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Old 09-28-2009, 07:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need job advice


I Know admitting you have addiction problems can mean trouble at work. I was given a verbal warning at work already for my attendance. Then this week I missed another whopping four days because of a binge that SHOULD have put me in the hoispital. I called my boss to ask her if i still had a job and she said we would talk about things when i get back and im shaking in my boots to walk in there tom and have her tell me that im fired. Im really grateful to have this job but im not sure if i should come clean and tell her that i have a major problem with alcohol or will that only stir up more trouble? my family says deny everything and just make sure that you prove to her within the next few weeks that you have made appts to get help. That's of course assuming i dont get fired. A coworker also smelled alcohol on my breath and said something to me but I have no idea if he told my boss. At this point its impossible to prove it but she could bring it up and shes a NICE lady. She's overlooked my absences time and time again because she wants me to succeed but I think ive pushed her kindness too far this time. Do I just come out with it or will i be labeled a drunk forever at work. I already know im walking into whispers and dirty looks I don't want anymore than that if I don't have to deal with it.
thanks for any advice or personal experiences.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,

Normally I would never tell anyone I work with that I have a drinking problem. There are too many prejudices against alcoholics, by people who don't understand - namely, Why don't you just stop drinking?

In this situation, I don't know what I would do. Coming clean might help your case for keeping your job, but it might backfire. Since honesty is always a good idea, I'd probably come clean and try to impress your boss with the fact that you are getting help for your addiction.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't speak for your company and co-workers, but I do know that mine knew about me before I did.
There I was thinking the eyedrops, the dragging myself in every day, the shakes from too much caffeine (my excuse), the breathfreshener, all of those things were my cover.
When I came back from rehab and was asked by the management to keep quiet (which wasn't my intention) because of my position, I found out that people were insulted by my pretence because it was so obvious. I also have a co-worker who is missing so many days, he is so far gone, everybody talks about his drinking. I'm ashamed to say that I probably looked the same.
Shakes, sweats, forgetfulness, the smell of drink, etc. etc. I tried reaching out to him by simply admitting to my past drinking, but he is not ready I guess.
It is your decision to come clean with them and yourself of course. My company was very supportive and has been in other cases as long as the individual was willing to help themself. Be strong and good luck.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I might see this as a major wake up call to quit drinking..

I also wouldn't be telling anyone at work about my "problem" especially if I had no rock solid treatment plans for recovery in place.

Do you plan to quit drinking?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree they probably already know. Mine did. We all ignored it until I did the unforgivable and went to work drunk. It's impossible to know someone else's circumstances completely. I would agree to get yourself a treatment plan before and 'fess up if asked. But whatever you do, get yourself treatment, because whether this time or next, it's gonna blow up on you.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A tough question, as every situation is different. For me, I was like Saphie - my co-workers & boss already knew. I crashed and burned before admitting it to anyone. Once I came back from my time in detox (just a few days) everyone was very supportive and wonderful to me. I guess they were just relieved that it was out in the open and they didn't have to walk on eggs around me anymore.

I too thought the eyedrops, perfume & mouthwash were doing the trick - but a friend finally told me it was the change in my personality that was a dead giveaway. I think it depends on where you work and the type of company it is. I was a longterm employee at a hotel where we were like family, so I couldn't really hide it.

I hope you give it up, since it's causing you such misery and stress. Let us know how it's going.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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l had a lot of trouble at work because of my drinking.
It went on for years.
At one point they made me sign a paper saying that if l slipped within a year they would fire me.
l thought it was a good deal and that l could do it...went ok for 8 months..but last summer..
Can't say l blame them though.
l should have known better.
Maybe you can make such a deal and be wiser than l was.

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Old 09-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I do have plans to quit drinking. I am going to call the EAP today and make an appt...although if i get fired it wont do any good because i won't have insurance. im also moving back in with family until I can prove that I am not going to slip up. She already knows I was in an inpatient setting two months ago and i came out and told her about my depression issues. I guess Ill call and make the appt and see what she says tom. Also what do i tell people when i apply for new jobs. I can't go for very long without a job--even at taco bell if i have to because ill get my car repossessed, ruin my already horrible credit, blah blah blah. When I go to apply should I say i was fired for an attendence problem that I will fix? I don't think that looks very good on a job app. Ive had almost perfect attendence at all my jobs except this one. My drinking just started spiraling about 6 months ago. Im just thinking ahead. im a really good worker when im not trying to drink myself to death
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just remembered. When I was going through my problems at work my boss consulted his attorney about the chaos my drinking was causing. We were very close, but he needed guidance on what his rights or obligations were. He was told he had to give me the opportunity to seek help, since it was a medical condition. (ADA-Americans with Disabilities Act may have said that too.) Of course, any time off would not necessarily be paid for. Once I sought help, though, he was told if I continued to drink, miss work and have a poor performance - causing others to pick up the slack - I could be let go.

Also, about whether or not to tell you've had a problem in the past - it's a Catch 22. No one wants to say anything negative about themselves when they're looking for work (I never have admitted it) - but if they find out later that you lied on your application, you could be terminated for that.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smacked View Post
I might see this as a major wake up call to quit drinking..

I also wouldn't be telling anyone at work about my "problem" especially if I had no rock solid treatment plans for recovery in place.

Do you plan to quit drinking?
Yep i have a friend who got time off work to go to rehab and then went back, the bosses were fine and supported him...but if you dont have anything to say, e.g. some solution to the problem then that may not be welcomed...maybe you need to think about what you are going to do about your drinking and then approach them with that whilst admitting the problem?

Oh and the big boss asked him how he was going to deal with normal life after rehab so he had to assure them he would go to AA,, although a lot of people don't have too much of an idea about alcoholism/addicition they will be wanting to see how the problem will be solved ongoing...
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i just made an appt with the EAP and i emailed her that i wasnt sure if it was going to make any difference at this point but i at least wanted her to know i was making an effort. i havent heard back from her so im pretty sure they are cleaning out my locker as we speak. oh boy. i just cant believe i let it get this far. not what i thought would ever happen to me in my life.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I at one point spoke with my boss about my co-worker and he told me that once you admit your problem and are willing to seek help for yourself, you cannot get fired for that reason by Pennsylvanian law. You would have to check your state law for that. But as mentioned by Hevyn, once out and you do slip badly again, you were given a chance and you blew it, depending on your employer you can get fired. Also if you don't admit your problem they have a right to fire you although you could fight it. Again I'm not an attorney and you need to check your rights. I'm not sure what to tell you about applying for other jobs. That's a tough one. If you weren't long there, maybe you could leave that job out on applications and just mention the ones where you will be getting good references. I do believe the first thing you need to do is work out your problem rather than taking it with you. I'm sure you can do it. Maybe by going to meeting, being on SR - it's free and it works.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have had this happen so many times. But I am not too sure they really knew exactly what my problem was.
I would no call no show alot.
I was very lucky that I built a good rep for being a hard worker and got a couple chances to get my attendance together. I never out right said I was a crack addict.
But I know they knew something was up. Just didnt know exactly what.

I am going to be honest from my opinion. They are running a business. And you are becoming a liability to them. So it may not look good for you right now.
I cant say whether you should be honest or not. That is up to you.
But I def wouldnt tell anyone except the boss.
The coworkers dont need to know.
But whatever happens I hope this is a wake up call like smacked said.
It will get worse and yes it will start to affect future employment. I have exhausted dam near every job in my area. And with all the back ground checks.It makes it that much harder for me.
I hope you get help no matter what happens. Because you obviously need some sort of help, support..somehting.
Its not the end of the world. But you have to do something about it and dont sdo what I did for so ling and just hope it goes away.
Good luck and I hope you find some help.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Do you have an employee handbook that spells out their drug and alcohol policy?

Most companies have a policy in place, that outlines the procedures for this type of situation.

Have you exceeded your accrued/alloted time off already?
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think everyone here gave you great input. In reading what you wrote, my guess is that it may be time to really look at what's happening with you. I can tell you from my experience that until you totally partake and completely follow through on a recovery plan and work it well, you may find yourself going through this for quite some time. And who knows? Maybe it will get much worse. I know getting the car repossessed seems like a big deal but I've seen with my own eyes that worse things can happen.

I truly hope you will, and for yourself, seize this as a huge red flag and make all efforts to do something about it.

And believe me, I have been all the way down the very pits of it, was no good.

Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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the drug and alcohol policy is that they have to catch you on the job drinking drunk or under the influence. so that at this point i can deny. theres nothing spelled out about asking for help for addiction other than they will refer you to the EAP for help. regardless of whether or not i tell her whats going on i do think she already knows. last time i talked to her she said that that she is "running out of excuses to tell HR" and she needs to know im going to show up to work and then i do this...including a no call no show. im going to sit down with her and see what she has to say before i even open my mouth. i work in the medical field and i really dont want to come out with it because that will go in my file. im in nursing school now and that could ruin my chances of getting a job there when and if i graduate. i will go ahead and check my state law and if it comes down to it and i have to tell her then i will. at least i will save my job. ive already set up the appt and will be looking for outpatient programs that work with my schedule. thanks for all the advice.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I can tell you from experience, it will get worse if you don't act immediately. Maybe, depending up the relationship of you and your boss, you could say that you have had some personal problems that have led to your work behavior, but you are actively seeking assistance and perceive that the situation can only improve with this direction. Then FOLLOW THROUGH!! If you don't, your credibility will drop in the eyes of your boss and the consequences of that can be devastating to your career. The nature of your work doesn't allow much tolerance to being wasted and tending patients. I am an EMT, and to go to a scene of an accident drunk (which honestly, I have done,) can not only put yourself in danger (by driving,) but also to the patient you are administering medical procedures. It just doesn't fit in with the job.

Make some firm decisions and do your best to follow, eventually everything will self-correct.

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Old 09-28-2009, 04:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Your life is in danger.

HUGE wake up call taking place right now.

Would you want you working for you?

My suggestion would be to address the problem NOW... not the problems caused by the problem.

Keep coming back.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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if i were you i'd tell the boss i have issues. try and gain some sympathy while you sort yourself out.
but you've really got to sort yourself out!! it's a diffrent story if you're making yourself believe that you want the bosses sympathy so next time you walk in hungover 4 days late she won't fire you.
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