update: my coworker never stops talking — and I mean NEVER

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose coworker literally talked all day long, even when the letter-writer told her bluntly to stop? Here’s the update.

I don’t know if I mentioned this in the comments, but this lady has the worst luck ever. As such, my mom would always tell me to be nice to her. But after reading your response & talking to some of your readers in the comments, I was fully prepared to go into the office and put my foot down once and for all. Niceness be damned! However, I never got to put your advice into action as this lady’s bad luck struck again. I didn’t really get to see her for about a month after our email exchange. She went on leave for a couple of weeks because her husband had a heart attack (he’s in his early thirties, btw) & then I went on vacation.

Because her husband didn’t have insurance and she couldn’t afford to add him to hers, she decided it was best to look for another job. After a couple of failed interviews, she eventually got a job offer for a great position that offered more money & better insurance. Of course, she accepted, put in her two weeks, took three hundred dollars from her parents & went out to buy a new wardrobe for her new job. Go figure.

We were all happy. Finally, I was going to get some peace & quiet! My happiness would last, but hers definitely didn’t. A few days after putting in her notice, she came into my cubicle sobbing. She told me that due to the stress of having to take care of her husband, she had taken some CBD oil to help her relax. She said she wasn’t aware that it contained THC (what???) & was positive she had failed her drug test for her new job. Although she had tried desperately to flush it out of her system, the Monday after she received a call from the test center letting her know that she had, in fact, failed & that they would have to inform the company. She was a wreck.

I told her to contact the company and ask if she still had the job. If they told her no, she could just ask to keep her current job. She decided not to do that. Since she didn’t hear from them all week, she figured she still had the job & that they probably didn’t care that she had failed the drug test. So, on that Friday, we said our goodbyes & I wished her good luck.

After a week at her new job, she was let go. I guess the test center took a while to send in the results. She was frantically messaging me all day & later that night she told me that she was able to snag a job with a friend. She is now working at a bar as a server. Luckily, her parents are well-off & are helping her pay for her husband’s medical bills & are giving her $1,000 a month so she doesn’t end up homeless.

As for me, I no longer completely hate going into work. While my new coworker is chatty, she can at least take a hint & will leave me alone when she sees that I am trying to concentrate on my work. Also, without the lady constantly in my cubicle I seem to have become more approachable. I have become quite close with some of my other coworkers ever since the lady left. Even the office grump says hi to me! I got switched to a new, more competent, Team Lead & I’m almost 100% positive I’m next in line for a promotion.

{ 171 comments… read them below }

  1. Nonsensical*

    The CBD oil thing doesn’t ‘just happen’ and you don’t just forget for a drug test. Honestly, she sounds like one of those people that end up in the same circle and end up doing things that just dig her in deeper. It does sound like she is on a down spiral unfortunately. Glad things are looking up for you!

    Medical bills can be quite difficult on a family so I feel sympathy for her.

    1. Amber T*

      As someone who has very limited experience with drugs and who has had CBD oil recommended to them, I could see how that got screwy. Maybe she should have double/triple checked before a test, but I thought there wasn’t THC in CBD oil.

      OP, I’m happy things have worked out for you and your new coworker is good! But wow, that sucks for your former worker.

      1. Socks*

        Yeah, I actually live in an area with fully legal recreational weed, and, because some CBD oil is advertised as having some amount of THC in it, like, as a selling point, I always assumed that the stuff labeled with just CBD didn’t contain any THC. Is that not the case? I don’t have a hard time at all believing that this woman just didn’t know much about the product. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

        1. SalesGeek*

          I live in a state where weed is not legal for any purpose. You can buy CBD oil though because it does not contain THC. I can’t tell you if this is different where things are legal.

          I can tell you that A) I’ve tried CBD oil (back pain) and B) it had zero effect on the urine tests I have to get monthly.

          1. Flash*

            This! I’m in uk and take cbd for pain, it helps, and has no thc at all… I buy it from Amazon and it has to be certified so that there isn’t any illegal substance in it.

            Either she was taking something else, or she is confused, or both….

            1. Ego Chamber*

              Come on, man, the “CBD oil” story is an obvious cover. O_o

              Back when I was in high school, I knew a dude who failed the drug test to work in fast food and he convinced his mom that the fail was because he ate a lemon poppy seed muffin the morning of the test. Three things:
              1) That doesn’t happen. The poppy thing was debunked, even back then.
              2) His mom was a wreck because she was the one who gave him the muffin, so she stopped riding his ass to get a summer job.
              3) That dude sold me weed, so.

            2. Jadelyn*

              It depends on the type of CBD oil. Some oils are a CBD/THC blend – I’ve heard claims that the CBD works better with THC as a “helper” ingredient. But in my experience, the ones that have THC in them explicitly say so on the label, with the ratio of CBD/THC.

        2. tinyhipsterboy*

          From what I understand, if you’re in an area where it’s legal, you can get CBD with AND without THC. To my knowledge THC can help bind to the CBD and make it more effective than CBD on its own, even if it’s a minute amount of THC. Since we don’t know where the coworker lives (or even if the CBD oil was hers), it’s entirely possible she somehow missed it.

          Pretty unlikely, since THC-containing stuff from dispensaries usually has big letters proclaiming it, but.

        3. Glitsy Gus*

          Even in non-legal states CBD oil can have up to .3% THC and still make the cut. This means, if you take enough you could throw a false positive on a drug test. Granted, you would probably have had to take quite a bit, significantly more than your average medical user would, but it is possible.

          In legal states you can get it in a formulation that passes this same >/=.3%, or with THC, though if it has THC it should be very clearly labeled as this is going to get you high and you need to know that.

          If she were legit in the first boat and explained that to the drug company- that she took legal grade CBD oil, but had not taken anything which above legal levels of THC, they would either note that or let her re-take the test. The chances of this being the real story, though, are pretty slim and I have a feeling her sob story wasn’t 100% correct, which is probably why she didn’t try to explain the situation.

        4. MadGrad*

          I’m not sure about areas where weed is specifically legal, but from what I understand CBD oil is typically regulated as a dietary supplement and not as actual medicine. In practice, this means that it’s very poorly regulated and you can very easily end up with oil that either contains minimal to no CBD or that accidentally contains THC. You tend to hear about issues with homeopathic products for the same reason.

        5. RUKiddingMe*

          And even living in a legal weed state like I do (Washington) that still doesn’t mean that they won’t not hire/fire you if you come back positive.

          Personally I don’t do weed. I never liked feeling out of control (I also don’t drink…other drugs, etc), but I have no issue with it as long as someone isn’t high while they are at work. [Standard caveats about jobs requiring safety…dope/alcohol hangovers here].

          Late husband was a dope smoking factory though and it’s a safe bet I would have tested positive because of osmosis or something ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … Even still I don’t really know anything about oils and such, so yeah it’s possible she didn’t know about it.

      2. RabbitRabbit*

        It has to contain less than 0.5% THC to be considered legal. I don’t know what percentage would show up on drug tests, though, especially if she is a big “fan” of the stuff.

        As a healthcare worker who had to test at hiring and can be retested at any time, I basically assume for my own job security that the majority of CBD oil companies have lax testing/quality standards, and thus do not use it.

            1. RabbitRabbit*

              Thanks, I haven’t checked the Farm Bill’s status so I wasn’t sure. (Because I don’t feel I could safely take it and keep my job.)

      3. Wintermute*

        Most CBD oil is .5% or less, but you can get “certified for athletes” CBD that is designed to have so little even a drug test used by professional sports, which goes WAY beyond the normal 5-panel looking for all kinds of potential performance enhancers, would not detect any at all. That’s also WAY below any effects threshold.

      4. Episkey*

        I actually thought it didn’t. I buy it for my dog and there is no THC in the kind for animals, so I would think the same in CBD oil marketed for humans.

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          The problem is that you need to trust their quality control. And considering that major supplement manufacturers regularly fail tests that their herbal supplements contain what they claim, I don’t trust some random CBD maker to do their job, at the risk of mine.

          1. AnnaBananna*

            I concur. It’s still too early in this industry to depend on any QA, quite frankly. Give it 5 more years and maybe things will be more legit. As for now, caveat emptor, and all that.

            — Someone in a legal state with a friend working at a dispensary.

    2. WhoKnows*

      CBD oil is marketed as not containing THC but still helping with pain management, anxiety, IBS, etc etc, so I understand why she would assume that.

      1. That girl from Quinn's house*

        Yes you can buy CBD oil legally in my state, where possession of THC is a felony in any quantity.

        1. kittymommy*

          Same (maybe not a felony though, but illegal). I actually had this conversation with someone the other day and we both were of the belief CBD oil doesn’t have THC. Wow!

          1. Beehoppy*

            I give my dog CBD oil. The type I can by for her in my state does not contain THC. There are other kinds I could order online which do, but the research isn’t clear yet as to how much of a danger THC is to dogs. I can see getting confused on that. But if I knew I would be taking a drug test I wouldn’t chance it.

      2. Anonymousaurus Rex*

        My understanding is that CBD oil that comes from THC-containing cannabis will contain some (small) amount of THC, but rarely enough to be psychoactive. There is CBD oil that contains zero THC, but this is produced from hemp, and some people consider it to be of lower quality. (This is just what was told to me at my local cannabis shop – I live where it is legal, but don’t have a ton of experience, so this may not be accurate).

        1. Gymmie*

          The Feds consider something hemp if it has lower than .3% of THC, otherwise it is marijuana. They both are from the cannabis plant, however differences arise in the strains and also different parts of the plant.

    3. lyonite*

      Honestly, I think her biggest mistake was not taking OP’s advice and being proactive about telling the employer. She had nothing to lose, since the testing company was going to tell them anyway, and there’s a chance that if she was upfront and honest they would have been more understanding than having to hear about it from a third party. They still might have withdrawn the offer, but it would have been worth a try.

      1. Socks*

        I guess there’s always the hope that the oil had so little THC that it wouldn’t test positive, meaning she could sneak it by her employers, whereas telling them would guarantee that they knew she consumed a weed-based product? That’s at least theoretically plausible, I think.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          The facility calls you (and called her, see the letter for reference).

          There’s no threshold for TCH in a drug panel, if it pops, it pops. They let the company know. They also have to let the patient know as well.

          So I wouldn’t be preemptive in the pre-drug screen chat but after you get notice, then you go “oh crud, let me explain myself and see if we can throw a hail mary!”

          1. lyonite*

            That’s what I meant–once she knew that she had failed the test, the best thing she could do was to try to get ahead of the story.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yeah, her sob story falls on deaf ears for me.

      If she bought the oil, the potency and percentage of CBD vs THC is listed right there. If she just took something that was handed to her…that’s not a good way to live life when taking medication! It’s like “oh I just popped the meds that were handed to me and I assumed the best!”. No. Understand everything you put in your body!

      But damn, this just reminds me I’m so happy I haven’t had to take a drug test since 2004.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        I was certain I’d fail the test I took for my current job, although for a innocuous reason – I have adult ADD and a prescription for ADD meds. I told the people at the test center about it, showed them a medication bottle, and offered to get a note from my doctor. They said not to worry, I’d be all right, and I was.

        Workplace drug tests are… something else, for sure. Something I am not a fan of.

        1. Quickbeam*

          All drug screens have a medical review officer. Before a fail they will generally contact you about any prescription medications you take. I take a med that generates a positive and I have never had a problem with any work place drug screen.

          1. RUKiddingMe*

            I get a monthly pain management prescription. X number of pills per month. I’ve been taking it for years. It is the only thing that works. I never take (i.e. buy from others) more than my allotted amount and usually end the month with a few not taken. I absolutely do need them. I’ve tried all the other stuff. I would so pop for opioids in a nanosecond…but they are legal and prescribed…for me.

            I would think it I were to take a drug test they would call me about this before reporting it to anyone even considering the opioid crisis happening Because not everyone taking an opioid is a drug addict. I would think with the THC thing the woman would have wanted to get out in front of the story with the employer. I know I would.

        2. Tigger*

          Lucky you. I have had job offers revoked for my ADHD meds because “amphetamines are amphetamines” it’s so stupid.

          1. Emma the Strange*

            That’s so bizarre. Not even the federal government is that strict. They just ask you to provide your prescribing doctor’s information (presumably to verify that it’s a legit prescription) and then you’re good to go.

            1. Tigger*

              It was for a smaller family business. I think they didn’t want to have to give me insurance to cover the meds. It was the first and only time this has happened to me and I have been on these meds basically my whole life and my doctor had never heard of this before.

              Ironically I got a job in government right after lol

              1. Cube Ninja*

                Regarding THC content, yes, there are some studies showing mislabeling, but assuming this isn’t in a rec or med state, it’s very likely the coworker consumed a *lot* of it or the company’s policy is to pull offers even for trace amounts.

                MANY employers will not reject based on trace amounts as you could pick that up through no fault of your own – a concert, walking down the street (esp in a rec state), etc. Pulling an offer on trace is pretty sketchy to me, because there are so many completely legitimate ways you could ping positive on trace.

                That said, it’s also entirely possible the CBD product was mislabeled. If you’re in the market for CBD stuff, you can typically ask the manufacturer to provide testing results for their products. Legit companies will have this available for the asking, sometimes directly on their site. Generally speaking, it’s good practice to avoid companies that have poor or very generic looking packaging, or who aren’t able to answer simple questions about the products. For the most part, if your spidey senses hit “used car salesman”, that’s a giant flaming red flag. :)

              2. Jerusha*

                They may have been small enough (<15 full-time employees) that the ADA didn't apply to them. But otherwise, I would think this would be a slam-dunk ADA violation. According to the ADA (www.ada.gov), "Under the ADA, you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity such as […] thinking…". You are taking a legally-prescribed medication, in accordance with its FDA-approved indication, to treat an ADA-qualified disability. /swish/ Two points, nothing but net.

                Of course, a) they may have been ADA-exempt due to size, b) you already got a different (hopefully better) job, and c) the statue of limitations (generally 180 days) has probably long since lapsed, but ooh. They could have been letting themselves in for a *world* of hurt.

              3. Ego Chamber*

                “It was for a smaller family business.”

                Was it so small that the “drug test” was just you peeing in one of those 5 panel cups from Walgreens in the office bathroom? If it was done at an actual drug-testing facility, they are supposed to call you before they tell the employer anything. Reporting before they know if you have a valid medical condition and prescription is a huge liability concern for them.

            2. LJay*

              Yeah. I work for a company that does a lot of business for the federal government, in a roll that is DOT testing adjacent, and I was fine with my Adderall prescription.

              Getting details about my prescription was a bit harrowing because my doctor wouldn’t respond so I had to get verification from the pharmacy instead, which said it could take several weeks.

              But in most situations I feel like this would be an ADA violation or something.

          2. RUKiddingMe*

            Wow. I think you probably dodged a bullet there if they can’t understand the difference. Who can say what they’d be like as employers?

        3. AKchic*

          I’m on a narcotic pain contract. Whenever I have drug tests for work, I am up front about it and I give them the contact information for my doctor and pain clinic, a list of my medications and sign a release of information.
          I’m also up front with HR when they tell me about drug screenings that I will have medications that will cause me to come up positive. I’ve never had a problem.

    5. CJ Record*

      In her defense, CBD products aren’t automatically supposed to contain THC. CBD can be extracted from strains that have no THC, in fact. But because CBD is not regulated, the labeling is horrifically bad: from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024459/
      “Researchers […] analyzed the content of 84 cannabidiol (CBD) products purchased on the internet and compared the results to their advertised concentrations. Products were mislabeled with 26% containing less CBD than labeled and 43% containing more…In addition to CBD mislabeling, Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabibolic acid (THC) was detected in 21% of samples.”

    6. Yikes*

      I actually just read an article on this the other day. Because CBD oil isn’t subject to any regulatory oversight, it can contain things other than CBD, sometimes including toxic chemicals or synthetic cannabinoids, but most likely THC as a result of not being properly processed in the first place. So it’s entirely possible from a consumer perspective to think you are getting pure CBD but actually getting other stuff in there, too.

      1. RabbitRabbit*

        I posted similar above – with the wild proliferation of these companies, I just assume that they will have THC of some level in them. Major vitamin companies can’t even get their herbal supplement ingredients right (often containing almost none of the active ingredient and/or containing other herbs, potential allergens, occasionally even medications), so you can’t assume high standards of quality control on CBD, necessarily.

      2. CS Rep By Day, Writer By Night*

        I would love to try CBD oil for my anxiety, but I work in a facility where I can (and have) been randomly drug tested at any time. And since drug test failure is an immediate termination, I just can’t take the change that all traces of THC would have been eliminated.

    7. What’s with Today, today*

      I posted this down thread too, but
      our adult probation office tells people all the time that they are safe on a drug test with CBD (my husband is a defense attorney). One of our dearest friends is a probation officer and she told us she got recommendations on where to get good CBD oil shipped in from one of her probationers. We are in Texas where its all still very illegal, but I’ve always been told CBD doesn’t have THC.

      1. Gymmie*

        Hemp derived CBD is now federally legal, however marijuana derived is subject to state marijuana laws.

      2. Aveline*

        I’m HIGHLY SKEPTICAL about the CBD being the cause for the failed drug test.

        Once a week I’m in a courtroom where people are drug tested. I’ve never, ever seen a positive from use of CBD oil. This came up once and the expert testified that you would have to be using very, very high doses even if the amount was higher than the typical in the oil.

        My suspicion is that she was smoking weed to help her stress and doesn’t want to admit it. I’ve seen that 10000s of times.

        I personally believe she should not lose her job over that and our obsession with pot is really, truly unhealthy.

        Nevertheless, it is far, far more likely that she willingly took pot in some form than that she has a false positive from CBD oil.

    8. Mommy MD*

      Bad luck aside she sounds like a mess and constantly mired in drama, some of which her own making like failing a drug test for a good job.

  2. Sara M*

    Oh dear. I’m glad you don’t have to deal with her anymore, but what a mess. I won’t even try to guess from afar what’s really going on with her.

    (I actually believe she may not have realized there was any THC in the CBD oil.)

    1. Unregretful Black Sheep*

      As someone who had to explain to a sheltered 50-something co-worker (this was about 8 years ago – you lived through the 70’s, FFS!) that her hemp hand lotion was made from the same plant pot comes from, I agree that she may actually not have realized what CBD oil contains.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        As someone that also lived through the 70s I feel that you are being very unfair. Drugs back then were illegal and kept under wraps WAY more than now. You would have to seek it out in order to be exposed to it. Also, the internet wasn’t available to most folks back then (the closest equivalent was the encyclopedia).
        I’m not surprised at her lack of sophistication in that area.
        Context, context, context before judging.

        1. pancakes*

          They weren’t quite “under wraps” considering they were very widely used by millions and millions of people. Coke spoons & joint rollers were advertised in mass market magazines! No, there wasn’t an internet, but people weren’t trapped in their own homes, either.

          1. Mookie*

            Yeah, EG’s description of the 70s doesn’t remotely square with reality, if we’re talking US, Canada, Australia, or England.

            1. froufrou*

              EG’s description of the 70s doesn’t remotely square with reality, if we’re talking US, Canada, Australia, or England.
              It does for me and I grew up in the ’70s in England, and I live in Australia now. I’d never heard of CBD oil until today.

              1. Helena*

                Me too. My mum was born in 1950 and claims “there weren’t any drugs in the seventies”. When I pointed out that there were, famously so, she said “well that was all people in London. There weren’t any drugs in Yorkshire”.

                1. Engineer Girl*

                  I think it was concentrated in certain cultures. Music, arts, entertainment, Hollywood, pro-athlete and heavy money types. It was also clustered in the larger cities. There was a lot of money flowing in those so called famous parties.
                  It wasn’t as wide spread and distributed as today.

            2. RUKiddingMe*

              Growing up in the 70s I can say I was aware of stuff…like coke spoons advertised on the back cover of Playgirl (yes, I had a secret subscription) magazine, but TBH most of us, even we liberal hippie Californians weren’t really part of *that* world.

            3. Observer*

              I grew up in the 70s and, for all the drug taking of the 60s, no one was talking about CBD or THC? Were they even isolated at that point?

            1. Autumnheart*

              I came of age in the late 80s and early 90s, and they are definitely talking about the ’70s. What Generation X kid didn’t hear about a bazillion stories about Woodstock, the Summer of Love, what a head shop actually is, and the real story behind “Puff the Magic Dragon”? That’s why they spent my entire childhood telling us to “Just say no”.

              1. Engineer Girl*

                Those are the 60s not the 70s. I was a child in the 60s so experienced it at a distance.
                While there were people that participated in that scene, a whole lot of other people did not.

              2. Engineer Girl*

                And I still stand by my assertion that you had to actively seek it out. Drugs were not a part of the mainstream culture as they are now (excluding alchohol and cigarettes).

              3. Engineer Girl*

                And a third point – a lot of this stuff was on the coasts. If you were in the heartland it was way different.

                1. RUKiddingMe*

                  Even on the coasts (California) it wasn’t part of the day to day of most people, That was celebrity level stuff, not suburban family stuff.

                2. LCL*

                  I lived through the 70’s, my late adolescence was at the end of the decade. In our little corner of the Pacific Northwest drugs including cigarettes, alcohol and low potency marijuana were pervasive and was mainstream culture to us. The chain record store at the mall sold concert kits for a while-a plexiglass box with roach clip and papers.

              4. Helena*

                I heard nothing about that from my family, or the wider culture. I think I first heard about that stuff in my late teens (late 90s) from other teenage stoners droning on about it. My parents’ generation were into the Beatles/Stones and then Glam Rock. I didn’t meet any ex-hippies until I was in my twenties.

                My family are Northern working class, which probably had a bearing on it. Hippies/flower children were definitely middle class in the UK, and mostly London-centric (when I watch American sixties films with “dirty hippy” criminals, it is just bizarre to me – hippies to me are posh artsy girls twirling around dancing barefoot like Kate Winslet in Hideous Kinky).

          2. Engineer Girl*

            Also, the ads did not appear in mainstream magazines but in alternative magazines. You had to seek it out.

          3. Engineer Girl*

            Cocaine use peaked in 1982 at 10.4 million users. There were 231.7 million us residents.
            That’s a whopping total of 4.5% of the population.

            Context context context.

        2. Où est la bibliothèque?*

          I’d say calling her “sheltered” is pretty reasonable. People don’t have to “be exposed” to drugs to know what hemp is. Most people know what hemp is.

        3. Unregretful Black Sheep*

          Sorry, for context – she was a loon in all kinds of ways, like not letting her 10 & 13 year-olds watch Harry Potter because “it promotes witchcraft” but having no problem with The Walking Dead because “they know it’s fake”. She is overboard on shielding her children from the real world, & usually those folks (in my experience) have read up on every potential negative thing that could impact their children e.g. MJ in all of its forms.

          You’re right, I shouldn’t have assumed that everyone who lived through the 70’s knew about drugs.

          1. Engineer Girl*

            To be fair, witchcraft is real and zombies aren’t. So there is a sort of logic to her thoughts.

      2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I’m laughing so hard. Engineer Girl hit it on the head with her explanation.

        I had a first row seat to someone who is that age range and wanted to get into the business because it’s legal here. He was such a square to put it nicely and nobody in the industry wanted a darn thing to do with him or what he was trying to sell. His knowledge was so limited, this conversation happened.

        “Yeah, something that they can put their stash into!”
        “What’s a stash?!?!?”

      3. animaniactoo*

        I always love an appropriate moment to tell this story…

        Back in the early 90s I was training to take over from my father as he was leaving to go be a teacher. The owner of the shop was a man who my dad had worked for on and off for years and I had known for years. He was Orthodox Jewish and quite religious about it – the pray in the corner every day level.

        Well. The way the office was divided there was a big outer room that fronted on two smaller offices. One of these was occupied by my dad and another worker (actually also part owner of the business), and the other was occupied by the owner and a print broker who rented the desk. My desk was against the wall between the two doorways.

        For the first 3 weeks, I wandered around in a state of confusion. “I know I smell weed. I KNOW I smell weed. I KNOW I smell weed.” And then… my father says something to the other co-worker one day about “Oh god, what’s [owner] on now?” and I jumped on my chance. “WHY? WHAT’S HE DO?”

        Turns out he smoked a dimebag a day. Every day. But… this is not how this story is relevant here.

        One day, the print broker – a man who had to be at least 40 and did not partake but sat in the small office with [owner] smoking up all day long – says to me “I don’t get it. When I’m home on the weekends, I have so much energy, but when I’m here I’m so tired and I have to take a nap every afternoon and when I wake up I’m hungry and I need to go get ice cream or something. At which point, I had to explain to him that he was contact high and he had the munchies. He looked so bewildered. “Really?”

        Yes, really, Bob. Really.

        Stuff may seem to be “common knowledge” but it turns out that’s really only so in the places where you hang out/socialize/read/etc.

        1. animaniactoo*

          Oh man. I just realized. This experience is so long ago in my memory and it’s so isolated from my current job that it never pops into my head when Alison posts one of the “what’s the oddest work thing…” threads.

        2. CoveredInBees*

          I’m not sure why his being orthodox has anything to do with it. I know of plenty hassidic stoners.

          It does seem to surprise non-Jews that religious Jews are heavy drinkers. Broadly speaking, the more religious you get in the Jewish world, the more alcohol you’re going to find.

          1. animaniactoo*

            I’m Jewish myself, but not super-religious and this was my first exposure to that. I’m fairly sure that it was not as common knowledge then as it is now in communities where there wasn’t as much usage.

            So, for 19 y.o. me, the idea that he was a stoner and a cokehead and whatever else came his way was… mindblowing.

      4. Nic*

        Eh, I think that’s understandable. They are the same plant…but they’re also not. It’s like when you say that Saffron comes from crocuses – but you can’t just go out to your local garden centre and assume that any crocus plant you pick up can be processed into a notoriously expensive dye/spice, because the cultivars bred for decoration don’t produce saffron threads. In hemp/cannabis’s case, the cultivars have been divergently bred so far that the plants used for rope and hand lotion are very unlikely to be able to get you high. Which is why their cultivation is legal in places with restrictions on cannabis production.

      5. Seeking Second Childhood*

        Um… some of us who “lived through the 70s” were 14 in 1980. I could have told you lots about cocktails & cigarettes, I suppose, but the only drugs I saw around me were from pharmacies.

      6. Observer*

        Except that this “sheltered” person happens to be right and you are wrong, mostly. Hemp and Marijuana are NOT the same plant. They are from the same family. They are both Cannabis Savita, but they are two different plants. Probably the biggest difference between Hemp and marijuana (and which played into the law that has just made it legal to grow Hemp in the US), hemp has an extremely low concentration of THC.

    2. Kettles*

      The CBD oil I take has zero THC. It’s made from a strain engineered to grow without producing the THC at all; anything else is illegal in this country. She maybe should have checked but I do feel sorry for her.

      1. ....*

        Yes, I’m surprised so many people here are saying “Of course it has THC in it”. Most kinds are advertised and promoted has having no THC, even in states where THC is legal. Its part of the draw to the product as not everyone wants to feel high but does want some other effects. She probably did some type of less socially acceptable drug and then said it was the CBD! But maybe I worked in the service sector for too long so I just assume that, haha.

        1. Gymmie*

          You will not get high on the amount that is in these products (although they aren’t regulated so you never know) but because of the trace amounts a drug test fail is def not out of the question.

        2. Kettles*

          Yeah. Gymmie is probably right about trace amounts but i’d be horrified if it had a large amount of THC – I don’t want to break the law and I don’t want to get high. I just want to reduce my back pain and anxiety. I also have an acquaintance on a much higher dose who has been able to stop taking opioids thanks to the oil. It’s a real balm to many.

    3. pancakes*

      There’s no guarantee she doesn’t have to deal with her anymore because it sounds like the woman has her contact info. “She was frantically messaging me all day & later that night…” It’s strange to me that it’s not uncommon for people to interpret “being nice” as requiring them to develop friendships with acquaintances they plainly don’t even like. I don’t see it as nice to encourage someone one doesn’t like to become a confidant. To the contrary, it seems distinctly not nice to pity and/or disparage someone while simultaneously encouraging them to believe they’re a friend.

      1. Zweisatz*

        Do you mean OP and her (ex) coworker? I don’t see how OP was encouraging anything, she literally told her to stop talking. It’s not her fault if her coworker ignores literally any cue that there’s no reciprocity in their relationship.

      2. Ace in the hole*

        My coworkers have my contact info because I’ve shared it for coordinating the occasional carpool or contacting someone when we’re at a conference, etc. Not to mention the cell number of everyone in our department is listed in our emergency plan for safety reasons. I’ve never had a coworker message me for non-work things. Sharing the info doesn’t seem weird, it’s coworker’s behavior that’s bizarre.

      1. Autumnheart*

        She sounds like the kind of person where things “happen to them” constantly, without ever making the connection between their own actions and the results.

  3. jean marie*

    I recently had CBD oil recommended as a sleep aid and was told it didn’t have THC. This story is making me super paranoid without my having partaken in anything that would cause paranoia.

    1. Nonsensical*

      The news I searched through claims it doesn’t but then also says it contains up to 3% in my area under Minnesota’s laws. Supposedly not enough to make you intoxicated by any means.

      1. Tigger*

        I have a friend who moved here to Minnesota from Colorado and gave CBD oil to her dogs and takes some herself for anxiety (different types) . The oil she got from the Colorado vet had 0.05% THC in it while the oil she gets here for the dogs says 0% THC. I think it also has to do with the state the oil is bought in

    2. Time to get that arranged marriage my parents want*

      I just purchased some CBD oil for anxiety and it’s not supposed to have THC in it…but anecdotes I’ve read online say that drug test results are a mixed bag.

    3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Are you in a legalized state?

      Read the package. Talk to the person who sells it to you if you’re getting it from a dispensary.

      Take it once. Then take a TCH test. You can get them at the dollar store…no joke. Then see what happens. Do not test drive it before you know you’ll have a drug test or if you’re looking for new work or if you have a company that is known to do completely crazy random screenings! You can test drive the meds without this kind of horror story playing out if you are proactive.

      1. Yikes*

        Except that THC can build in your system, so passing a drug test after one use doesn’t mean you’ll pass a drug test after multiple uses.

      2. Shalla*

        At least in Colorado, if you’re getting it from a dispensary, it has THC in it because everything they sell has THC. Or so I was told at my local dispensary.

    4. Sandy*

      Some places that sell CBD will provide you with the exact breakdown for every batch they make. I would stick with that sort of place, since it’s very wild, wild west in the industry atm.

    5. Shelby Drink the Juice*

      I’ve had CBD oil recommended to me as well and a friend that swears by it. But I can be randomly drug tested at work and THC is still a no no to the federal government. If I knew for sure it was 0% THC I’d try it, but too iffy for now.

      Also CBD oil is legal in Texas where I live even though marijuana isn’t.

    6. What’s with Today, today*

      Our adult probation office tells people all the time that they are safe on a drug test with CBD (my husband is a defense attorney). One of our dearest friends is a probation officer and got recommendations on where to get good CBD oil shipped in from one of her prpbationers. We are in Texas where its all still very illegal, but I’ve always been told CBD doesn’t have THC.

    7. pancakes*

      It’s not supposed to contain THC, and it’s not exactly profitable or smart for CBD sellers to use a more potent and expensive ingredient in a product that isn’t even meant to include it. That said, it’s not as if anyone tests CBD products other than voluntarily and sporadically. My understanding is that low quality CBD products are far more likely to have troubling additives rather than get you high on THC. (In other words, in the US, they fit right in to our nonsensically unregulated market for supplements—vitamins aren’t tested either).



    8. Glitsy Gus*

      I use it for insomnia and it really is effective for me.

      You can get THC-free cannabis oil (well, legal limit is >/+.3% which isn’t anywhere near what it would take to get you high). Get it from a reputable source and it will be covered by federal regs and should fall into this legal category. Basically, don’t buy it from the trunk of some guy’s car behind the high school and you’ll be OK, should you want to give it a try. :)

    9. Maolin*

      You have to be mindful of the brand – research reviews if you can. I’ve been in medication assisted therapy (MAT) for 8 years for long-term prescription opioid addiction, for which I am required to pee in a cup every 4 weeks. I asked my doctor (who manages my suboxone treatment) about trying CBD for my neuropathy after seeing how well it works for my 13yo arthritic border collie – he said I could give it a go, but be sure it’s derived from hemp. The label of the bottle of capsules I purchased from a naturopathy store specifically claimed it was THC-free, which is why it could be sold in the state (which is not one where cannabis is legal – but CBD is since the FDA unscheduled nation-wide). I took it as directed: one 10mg cap a day. And after 3 weeks, my neuropathic pain was so much better! At my next MAT visit, my dipstick popped for THC. Surprise! No more CBD for me – it doesn’t matter that it worked or that it wasn’t *supposed* to have THC or I never felt THC-effects. It’s a shame really because it worked far better than gabapentin and Tylenol. I actually didn’t realize how much better my nerve pain was until a couple of days after the last CBD capsule, when the nerve pain returned. It was a gradual improvement over a couple of weeks after starting the CBD, but the burning and tingling returned with a vengeance rather fast.

      Interestingly, not all states require THC-negative piss-tests. I’m actually working in VT for a few months, the program I’m in whilst here does allow cannabis use while on MAT (but not alcohol). Cannabis has been scientifically demonstrated to be effective in opioid treatment, it reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms while not increasing odds of relapse. I just might stay here – not only because it’s beautiful here and I’m amongst like-minded people, but my neuropathy can maintain reasonable comfort with CBD oil!

      So buyer beware – just because it’s labeled as hemp, or sold in a state that hasn’t legalized medical or recreational cannabis doesn’t mean it is THC-free! I read later that even hemp-derived has some THC and much claimed those minute traces wouldn’t show up above UDS thresholds, but I wouldn’t gamble on that. If you are job searching or in a role that requires drug-free, you may want to reconsider taking CBD. Even if it’s below “threshold,” some employers may hold anything >0.0ng/dL against you.

      From my own experience, I can certainly understand how Cersei failed the drug test after taking CBD, but I’m skeptical that after she took the drug test but before its result, she suddenly worried THC might show up and kill her offer. I would think if she were so naive she didn’t know CBD was a cannabinoid, then she wouldn’t have realized the risk for THC-positive. And I would also think most employers would have been reasonable if the situation had been explained the moment she realized, and they’d have given her a chance to pee again in a week or two. Unless “Oh, I only used CBD oil” was a flimsy cover for intentional THC use (and/or other metabolites). Which would go a long way to explain the crazy begging of seriously large loans from coworkers ($8500 in one month?!!). Because you’d have to be high to even try that. At work.

      1. Maolin*

        Good grief, I’ve conflated Chatty Charlie with Loaner Lucy there at the end of my reply! That’s what happens when reading AAM at 2am! But everything before the $ part still applies!

  4. hithere*

    Generally speaking, CBD contains a small amount of THC (usually under 1%). I don’t know anything about the test sensitivity, though.

    1. Sandy*

      From what I understand, you would have to take a massive dose of CBD to test positive on a drug test. Like, waaaay over the recommended amount.

        1. LW*

          Hello, Letter Writer here! I don’t think she lied about the CBD oil. She said a friend had shipped the oil to her husband to help him deal with the pain after heart surgery. The label said it contained trace amounts of THC, but she hadn’t read it until after the fact…

          1. Karen from Finance*

            Is it possible that she took something else as well, like prescription pills that weren’t prescribed to her?

              1. Maolin*

                Yeah. Especially when you take the begging for ***$8500 in ONE MONTH*** into account! Because anyone who asked coworkers for that kind of money had to be high!

                1. Maolin*

                  Good grief, I’ve conflated Chatty Charlie with Loaner Lucy there at the end of my reply! That’s what happens when reading AAM at 2am!

            1. MadGrad*

              As several people have mentioned, CBD oil falls under supplement regulation alongside homeopathic medicine and vitamins. This is the industry that lets you sell little bottles of water that at one point in time touched water that touched water that touched some herb maybe that people 100 years ago thought would help back pain. The thresholds for claims are low and testing isn’t common.

              It’s not necessarily common knowledge, but supplement labels really aren’t trustworthy.

  5. Collarbone High*

    “She figured she still had the job & that they probably didn’t care that she had failed the drug test.”

    I’m not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou.

  6. Ruthie*

    CBD oil is unregulated, and a recent study found most tested product had a different amount of potency than claimed, and many had THC despite being marketed as non-psychoactive. There’s a good, recent NY times article about it. I can definitely understand how someone would inadvertently fail a drug test. Stay away if there’s a chance you could be tested!

    1. Time to get that arranged marriage my parents want*

      From the article I think you’re talking about:

      “Here, the evidence is not going to make them happy. A 2017 study in JAMA reported that only 26 of 84 samples of CBD oils, tinctures and liquids purchased online contained the amount of CBD claimed on their labels. Eighteen of them contained THC, which could lead to intoxication or impairment in some individuals. And a quarter had less CBD than advertised. The F.D.A. has likewise found many products that did not contain the amount of CBD they were claiming.”

      1. MatKnifeNinja*

        My state just legalized recreational marijuana. My brother and sister both work in zero tolerance/zero excuses jobs as managers.

        Both had to handed out letter stating if you test dirty, it didn’t matter if it was an edible, tincture, oil, you thought it only had CBD in it, you are immediately terminated.

        Who knows were the stuff was puchased. I’ve seen it at flea markets, swap meets and party stores. Not everyone has a marijuana “barista” who will careful guide them using quality products.

        1. Time to get that arranged marriage my parents want*

          This seems SO old fashioned to me. Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘most’….but most young people partake in smoking marijuana/eating edibles/taking CBD/etc, even if it’s just once in a while. Why do employers care so much? No one is randomly tested for their BAC, and no one is terminated from their jobs for smoking cigarettes.

    2. CoveredInBees*

      Also, I’ve seen pregnant women being given some conflicting, sketchy information on CBD’s safety during pregnancy. Since a number of psychiatric drugs aren’t safe during pregnancy, a lot of the queries I’ve seen online (sigh) have been about finding an alternative. Some OBs, midwives, and hospitals do drug screening during pregnancy and child services will get called if mom tests positive for anything.

  7. Detective Amy Santiago*

    Wow… she sounds… hmm, I don’t even know what word to use.

    I’m a terrible person who would follow her on social media just for the drama.

  8. Amber Rose*

    Did she actually get the better job? I only ask because I worked with someone like this, but she was a compulsive liar and you couldn’t trust a damn thing she said.

    All the same, I hope things work out for her. Sounds like it’s been pretty rough, lies or not.

  9. Sick of Workplace Bullshit*

    CBD oil does NOT contain THC. I wonder if Jane believes her own excuse or just hopes others do.

    1. Arctic*

      1) It almost always does in very small doses. 2) It often has much higher doses of THC than advertised because it isn’t regulated and sometimes it is not processed correctly.

      1. Gymmie*

        This is true. It has to have less than .3% THC to be labeled and sold as CBD derived from hemp, but still trace amounts.

        1. Gymmie*

          Also, CBD can be derived from marijuana as well. I’m guessing this was OTC stuff and she doesn’t live in a marijuana legalized state.

          1. Maolin*

            Even OTC, hemp-derived, “THC-free” CBD, it can have enough THC to exceed threshold on a dipstick UDS (which is often higher threshold than lab testing of metabolites) – it happened to me. I posted about it upthread if you want the whole story. Being unregulated, there is wide variability in quality, quantity, and composition.

  10. Jennifer*

    Awww, I feel kind of bad for her. I think everyone has had a time in their life where it seemed one terrible thing after another kept happening. She could just be in a bad spiral right now. It could also be that coming from a wealthy family, she always had someone to bail her out and never quite learned to adult. Without knowing her, I’ll choose to empathize.

  11. Zelda*

    “After a week at her new job, she was let go. I guess the test center took a while to send in the results.”

    Or maybe, just maybe, she spent a week talking someone’s ear off and preventing them getting any work done, and on-the-ball management decided her employment was a net loss.

    1. ChimericalOne*

      Since she was “frantically” messaging the OP all day about it, I imagine she knows better than us. (I know she uses “I guess” here, but if she’s like me, she’s using in a “well, that’s what I was told, anyway” kind of sense and not in a “I’m taking a stab in the dark” sense.)

  12. Tea Fish*

    Has anyone ever heard the term “you make your own luck?” Now, disclaimer this is 1000% is not true across the board– people don’t “make” luck that results in cancer, miscarriages, lotto winnings, etc. But for someone like this coworker…. whew, she really set herself up for a lot of bad luck, and for situations where her bad luck was only compounded due to bad decisions.

    1. Anon for this, in case my friend reads it*

      No, I agree with you that, not all, but certainly a lot of the accidents that add up to “the worst luck of anyone I know” are usually in one way or another caused by something the person did. I have a friend who, for the longest time, really did have the worst luck of anyone I knew. My mind was constantly being blown by how much awful things could be happening to one person that did not deserve any of them. His luck rapidly changed for the better a few years ago, when he became assertive with the people in his life who had, up to that point, used him and abused his goodwill in many ways, and started saying “no” to them, and following up on that “no”. Turned out that roughly half of his bad-luck accidents were caused by these people’s actions, and the other half by his lack of attention to detail, because these people were running him ragged and he was forgetting to do things he wouldn’t have otherwise. I met up with him after not having seen him for a couple of years, and he looked and sounded different. He was happy, his close family was happy, he now had the energy to make a difference in their lives, now that he didn’t have to fight the constant stream of unfortunate events in his, and a good time was had by all.

      1. Chriama*

        I definitely feel that way about her too. She had bad luck but her life was also a clusterfudge of bad decisions. Unfortunate.

    2. ceiswyn*

      You may not make your own luck, but you sure as heck make your own resilience.

      For example, having an emergency crop up the day before an important exam is bad luck; but it’s going to have way less effect on someone who’s been revising for weeks than on someone who left all their revision until the day before the exam.

      Similarly, unexpected bills happen, but someone who made savings can cope with them whereas someone who spent all their spare cash on fripperies can’t.

        1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          Yeah, I gave a small side-eye to the cash comment.

          There were times in my life when I had the emergency cash, and then I didn’t, because I’d spent it on the emergencies I’d saved it for. If another emergency had happened then, I would’ve been straight out of luck. There were other times when my expenses shot way up and stayed that way for a while (terminally ill pet, kid in college, both at the same time) and I was not able to save. These things happen.

          1. Tea Fish*

            Definitely, but the things that turn into an emergency and the reasons for why someone might not have the funds can vary wildly. Lucky plays a big part, but so does preparation and foreplanning.

            As an example, I know someone who hit the curb jjjjust the wrong way and blew out her tire, resulting in a crash. She didn’t have enough money on hand to pay for the repairs because she’d just faced a long stint of illness due to a bacterial infection. These things happen, and they suck.

            Another example, I know someone who also blew out their tire…. because their tires were almost bald from wear and they didn’t prioritize replacing them. They didn’t have the money to handle the repairs, as they’d prioritized spending all of their paycheck on collectible figurines, videogames, and clothing. These things happen, and they still suck…. but in many ways, this was an emergency and a cash shortage of this person’s own making.

            1. Jennifer*

              How do you know what they spent their money on? The games and clothes could have been gifts. Even if they weren’t, a $30 video game is much different than $1,000 on a new set of tires. Unless you have access to their bank records, you have no idea.

              1. thestik*

                It’s possible that the person talked about their purchases on social media. I see this from time to time among people in my social circle with geek-centric interests.

          2. ThursdaysGeek*

            There are all sorts of reasons why a person doesn’t have money, many of them very valid. And when life happens and then happens again and again, it can use up the money saved. That doesn’t mean that it’s not an emergency when it happens again, and there isn’t any money left. The statement wasn’t meant to be a judgement, just a sad definition.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        True story. My cousin finished nursing school and was set to take the once-a-year boards. She and her friends went out to celebrate the day before. It turned out the restaurant gave them severe food poisoning and all of them missed their exams. All had their job offers rescinded as they couldn’t take the exams until the next year.

        The good news: the next year my cousin took a job with another company where she met the love of her life and later married him.

  13. Gymmie*

    I keep replying to this as I know quite a lot about CBD and THC because I’m an underwriter for liability insurance that writes a ton of cannabis products. I’m very schooled in the products liability and regulatory environment. I just thought I would mention since it seems like I am super gung-ho in this thread!

    1. Marthooh*

      I’m grateful for your comments. I’d never heard of CBD oil before this comment thread, and now that I’ve read this far, I’m schooled enough to realize that I still don’t know what’s actually in the stuff.

      I guess that kind of sounds like “Thanks for nothing!” but I really am grateful.

      1. Nerdy Library Clerk*

        I live in a state where recreational (as well as medical) marijuana is legal and I’d never heard of CBD oil. It’s very easy to be out of the loop.

      2. Maolin*

        Marthooh – CBD is a chemical compound in the cannabis category, coming from both the marijuana and hemp plants. It has properties that alleviate a large range of ailments like pain, nausea, depression, anxiety and a host of others. It was approved for use over the counter by the FDA about a year ago. Some consider it a miracle substance. It is an oil but is also sold as a tincture and in capsules. I first learned about it from a FB group for dog owners. I give it to my 13yo border collie for her arthritis and my 13mo old for separation anxiety. I have used it for lower extremity neuropathy with remarkable success. I’ve had completely pain-free periods whereas with gabapentin it only lessened but did not ever eliminate the burning and throbbing I’ve felt for the last few years.

        It’s not without its risks though since it is classed as a supplement, therefore it’s largely unregulated so consistency in quality, quantity and even composition is unreliable.

        Hope that helps you to understand it a bit better!

  14. ChimericalOne*

    She’s not dumb for not knowing that CBD has (or can have) THC in it. But it boggles my mind why you wouldn’t contact the company as soon as you were told that you’d failed the drug test. Any company that makes you take a drug test cares whether you pass it or not. They wouldn’t waste the money if they didn’t. Fair odds on them giving her a pass if she’d taken the OP’s very sensible advice. And if they hadn’t, decent odds on being able to keep the job she was about to leave, otherwise.

    Sounds like the kind of person who shoots herself in the foot A LOT. Glad she’s out of your hair, OP!

  15. Oranges*

    The loverly thing is… drug tests aren’t fool proof. OMG are they ever not fool proof. I don’t think it had anything to do with the drug test personally.

    Did they cite the drug test as the reason she was fired? Otherwise I think they might have seen what she’s like and gone “hell no”

  16. Hey Karma, Over Here*

    There’s bad luck and there’s bad judgement. You’ll usually find that someone prone to one is equally prone to the other. Her husband’s heart attack aside (which honestly is more his bad luck) everything that befell her was due in no small part to her actions. She wanted a job where she could dress like a scrub, benefits be damned. She wanted to talk all day instead of building her professional skills. She took CBD oil but didn’t research it until afterward. Why bother then?
    Some people say you make your own luck. That’s how I feel about this woman.

  17. Venus*

    You are so lucky
    In my previous job, the lady laughed and talked non stop. We were in a open office and her laugh just brothered me. We were in the consulting industry and had to deal with clients officers. She was laughing when I was on the phone. No matter how stress I was and I had long working hrs and tight schedule (worked till 4am) she just didn’t care and kept talking and laughing.
    I was just exhausted and I quited (not because of her but she was definitely one of the reason) and found another job.

    This firm was down sizing and i learned that she was asked to leave and unemployed.

Comments are closed.