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Hard Unemployment Truths About 'Soft' Skills (many applicants fail drug tests, lack work ethic)
Wall Street Journal ^ | September 19, 2012 | Nick Schulz

Posted on 09/20/2012 5:34:05 AM PDT by reaganaut1

At a recent dinner in Washington, D.C., with representatives from major American manufacturing companies, I listened as the talk turned to how hard it is to find qualified applicants for jobs.

"What exactly are the skills you can't find?" I asked, imagining that openings for high-tech positions went begging because, as we hear so often, the training of the U.S. workforce doesn't match up well with current corporate needs.

One of the representatives looked sheepishly around the room and responded: "To be perfectly honest . . . we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test." Several other reps gave a knowing nod. Applicants were often so underqualified, they said, that simply finding someone who could properly answer the telephone was sometimes a challenge.

...

But considerable evidence suggests that many employers would be happy just to find job applicants who have the sort of "soft" skills that used to be almost taken for granted. In the Manpower Group's 2012 Talent Shortage Survey, nearly 20% of employers cited a lack of soft skills as a key reason they couldn't hire needed employees. "Interpersonal skills and enthusiasm/motivation" were among the most commonly identified soft skills that employers found lacking.

Employers also mention a lack of elementary command of the English language. A survey in April of human-resources professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and the AARP compared the skills gap between older workers who were nearing retirement and younger workers coming into the labor pool. More than half of the organizations surveyed reported that simple grammar and spelling were the top "basic" skills among older workers that are not readily present among younger workers.

The SHRM/AARP survey also found that "professionalism" or "work ethic" is the top "applied" skill that younger workers lack.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: drugs
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1 posted on 09/20/2012 5:34:11 AM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

My company had lots of school construction work to accomplish over this past summer-break.

We were literally taking in 50-60 applications a week. After initial screening, we would bring in 20-30; after drug testing we would have about 10 left for training and after a full week or work, usually only two or three had showed up on time, with their tools, ready to work all five days!

The work ethic in the latest generation is simply DISMAL! They only want a paycheck, they are not interested in anything that could advance their skills, careers or personal worth!


2 posted on 09/20/2012 5:48:59 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: reaganaut1
More than half of the organizations surveyed reported that simple grammar and spelling were the top "basic" skills among older workers that are not readily present among younger workers.

No surprise. I am enrolled in a continuing education class at the local community college. Classes are nightly at a local high school. Ours is in the 11th and 12th grade 'honors' English classroom.

The topics for papers are related to slavery, etc. The spelling and grammatical errors are beyond belief in the papers that are posted on the board as exemplary. I cringe to think of what passes for the best in classes below the 'honors' English.

3 posted on 09/20/2012 5:49:59 AM PDT by NCjim (Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.)
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To: NCjim

Almost 20 years ago, I attended an open house at my son’s high school. In the English class room, we were given a handout. After the other parents left the room at the end, I spoke with the teacher and pointed out the obvious grammatical errors. I said it didn’t give me much confidence in what she was teaching my son. She said she hadn’t had the time to proof read beforehand. Such a flimsy excuse!


4 posted on 09/20/2012 5:58:40 AM PDT by knittnmom (Save the earth! It's the only planet with chocolate!)
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To: reaganaut1

“To be perfectly honest . . . we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test.”

About that zombie apocalypse coming.........


5 posted on 09/20/2012 6:01:56 AM PDT by vanilla swirl (searching for something meaningfull to say)
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To: reaganaut1

No doubt the progressives will argue drug and skills testing should be eliminated and it is the responsibility of the employer to motivate the employee through higher wages and benefits. Since the employers can’t find people to do the jobs, the progressive answer is to have the government bureaucrats at the unemployment office do the hiring. Let the government determine which of the registered unemployed are most suited for a position and sent that person to the company to be trained for the position. Give the employer tax credits for hiring. Problem solved.


6 posted on 09/20/2012 6:05:58 AM PDT by Soul of the South
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To: ExTxMarine

You are SO on the mark about this.

I have a friend who works in light industrial staffing. The drug test failure rate is around 65%. And these younger people clearly have lost the work ethic. They will call off or no-show at the drop of a hat in order to go out and party (or recover from the one the prior evening)

It’s like they’re from a totally different planet than me, and I’m not THAT old.


7 posted on 09/20/2012 6:07:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: reaganaut1

We refer to this state as “going feral”. People have been on unemployment so long that they no longer understand the concept of going to work, staying at work and keeping clean. We require a 40 hour week. Anything less, they have to use leave. They quickly run out of leave and then want a solution. They simply can’t work a 40 hour week. They have too many other things to do.
People use up 10 days of sick leave in the first month. Then they discover we have something called “Leave Without Pay” which disturbs them greatly.


8 posted on 09/20/2012 6:11:05 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

My wife’s cousin has a “disease” called “I can’t get up in the morning”. His mom called the office where he worked and tried to splain it to them but they weren’t sympathetic at all so he lost his desk job. Now he works at Walmart.


9 posted on 09/20/2012 6:13:12 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: ExTxMarine

In 1990 I audited the Safety Programs of self-insured companies in PA. I went to a nationally known manufacturer in Pittsburgh and audited them. When the question “Do you have a drug prevention program?” was aked the poor safety manager stood up and pointed out the window to the working floor and told me “Yes we do. The only problem is that over 60% of those you see are either drunk or high right at this time. What are we supposed to do? Shut the place down?” I looked out and saw 100 or more employees.


10 posted on 09/20/2012 6:20:45 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: Safetgiver

1999.


11 posted on 09/20/2012 6:23:41 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: reaganaut1

Often people live chaotic lives and keeping or getting a job is nearly impossible. They get drunk and get tossed in jail (not good for a job), they have to be in court for one reason or another (again not good), they can’t get along with fellow workers or just can’t discipline themselves (and never have) to get up on time on a regular basis. They won’t stay off drugs (no one is going tell them what to do!)

And then the low reading skills is a dead weight to getting and holding a job.


12 posted on 09/20/2012 6:23:41 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: vanilla swirl

I haven’t nailed down the exact term I’d like to use.
Perhaps my FRiends could make suggestions.

I’m stuck between “Ozombies” and “Obambies” to describe the Obama zombie squads that will be trudging the land when “mah check” doesn’t show up as expected.

And they have no interest in “braaaains”, just your money & stuff.


13 posted on 09/20/2012 6:26:37 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working fors)
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To: reaganaut1

Why the hell doesn’t someone state the obvious? The OLDER generation (me, too!) went to things called SCHOOLS, where they were TAUGHT. Taught things like math, English (the language of the land), geography, spelling, grammar, manners,civics, economics, and the fact that homeWORK had darn well better be done.
In other words, they went to a school system that for almost 200 years EDUCATED students and prepared them for the task of building this nation.
Today, “students” are taught self-esteem, the joy of almost succeeding, the need for diversity, to feel good, and most important..sex education.
The fault lies not with the younger generation..they are the innocent products of a school system that will not, cannot, and is not interested in EDUCATION. These younger people have learned well the lessons they were taught, the problem is those lessons are their ruin.


14 posted on 09/20/2012 6:27:08 AM PDT by CaptainAmiigaf ( NY Times: We print the news as it fits our views.)
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To: MrB
How 'bout "Democrats?"

Got a catchy ring to it, I think.
15 posted on 09/20/2012 6:31:17 AM PDT by MarineDad
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To: AppyPappy

“We refer to this state as “going feral”.
People use up 10 days of sick leave in the first month. Then they discover we have something called “Leave Without Pay” which disturbs them greatly.”

Oh my gosh! Do you work where I work? I am proud to say in the past 16 years I have worked for the same employer I have used 6 sick days. Everyone else around here uses at least 6 PER YEAR! One guy is so sick all of the time he buys an extra week of vacation because he runs out of sick leave. He is a young 20 something and has a side job giving away free drinks at parties for the liquor distributors. Most of his sick days are on Mondays or Fridays. Gee I think I can put two and two together there!!!


16 posted on 09/20/2012 6:39:16 AM PDT by Syntyr (Happiness is two at low eight!)
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To: AppyPappy

Can’t remember the last time I only worked a 40 hour week. I average between 50-60 hours a week. I’ve got so much PTO (Paid Time Off) accrued that I could leave for about 10 weeks. We’ve got a new hire here at my company who’s fresh out of school that comes in close the morning deadline and literally runs out the door as soon as he hits the minimum hours requirement. Half the time he looks likes he’s day-dreaming at his desk wishing he was somewhere else.


17 posted on 09/20/2012 6:40:03 AM PDT by LoneStarGI (Vegetarian: Old Indian word for "BAD HUNTER.")
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To: reaganaut1

Bump


18 posted on 09/20/2012 6:46:29 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: ExTxMarine

boy, that is pretty pathetic! If it were me, I’d be drug free, on your doorstep at the crack of dawn, ready to work. And I’m a girl! :)


19 posted on 09/20/2012 6:50:00 AM PDT by midnightcat
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To: knittnmom

You know some might be able to spell if they would stop texting and twittering all day. My spelling has never been great but the people around me are atrocious!

When 90% of the day is spent communicating with sentences like “C U l8tr cuse I be hanging @ D howze” it’s no wonder they look stupid. Also, this is no longer just a “black” thing it’s all kids.


20 posted on 09/20/2012 6:50:16 AM PDT by Syntyr (Happiness is two at low eight!)
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To: Syntyr

There is someone sitting near me who is sick as a dog but she already run through her sick leave so she just coughs all day. I feel sorry for the people who get closed up in the office with her. She likes to suffer loudly.


21 posted on 09/20/2012 6:56:46 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: reaganaut1
These issues are generational, no doubt.

I prided myself on being able to "work hard, play hard."

Today's young folks want to be able to play hard, but that's where it ends.

22 posted on 09/20/2012 6:58:56 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: AppyPappy
My wife’s cousin has a “disease” called “I can’t get up in the morning”.

That would be funny, except that if they ever give that "disease" an ICD-9 code you won't be able to fire a lazy sonofab!tch like that unless you want an ADA lawsuit to fight.

And they wonder why practically no one with any sense is hiring, and those that are hiring are picky as hell.

23 posted on 09/20/2012 7:00:35 AM PDT by Nervous Tick ("You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.")
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To: reaganaut1
And some people think "tariffs" are going to magically bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. The rot goes much deeper than that. Multi-nationals are well aware of the composition of the US workforce today, and will act carefully with expansion plans even if we end up with Romney as President and Republican control of both Houses.

As I've estimated before, the US "unemployable rate" approaches 50%.

24 posted on 09/20/2012 7:17:10 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: Night Hides Not

Here in our area there is a lot of shale gas fracking. An able bodied young man with a high-school diploma who is willing to be trained and then show up for work every day could easily earn as much as $100K. But they are having a hard time filling these jobs, cause the idea of showing up and working hard every day in tough conditions is foreign to these kids.

Not like the Pittsburgh of old. Those old mill hunks would pull double shifts under some of the most brutal working conditions that ever existed.


25 posted on 09/20/2012 7:21:08 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: reaganaut1

I wonder what effect all that texting has done to spelling skills. Too much “OMG R U Kid’g? I’ll b l8 LOL!!!” and the brain finds it can’t write business grammar anymore.


26 posted on 09/20/2012 7:21:12 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Our economy won't heal until one particular black man is unemployed.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
The rot goes much deeper than that. Multi-nationals are well aware of the composition of the US workforce today, and will act carefully with expansion plans even if we end up with Romney as President and Republican control of both Houses.

Exhibit A being India's Tata Motors acquiring Jaguar in the UK. The new Indian CEO arrived in London and the first thing he noticed was that all of his employees went to lunch at the pub on Fridays and never came back. He put a stop to that practice, and immediately became the most hated man in Britain.


27 posted on 09/20/2012 7:23:20 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: reaganaut1

Great article.

If you look at the data behind the article, especially the Society of Human Resource Management survey, it is abundantly clear what Obama did. The Federal Government and Finance industries were least affected, while the construction, mining, oil and gas industries were hardest hit with having to lay off staff.

The entitlement mentality is responsible for the lack of skills, and that mentality is being nurtured by the Democrats. It is noticeable that top among the soft skills shortages in the USA are enthusiasm/motivation and professionalism, attributes not needed in an entitlement society.


28 posted on 09/20/2012 7:24:17 AM PDT by Ironfocus (O Must Go)
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To: Soul of the South

You don’t need to pass a drug or English test to wait tables.


29 posted on 09/20/2012 7:24:17 AM PDT by OrangeHoof (Our economy won't heal until one particular black man is unemployed.)
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To: CaptainAmiigaf
Why the hell doesn’t someone state the obvious? The OLDER generation (me, too!) went to things called SCHOOLS, where they were TAUGHT. Taught things like math, English (the language of the land), geography, spelling, grammar, manners,civics, economics, and the fact that homeWORK had darn well better be done. In other words, they went to a school system that for almost 200 years EDUCATED students and prepared them for the task of building this nation.

Can't disagree with you there. I went to a rundown old ragtag high school in not the best district. Yet I think I am a reasonably well-educated and literate person. And I'm not that darned old. The decline in the public schools has been very rapid and very steep.


30 posted on 09/20/2012 7:26:32 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: reaganaut1
I'm not sure what spelling has to do with virtually any practical business function. Spell check works. It's not a replacement for standard grammar but one can both write and speak proficiently without being a fantastic speller.

31 posted on 09/20/2012 7:28:08 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: MarineDad
How 'bout "Democrats?"

They get offended when you leave off the -ticks suffix from Democrat-ticks because then the word ends in rat, a humble animal that works hard for food. A blood sucking parasite is a better nickname for them.

32 posted on 09/20/2012 7:36:21 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Durus
one can both write and speak proficiently without being a fantastic speller.

I SO disagree.

First of all, you have to have some minimal level of intelligence to use spell check.

Then, you have to have some minimal level of education in the English language to use spell check (for instance, you have to know the difference between there, their, and they're).

Finally, even with spell check and grammar check, you wouldn't believe how many resumes I see that have misspelled words, incomplete sentences and dangling participles.

33 posted on 09/20/2012 7:37:17 AM PDT by jda ("Righteousness exalts a nation . . .")
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To: Ironfocus
"...not needed in an entitlement society."

This fundamental truth simply cannot be overstated or overemphasized.
34 posted on 09/20/2012 7:39:28 AM PDT by MarineDad
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To: CaptainAmiigaf

But this isn’t just caused by the schools. Many of this generations PARENTS never bothered to instill any kind of self-discipline in their children either.

I have had more than one set of parents actually tell me that they like their daughter hanging out with my daughter because they hope some of the respect, discipline and manners will rub off on their kids. HUH!?!?!

Do they actually think that I just was “lucky” to get a “good” kid? That is the mentality of the PARENT! That is simply SCARY!


35 posted on 09/20/2012 7:40:45 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: reaganaut1

The results of being coddled their whole lives. If they fail, whatever, mommy and government will take care of them. No self respect.


36 posted on 09/20/2012 7:49:40 AM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: AppyPappy
I have employees who just insist on having their personal lives intrude into their work life far more than is traditional in the US.

They really only hurt themselves, as we have positions for such people with limited availability - it's just that those positions don't pay as well and don't grow their careers as quickly.

37 posted on 09/20/2012 7:52:58 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: Durus
I'm not sure what spelling has to do with virtually any practical business function.

Spelling and grammar demonstrate competency and are more important now because of e-mail. Using just one instance of Ebonics in an e-mail can cause serious career damage.

38 posted on 09/20/2012 7:53:42 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: OrangeHoof
"You don’t need to pass a drug or English test to wait tables."

I bet they would have to at THIS GUY'S restaurant...



"Oh, so this is your FIRST day on the job? Congratulations, you idiot! Its also your LAST!!!!!"
39 posted on 09/20/2012 7:54:16 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: jda
Einstein was a notoriously bad speller. Spelling ability is a poor overall indicator of intelligence and a poor indicator of overall communication skill.
40 posted on 09/20/2012 8:24:32 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: Reeses
Spelling demonstrates competency at spelling. One could spell very well and still be incompetent at their job and vice versa.

Grammar and vocabulary are at least a good indicators of education and upbringing.

41 posted on 09/20/2012 8:46:04 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: Durus
Einstein was a notoriously bad speller.

One data point does not establish a lack of correlation.

Spelling ability is a poor overall indicator of intelligence and a poor indicator of overall communication skill.

The more effort your audience has to expend on mentally translating what you've written into English, the poorer a communicator you are. (I will agree that the inability to construct a coherent paragraph is a much greater impediment to communication.)

42 posted on 09/20/2012 10:13:15 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: reaganaut1

*


43 posted on 09/20/2012 10:15:27 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: reaganaut1
we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test.

Current drug tests detect any marijuana use within the past 30 days; how much does the joint you shared three weekends ago have to do with your ability to do a job today?

44 posted on 09/20/2012 10:17:48 AM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: reaganaut1
More than half of the organizations surveyed reported that simple grammar and spelling were the top "basic" skills among older workers that are not readily present among younger workers.

You could hire the older workers rather then deciding against us the moment you note the gray. Just a thought.

45 posted on 09/20/2012 10:26:12 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Fate plays chess and you don't find out until too late that he's been using two queens all along)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Maybe it has more to do with the joint you share three weeks from now, when you have the job.


46 posted on 09/20/2012 10:34:08 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
One data point does not establish a lack of correlation.

True but that was given as an example not a single data point. If you wish you can do a little research and see that spelling is considered a poor indicator of intelligence by virtually everyone that is in the business of measuring intelligence.

The more effort your audience has to expend on mentally translating what you've written into English, the poorer a communicator you are.

Typically in business communication via a written medium people can take advantage of spell check.

47 posted on 09/20/2012 10:57:58 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test.

Current drug tests detect any marijuana use within the past 30 days; how much does the joint you shared three weekends ago have to do with your ability to do a job today?

Maybe it has more to do with the joint you share three weeks from now, when you have the job.

Maybe ... and maybe not. And how much does the joint you shared Friday night have to do with your ability to do a job the following Monday?

Employers are free to set whatever conditions they want - but if they're restricting the pool of eligible applicants with tests that in some cases have little relationship with job performance, they should reconsider those.

48 posted on 09/20/2012 1:52:21 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Durus
The more effort your audience has to expend on mentally translating what you've written into English, the poorer a communicator you are.

Typically in business communication via a written medium people can take advantage of spell check.

As was already pointed out to you, you have to have some minimal level of education in the English language to use spell check (for instance, you have to know the difference between there, their, and they're).

49 posted on 09/20/2012 1:54:54 PM PDT by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: reaganaut1

Employers want 25 year olds with Ph.Ds. No one says a word about age discrimination, and race discrimination against whites.


50 posted on 09/20/2012 1:57:03 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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