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Advice for adviser

Old 10-19-2019, 02:07 PM
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Advice for adviser

Hi all

An old friend of mine recently asked for my advice in relation to his colleague. My friend is fairly certain that this colleague, lets call him Tom, is an alcoholic. He described to me all the reasons behind his suspicions and they were indeed the "classic" signs of someone dependent upon alcohol. For example, getting frequently drunk in front of colleagues and clients, drinking alone, disappearing during the afternoon every day with no accountability, etc. Tom is now widely regarded as a heavy drinker and folks actively avoid him at social events. His boss will not promote him because of his drinking.

I advised him that it should be Tom's boss who should be responsible for this situation. However, the boss has zero interest in the welfare of Tom and is only concerned with productivity and delivering goals. Should that be badly impacted, then the boss will simply fire him. Given that avenue is seemingly closed, my advice was that my friend could have a chat with him solely because of concern for TOm's well being and that work was irrelevant. Just good old fashion compassion for another human being. Furthermore, I advised that he should be prepared for Tom to vigorously deny he has a drinking problem, likely to be hostile and for their friendship to come to an end. By the time it has come to my friend, a work colleague, to advise him it would mean Tom's family (married with children) and friends have not succeeded in their advice.

Just wondering what SR folks would advise ?

With metta
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:52 PM
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Tough spot for your friend. It sounds like he feels an obligation to not simply look the other way. On the other hand, alcoholics generally don't like being called out as such. I think you gave him the best advice there is.
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:37 AM
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Does the guy want to stop drinking?
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertDawg View Post
Tough spot for your friend. It sounds like he feels an obligation to not simply look the other way. On the other hand, alcoholics generally don't like being called out as such. I think you gave him the best advice there is.
Thanks DD. I was heartened by my friend's compassion for his colleague but I felt like his ability to advise on something so intensely personal would be difficult
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sugarbear1 View Post
Does the guy want to stop drinking?
No idea. Not even sure he is aware he has a problem despite it being obvious to everyone else. Classic alky, eh
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:15 PM
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Yeah well, I am quite sure many of my friends wanted to have this talk with me. They never did, they knew it would serve no purpose. I had to get to not wanting to drink by myself.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:38 PM
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it could do him good if someone reached out to him. it could show him someone cares about his well being.
youre advise
because of concern for TOm's well being and that work was irrelevant.
is spot on.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:56 PM
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Thanks for all your advice
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Old 10-24-2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
it could do him good if someone reached out to him. it could show him someone cares about his well being.
youre advise
because of concern for TOm's well being and that work was irrelevant.
is spot on.
Agreed. Plenty of people tried to talk to me and to say I didn't listen would be such an understatement there is no sufficient word. I finally quit when I was done - and now, I remember a lot of people along the way, even way back, who tried to talk to me just this way.

I believe the sum total can indeed hit us, one conversation can be the tipping point, we just don't know....but yes, trying to talk to someone because it is truly life at stake (no matter how "not as bad as" or such) when we drink. Then, tho, we have to let it go. I'm not in the outcome business, as the saying goes, and can only be available and open to anyone who needs help and WANTS it, once I've made the overture.

I'd rather "annoy" someone (or worse) who needs to quit than be one more person who doesn't say anything.
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