Kill Time Today Reading About Pot, Voice, and Imbibing Idiots

Aug 29, 2014
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

empty conference roomGood morning valued reader. Before we get to today’s Roundup subjects — sex, drugs, and a British worker survey — I want to thank you on behalf of the entire ERE staff for coming to work today.

Those empty cubicles around you mean only one thing: You can catch up on your ERE reading.

And, since no candidate any hiring manager will want to hire will answer your call today, when you finish with this, you might as well clean up your desk, sort through your inbox, and, if you’re one of those people, clean out the office fridge.

That’s what most Brits do when killing time in the office. The upside is you have a clean desk, a clean mailbox, and the appreciation of your vacationing colleagues, except for that person whose mold experiment you tossed out.

The other thing you could do is to go check the employee handbook to see what it says about possessing drugs while on company property. Pete Holmes wishes he had before making a public show of being among the first Seattleites to buy a few grams when it became legal to do so in July.

Ignore the fact he did it on company time — he’s salaried — but bringing his two baggies of OG’s Pearl back to his “drug-free workplace,” earned him a reproach from HR and nationwide news coverage. Holmes, Seattle’s elected city attorney, apologized and coughed up $3,000 in guilt money to a local social services agency.

What the outspoken supporter of legalized marijuana also evidently didn’t think about was the effect on his co-workers. Personally, I’d prefer a pot-smoking city attorney to a pot-smoking brain surgeon, but 46 percent of the labor force says they’d lose confidence in any colleague getting high on marijuana even outside of work. A little over a third speak from experience; 36 percent claim to have worked with someone they knew to be a user.

Millennials are lots more tolerant. Seven in ten said they didn’t care, and a quarter of them admitted to getting high within hours of coming to work.

Exactly what effect smoking pot has on worker smarts is open to debate. Some older studies say it can lower IQ. Newer and better constructed studies say not so, and if there is an effect at all, it’s most on the developing brains of adolescents. Which gives us some help answering the latest question bedeviling recruiters: “Should I hire that kid with the vocal fry?”

????????Unlike a “whiskey voice” which catapulted more than a few performers to stardom, vocal fry is hurting girls (the ones primarily affecting a creaky, low pitched manner of speech) where it counts — with interviewers and hiring managers.

“Relative to a normal speaking voice, young adult female voices exhibiting vocal fry are perceived as less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, less attractive, and less hirable,” say the researchers of a study on this phenomenon.

There’s quibbling about the study and whether male “fryers” are less harshly judged and whether there’s really fewer of them. In a world, though, where just holding a glass of wine makes you seem dumber, the “Imbibing Idiot Bias,” why bother talking funny intentionally?

One more thing. That vocal fry item? That was the sex part of today’s Roundup. Now you may return to tidying up your inbox.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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