This Employee Straightened Up and Taught Me Something



Yesterday I ran into an employee whom I had seen for an assessment several years ago. I knew that he had been doing all right as he had called me a few times wanting to clarify some things I had recommended but I had not seen him face to face for almost 2 years though. At the time of the assessment he was in a mess, taking cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis regularly and working in a safety sensitive job. His employer was seeing signs of something but they were not sure what. They figured it out that it may be substance abuse related and they asked me to see him. I saw him and it was a protracted and complicated case which was drawn out and was many months before the guy returned to work. He was in bad shape but really did not see this at all at the time. He was in denial badly. I knew that there was a well- functioning adult in there somewhere or at least I was hoping. He also had a young wife who was expecting.

Well, eventually he finally satisfied me that he was doing ok and went back to work. He had some things to work through but eventually he thanked me. I told him he should thank his company for putting in checks and balances in their policy and making him accountable for his behavior. That is what helped him and he just made a choice to do something different and work at his decision.

So when I saw him at the gas station yesterday I saw that he had a nice car and he was cleaned up very well. He seemed happy. I asked him if he had been naughty or nice because there is only 7 weeks left till Christmas. He told me that he was being nice and his daughter was now two years old. I was very pleased with this for several reasons.

First, glad to see a guy straighten up and fly right instead of making a mess of his life. One addict affects many others so they are not being affected right now.

The other reason is that I get people who have problems but they cannot see it. They eventually get fired or reprimanded and sometimes they blame their behavior on me which is typical of someone who is trying not to look at theirs. Sometimes these cases bother me emotionally as I don’t’ like being the bad guy whom people are mad at because of what they do. I become the fall guy. Yesterday after I saw the cleaned up employee I decided that it was all worth it. His wife will have a marriage with an adult not a child. They will have material things. The child will be brought up in a sane atmosphere without fear. This was all possible because his employer recognized that safety was number one and they made him accountable for his own behaviour.

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