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Old 01-28-2010, 06:45 AM
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Need_co-worker_advise

I have mentioned before that I have a very active alcoholic co-worker and I've taken your advise in the past not to confront him about his out of control drinking. He knows I am in recovery and he knows where I am.

Well he is progressing at lightning speed. His days off have extended to two days plus per week every week. He can't balance his body anymore because of the shakes and tremors. I have discussed this confidentially with my Director, who is a very nice understanding man; however I was surprised to hear that he is not going to consider terminating his employment, because he is really worried it might push the guy over the edge and he'll die even sooner. He said he had all the usual talks with him and he denying that he even has a drinking problem (surprise, surprise).

Now, my question is: Is my director right in letting him continue without any consequences, is he enabling him to carry on drinking. I'm so confused over this. Of course I feel the most sympathy for him, because I've been there and I want to help, but I think ........well actually I don't know what to think.
Your input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:57 AM
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Does your place of employment have an EAP?

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Old 01-28-2010, 07:35 AM
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Hi Mark,
I was just about to write 'I don't think so' and my director walked in, so I asked him.
Apparently we do, we also have good insurance that covers treatment, counselling, etc.
He said even though he is in denial, he did suggest out patient treatment to him, his reaction was 'I can't get there'. Thankfully he doesn't have a car, which in this case is a very good thing, but it also gives him that excuse.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:41 AM
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Hi Saphie

If your director agrees that his alcoholism is a problem and is affecting his job and the workplace... He can always refer him to EAP.

I sort of started this recovery because of a workplace issue. It can be very effective. And if he is referred, then he'll be in treatment and the worry about pushing him over the edge... Well, he'll have a place to land!!

Good luck... It must be hard to watch someone suffer like that.

Mark
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:49 AM
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Wow, you must work someplace fantastic if the director has extra money to waste on an impaired employee who is probably pulling very little weight.

I think the general wisdom is that not letting him face his own consequences only prolongs the problem.

I like the EAP idea. If I were the director I would tell the man "get into treatment and show me results or you're gone."

-Goat
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:10 AM
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Wow, you must work someplace fantastic if the director has extra money to waste
Yeah right. We are down to maybe 12 people tops and haven't had a payrise in 2 years.
This is where I'm pulled into every direction. It's soooo hard to see someone go down that fast,
but yes from a business point of view it's almost ridiculous in this economy.

Mark,
can he force him to enter EAP? What if he refuses?
Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:31 AM
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I think what Goat said applies... Get recovered or you are fired. I don't know if it can be that cut and dry... but maybe? Certainly if his alcoholism is affecting performance and it can be documented.... seems to me that is what EAP is for!!

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:58 AM
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Enabling or not, I think you're lucky to work for such a compassionate human being. Where is the co-worker's family in this? Does he have any?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:13 AM
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Sometimes theres nothing more to do other than take a step back and let they chips fall..
I would make sure the guy has every bit of imformation you can give him.
i.e.. aa helpline number...alcohol support agencys.

otherwise it moves from compasion to something im trying to control.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:36 AM
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He has 3 ex wives and a teenage son two hours away from here.
That's it. Oh and his little dog. That's it, no other family. I don't know about friends.

Like I said he knows about my recovery. I have never mentioned anything about his drinking, so I can't really offer any help or information. I did ask this actually before and was told to leave well alone unless he asks for help.

I was just wondering what would be my director's best way of handling this for my co-worker. I know my boss will consider my input and I can be of help that way.

I don't want to sit back and wait for the inevitable. I've seen alcohol kill too many people. How can I help without interfering?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:47 AM
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Hi Saphie,

He could well be expecting that he loses his job. Maybe he thinks it would be good because he could drink himself to oblivion without having to worry about the alarm clock.

Insane, I know......... but he is an alcoholic.

I understand you need to be practical and you want to help. Certainly the Director should be talking to him about his performance and health and offering full support of the company if he needs it.....but really other than that, as an alcoholic you have to put your recovery first.
take care.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:58 AM
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He could well be expecting that he loses his job. Maybe he thinks it would be good because he could drink himself to oblivion without having to worry about the alarm clock.
Spot on Intention. He's already said he couldn't care less if they laid him off. We used to have a lot more employees, but over the past two years more than half were laid off. I even took voluntary lay off for four months last year to help them. Unfortunately that is when my drinking became out of control once again. I'm sure he wouldn't be a exception.

Certainly the Director should be talking to him about his performance and health and offering full support of the company if he needs it
Has been done again and again. He denies having a problem, despite the obvious.

The owners sister is an addiction therapist, she works with the hospitals and independently and she helped me a great deal before.
I suggested getting her advise. I hope that is what my boss will do.

Thanks again to all of you. I'll keep you informed if there is a change. Hopefully a positive one.
Marion
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:07 PM
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Hi Marion

The addiction therapist sounds like a great plan for advice. Perhaps she can help him (Director) see if he is enabling out of guilt or worry over what could happen if he let him go.

You have done all you can.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:14 PM
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Saphie... I think you have helped as much and as appropriately as you can. Get the Director educated about alcoholism... after that, what he does is his call. I think it's a great thing to be concerned for your co-worker. However, don't let that concern harm you and your own recovery, like intention said.

The wheels will turn slowly or quickly, it's up to the company.

Oh, maybe, if you are really so inclined, have the director read the chapter from the Big Book... To the Employer... good stuff there. You can get to it online and print it out for him.

Mark
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:41 PM
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To the Employer... good stuff there. You can get to it online and print it out for him.
That sounds like a real good idea. Would you mind pointing this alcoholic to the right website?
Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:38 PM
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My thought is that you can't make your co-worker change and you can't control your boss's response to it. I know that it bothers you, but you really have to let it go. You need to keep focused on your recovery and not let this get in the way.

What is going to happen will happen. If it is affecting your ability to get your job done, you must report this, but not from an alcoholism perspective, but rather from a "the work isn't getting done because employee-name isn't here or isn't delivering". Your boss is enabling, but that is his right - if he wants to spend the money.

Just my thought.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:44 PM
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Here you go Marion:

AA History -- The Original 1938 Multilith AA Manuscript

Maybe that will help your director.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:50 PM
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"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."

Repeat

Repeat

Repeat
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:01 PM
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This is a complicated situation. I had a co-worker who reeked of alcohol when she spoke with customers & a few people commented on it - so our boss was within his rights to say something to her. She denied having a problem & claimed the smell was from the night before. She was never inchoherent, but had blood red eyes and slurred at times. (We could never figure out where she kept her stash, but knew she must have one.)

My boss was afraid of the ADA - since alcholism is considered a disability & alcholics can't be discriminated against. Surely if they're missing time, not performing, & not pulling their weight, there's a way to get them to seek help. It does sound like this person is almost hoping to be let go. What a dilemma.

It's good of you to care, and he's lucky to have someone who's been there, who could really help. It's a shame he doesn't take advantage of it. Please do let us know what happens.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:01 AM
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"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."
I do love the serenity prayer. It makes so much sense.
How could I have forgotten so quickly? I guess I got wrapped up in trying to help, when really I should have the wisdom by now that I can't change this one. Thanks Humblebee for reminding me.
PS:
I still print out the manuscript from the BB though and hand it to my boss
At least I know I've done everything I could.

Hevyn, what you described is him to a T. He also makes phone calls to customers in the evenings (and the rest of us) and can't remember the next day.
I will let you know if there is a development.

Thanks to All.
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