High Times for Optical Networking?
127 of the 670 people who took the poll said that they liked "smoking a fatty" -- popular parlance, we're told, for smoking a marijuana cigarette. Another 268 (40 percent) said they enjoy “sitting on their butts drinking beer.”
The extent of substance abuse in the optical networking industry could be bucking an overall downtick in drug use amongst workers in the U.S., according to research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which says monthly drug use rates among workers decreased from nearly 17 percent in 1985 to 7 percent in 1992 and have since remained at that level. Employed drug abusers cost their employers about twice as much in medical and worker compensation claims as their drug-free coworkers, NIDA claims.
"I'm not surprised by these results, given the cultural lessons that Americans are taught at a young age through media," says Dick Dillon, regional vice president for Preferred Family Healthcare, a private not-for-profit organization based in Missouri that operates drug abuse centers and health clinics in the Midwest.
“One of problems that I think contributes to drug abuse is that we pass messages along to our children through TV and through our own behavior,” he says. “If you go straight for the liquor cabinet or -- even worse -- roll a joint [marijuana cigarette] when you come from work, and your children see this, it sends a clearcut message about using substances to relax or calm yourself down.” [Emphasis added.]
Nor is everyone in the industry surprised by the survey findings. "It makes a lot of sense. If you look at some of the things people in the industry have done you have to assume that they were stoned at the time. I'm only surprised that the number is as low as 19 percent," says Gary Clemenceau, director of corporate communications for Calix Networks, an optical networking startup.
The new poll for August is already up on Light Reading's Light Work site: The Job Hunt; it evaluates how optical networking professionals, stoned or not, look for employment.
Just remember: Friends don't let friends fill out surveys drunk.
-- Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading