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#137184 - 06/07/03 04:49 AM Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
It is with great disdain that I write this topic, but I am at my wits end.
I have a workmate who regularly turns up to work with such a bad Hangover that he is slow to do simple tasks and is abusive towards me and the odd Inspector, should one of these materialise during a job.
I have suggested the guy get help from AA but I nearly got hit for even saying the A word.
I have had an Alcohol problem myself, in the past, and I know full well what the guy is going through.
But for Christ sakes, we cannot carry on like this!.
What should I do?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#137185 - 06/07/03 06:06 PM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Trumpy,
I occasionally work for an ex-alky GC who hires alky's in various stages of recovery.

The GC himself has been 'dry' a long time, has IMHO, saintly patience, puts up with what is usually a great deal of inefficy, and employes much 'tough love' in the process.

The thing is, it's so repetitive, on & off the wagon, DT's , hung over, dog ran away, etc....and to be at all productive at the same time??

Good luck is all i can say

~S

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#137186 - 06/08/03 05:29 AM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Tough situation, and not one I've been unfortunate to be in myself, although I've had one or two clients who are already half-cut by 10 a.m.

If it gets that bad, I guess all you can do is to give the guy fair warning: "Turn up in this state again and you're out."

Cruel to be kind.

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#137187 - 06/09/03 03:04 PM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
lyledunn Offline
Member

Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 159
Loc: N.Ireland
I agree with Paul. The guy is a danger to himself and others. He must go, but this must be done with a delicate touch. Afterall, there is a very fine line that divides us all from such a sorry state!
_________________________
regards

lyle dunn

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#137188 - 06/09/03 05:16 PM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Trumpy, that’s not an easy situation to deal with. In some cases safety and productivity are thought of as mutually exclusive, but when you’re assigned to work with someone that causes serious degradation to both, he is not the only one who is affected. In the US, with so such “deep pockets” litigation, your employer may have to deal with major repercussions for even minor misdeeds, if he is discovered working in an impaired state.

A hard decision to make is how much you discuss with him before you “elevate” the situation. {That is, take the problem to your managers.}

Some companies in this area have voluntary substance-abuse counseling programs… any chance your firm does? He will not likely be able to get through this without some specialized help.

Be careful—you don’t want to be blamed for his actions, or inactions in treating his problem.

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#137189 - 06/10/03 09:26 AM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Trumpy, are you ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that this guy is coming to work hung over?

Has he specifically said that he's going through a hangover or are you just assuming because of his behavior?

Sometimes you can see people who you think are drunk and they could be going through some sort of life-threatening attack.

It could also be that he didn't get enough sleep over the weekend because of some stressful family situation and is all groggy.

I hope I'm not coming across as a p___ but before you say or do anything, you better make sure that you are correct because then you wind up making an enemy of this person and with a three-egg omelett on your face.

You absolutely HAVE to play devil's advocate in such a situation.

It's kind of like that other post about the guy who STANK.

I once had some temporary help at work and the guy did smell very strange...sort of like hospital disinfectant.

I was going to say something to him (I did tell him about wearing a shirt with a hole and a stain in it) the next day but my significant other warned me that the smell could be the side-effect of some drug that the guy was taking and therefore not his fault.

Right now as I'm writing this, I'm feeling all groggy and "out there." I've been taking some decongestants and anti-histamines because my allergies kicked up over this past weekend and I also got a slight sunburn at the shore. If you saw me in my current state you'd think I was popping 'ludes all day.

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 06-10-2003).]

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#137190 - 06/10/03 11:19 PM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Guys,
Thanks for the input.
I have just had a good 1on1 chat with the guy concerned, at home here.
But, there are a few things that I SHOULD have mentioned in my original posting:
  • This guy is a 19 y/o aprentice who is half way through his 4 year apprenticeship.
  • The guy is great to work with when he is not hung-over, very capable and friendly.
  • Like the rest of us at work, he is stressed beyond belief!.

In our wee chat, I warned the guy that his future at work is looking very grim, if changes are'nt made.
The guy just sat there and then burst into tears, I can tell you, it was a not a moment I was enjoying, in the least!.
I also talked (in confidence) to his Father(the other day)and he said to give the kid one more chance and if he blew it, sack him!
I have no say in the hiring or firing at work(thank God!!).
The guy has agreed to seek help over his drinking problem(he admitted first off, that his drinking was getting out of hand)and I'm glad that we've had our little session, talking about it.
But, one thing that get's my goat is, and I would invite you guys to comment on is this:
  • All of us guys, as workers, are required to be SUPER-efficient and not feel any of the effects of stress, etc, that comes from working in a service industry, but when someone starts to burn-out or turns to the bottle to relieve the effects of this break-neck pace caused by overwork, etc.
    Who really cares at the end of the day, because I know for a fact, that if my Boss had have handled this above case, I would have had a new workmate to train up(from scratch).
    (throw that one out, get the next one, no time for losers mentality!!).

We've lost a few people to Burn-out!, too.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#137191 - 06/11/03 02:24 AM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
(he admitted first off, that his drinking was getting out of hand)

Don't the AA folk always say that admitting you have a problem is the biggest hurdle to overcome?

Maybe your chat has shaken him up enough to get him to pull himself together. Let's hope so.

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#137192 - 06/14/03 10:39 PM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
It was not a good senario really.
To have an apprentice that had an Alcohol problem, was one thing, but to try and address it, was another.
I decided that things could'nt go on like they were.
Just taking the guy aside and saying "Hey, I'm a bit concerned about you", worked wonders.
Like I said, I have been through this all before myself, a drinking problem is VERY hard to kick, it's like you hide behind the bottle, from REAL life, until the next morning, when reality hits!.
I had a drinking problem for something like 5 years, when I was doing my Lineys Apprenticeship, and to be told to clean my act up, didn't go down too well.
Don't get me wrong, I still have the odd beer these days, but, I know how to keep my drinking under control!.
Just one failed marriage can do wonders for the Male psyche.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#137193 - 06/15/03 03:45 AM Re: Workmate w/ Drinking Problem
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
"Good on ya, mate" for kicking it. I'm fortunate that I've never had an alcohol problem myself. I take an odd drink from time to time, but it doesn't bother me if I go without, and on a warm summer's day I'd just as soon have a big glass of orange juice or a soda.

Never have liked beer much -- Just an occasional glass of wine with a meal, or sometimes a nice warming shot of Southern Comfort!

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