Need help talking to employer

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Need help talking to employer

Postby heatherandmaya » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:50 am

Hi all! I got a DUI two weeks ago and it was a huge wakeup call. I started attending AA a few days later. I had to get an interlock device on my car and will have a coworker in town next week, so there is no way to hide the issue from my employer. I've worked for them for a long time and the shame is making it difficult to bring up the topic. I know that I need to talk to them in advance but I'm not sure how. All the info online is related to hiring an employment attorney. Annoying! Does anyone have any tips how how to do this? What to say and not to say? It was suggested that I let them know about the DUI but not the AA meetings. Any advice?
Last edited by heatherandmaya on Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby PaigeB » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:18 am

"It was suggested that I let them know about the DUI but not the AA meetings." Sounds like a good start.

We don't usually give advice about outside issues like employment matters, and I am no expert.

What I can tell you from my experience is that Honesty, Open-mindedness & Willingness are essentials to recovery. Further, I have found that things I learn in my recovery help me in all my affairs. I try to add that a little faith on my part is also necessary, in that I don't need to know the exact outcomes of my principled actions ie, Honesty, Open-mindedness & Willingness, but I do need to be sober in order for there to be any Hope for me. Even if I were to have a principled conversation with my direct supervisor and a member of Human Resources and the result was that I was fired, I could walk with my head held high believing that I did the next right thing.

It will not necessarily be an easy conversation with the bosses or maybe even with the co-worker. But I like to think that when we are honest we open doors we did not even know were closed.

My sponsor would say, "Do the footwork. Say a prayer. Take action. And have a little faith."

Good luck. And have a Happy Day!

“Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.” From the Appendix on Spiritual Experience, Page 567 & 568 of the Big Book. ... traditions
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby positrac » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:41 am

You know the companies policies and expectations and from that is how you address your situation. You just need to seriously work on yourself and get sober and stay sober because this is a life and death game we play with addictions.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby chefchip » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:47 pm

Speaking as an employer (who is also an alcoholic, obviously)...

As an employer, my employees' lives are "outside issues" unless something in their lives directly impacts my business and their employment. Therefore my policy is to stay out of their personal stuff. Having said that, IF I suspect something is amiss and I ask a direct question, I expect a direct and honest answer. Nothing more, nothing less. Obviously, I don't know anyone else's employer, nor those employers' policies. Some consider any infraction of the law a dismissable offense. Others don't. When it is a reason for losing one's job, I'm not sure that hiding it is a good idea. Karma, I have learned over my decades on this earth, is an exacting b*(#ch. But otherwise, I'm not sure what the point of sharing would be, exactly.

Anyway, it is my belief that too much information is too much information. If I feel a need to share my struggles with another person I first talk it over with a trusted mentor to be sure that the need I feel is real, and not manufactured drama. Quite often, it is the latter. Usually I find that if there is no real need/requirement to share, then sharing isn't wise. If I do share I need to be sure that my motives are beyond reproach.

Not sure if that helps or not.
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby ODAAT » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:25 pm

If it is truly mandatory (by rule or because of circumstances) that you inform your employer, then be as honest as you can be, to your boss and to yourself. Things will probably work out OK.

If it is not truly mandatory to inform the firm, then it is prudent to evaluate what the consequences might be, before informing. This is a good issue to discuss with an AA sponsor.

When I decided to seek help and go into rehab, I felt it necessary to inform my employer (through a employee assistance program). The consequences for me were slightly negative career-wise. Though, getting and staying sober was TOTALLY POSITIVE.

Best wishes, heatherandmaya.
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby sideout » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:51 am

Hi, I am new here. Found this morning. For the 4th, I have no real plans so decided to spend some time on my disease.
I was planning to join but upon reading this post felt to reply so joined immediately.

Firstly, by no means am I giving advice. Just sharing my experience and of course every employer can be different in dealing with such a situation.

Sometime in mid-late May I felt I needed to confess to my boss that I am an alcoholic. I already trusted him, he is a good and caring man.
I have been with the company for 40 years. Starting in January what I worked on went away and I had to learn new things, Oracle.
At first, receiving small assignments, I was learning. But April/May started receiving more involved/difficult assignments. I was becoming overwhelmed,
had had minimal training and had to Google many things to learn how to accomplish them, and feeling a failure in my job. I started drinking more
(I knew long before already that I am an alcoholic). Got to the point instead of morning coffee it was a couple beers to get rid of the shakes and withdrawals (
I work from home). Then it was instead of starting drinking in the afternoon it was drinking all day and night. Hence, I admitted all the above to my boss.
He was understanding though he had to get HR involved. They also were understanding and will to work with me. The HR person set up a weekly Monday morning
call to see how things were going *ugh*. So that Sunday night I could not sleep at all, thinking Monday morning work AND I had to have the call with HR.
I couldn't deal with it. I called my boss Monday morning and told him I needed to check in for a Medical Detox, which I did Tuesday.

May boss applauded my decision and said I am making the right choice. To my surprise he told me he wife is an RN and works Medical Detox. So, that he is
more understanding of the disease than most people. So, I guess what I am trying to say is you might be surprised with the support and understanding you may
get, even from your employer.
Though I feel blessed with the amount of understanding I received from mine.

As I am new here... A little more about my situation...

I checked in for Medical Detox May 23rd and was released May 29th. This is not my first time. Did Medical Detox 6 years ago. Did not drink for 4 months.
After 4 months I said to myself... "Self, you are feeling pretty good." You can drink just tonight". HA!!! That was my last day of not drinking and it proceeded
to escalate to prior levels. When I checked in this last time I was pretty much to rock bottom affecting my health and sanity. I was drinking about a pint of scotch
and perhaps 12 beers a day. The first time I detoxed I was drinking almost a 5th of scotch a day, + beer but working my old job responsibilities which I could almost
do in my sleep.

Also, when I got out of detox I applied for my company short term disability and was approved for 6 weeks, full pay.
It has been very nice to have the time off after detox to better get started on my post detox recovery.
Again, I am truly blessed to have such an understanding and helpful employer. I start working again July 10th Yikes! LOL
(since that was what really triggered my REALLY excessive drinking, for this already alcoholic.
But I think I will be OK. Just do the best that I can, that is all I can do.

The first time out of detox I did no follow up work. That was a mistake. This time around I am doing an IOP 3 days a week, 3 hours per session. To date I have only
been attending one AA meeting a week that is held on Saturday at the place where I do my IOP. I have 42 days not drinking and starting to feel pretty good, mentally
and physically. I think the post detox work helps greatly in the mental aspect. I think I have found another AA location that a few of my IOP group members attend
that I will check out. They have daily meeting throughout the day and night. And it makes it easier for me already knowing some of the people there.

Anyway, sorry for my long winded post but I wanted to share my experience with my employer with heatherandmaya and then thought to introduce myself all in the same post.

Nice to find this site. Seems like a lot of good forums, discussion and other resources,

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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:13 pm

After 4 months I said to myself... "Self, you are feeling pretty good." You can drink just tonight". HA!!! That was my last day of not drinking and it proceeded
to escalate to prior levels. When I checked in this last time I was pretty much to rock bottom affecting my health and sanity.

Welcome to E-AA. The book talks about the "peculiar mental twist" alcoholics go through, thats what happened to you here. You may relate to Jim the car salesman or Fred the accountant story in More About Alcoholism. You will see how the mind tricked them into taking that first drink. We have no defense against the first drink. The defense comes from working the 12 steps of AA.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Need help talking to employer

Postby Brock » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:00 pm

Welcome Joe, lovely introduction and story about your very understanding employer, we wish they would all be like that.

I have no experience with IOP treatment, but am pleased you are also leaning towards AA meetings. Because it is there that hopefully the message outlining the program of action, or steps we take, will be discussed. Some meetings have more members who discuss this solution than others, it pains me to say, that some meetings are little more than people griping about the ups and downs of life.

Once these steps are done we live in the solution offered in steps 10, 11 & 12, living without any urge to drink whatever, and a byproduct of the steps being a peaceful serenity which grows with time. I like to mention that meetings at this stage are more optional than mandatory, because I myself was scared off at first, believing I would need to tie myself to several meetings a week for life. My routine now and that of most members I know, includes one or two meetings per week, which I attend to give back to newcomers some of what was given to me.

As avaneesh has pointed out, our literature goes to some length, to show the utter inability of the alcoholic to stay away from the first drink, without the spiritual experience the steps promote. I will put links to a few chapters from our main text, fondly called 'The Big Book,' in case you don't have a copy, you may also Google a pdf copy of the entire book. Many of us learned a lot and enjoyed listening to speakers, you might go to you tube and type AA followed by names like Chris R, or Sandy B, two very different but popular speakers, there are many others to choose from as well.

Let us know how you progress if you wish, these forums are enjoyable and educational for us all.

Three Chapters From The Big Book-

1.The Doctors Opinion. ... pinion.pdf

2.There Is A Solution.

3.More About Alcoholism.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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