

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6 Comments

  • Wow.I could not follow that response for the life of me.Either one.Kudos to you for attempting to respond.

  • And these are people chasing the dream right along side of me. I don't see how it gives any credit to my degree if we reach the dream at the same time. 🙁

  • Are you sure he/she doesn't do drug? Because that response sounds just like he/she does do drug.

  • As much as this person swore up and down that they have never done drug (because you would not be in your right mind), I would hope that they are on drug so it could explain those attempts of making sense.

  • I admit, I've always been wary of those online degrees. I've taken classes online, but they were taught by professors from the brick and mortar college I was actually attending. College, to me, wouldn't be college without the encouragement of debate and the ability to challenge the opinions of others. I wouldn't worry too much. It's not jiust the degree, but what you do with it that really counts.

  • I've always been a "degree is only a piece of paper" person, but I'm in for it anyways. I guess that after I finish, it's a piece of paper that I have too.
    It's the Oracle certifications and the SQL that'll end up meaning anything anyways…more school, lol.

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