12/18/08 BB To Employers pp 144-146 (be prepared)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

12/18/08 BB To Employers pp 144-146 (be prepared)

Postby Karl R » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:56 am

Good Day,

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.

The previous reading gave us a plan of action for the employer working with an employee who is an alcoholic.

Today's reading (below in red) gives us some specific warnings for the employer after the employee returns to work. It warns against gossip. It warns the employer that the employee may reveal things in this 9th step that will be difficult. It warns against the alcohlolic from working too hard to make up for the past. And, perhaps most important, it warns against gossip and rivalry in the workplace. I was blessed in recovery and working the steps to have a boss who shared an office with a recovered alcoholic in a former job. My intuitive boss was prepared by this AA in his past for all of the above things happening during my own recovery. An example of an AA passing along information about the program to a nonalcoholic which had good consequences later on in life.

Anyone with ES and H as employer or employee about things to be prepared for in the workplace in relation to an alcoholic's recovery?

On your employee's return, talk with him. Ask him if he thinks he has the answer. If he feels free to discuss his problems with you, if he knows you understand and will not be upset by anything he wishes to say, he will probably be off to a fast start.
In this connection, can you remain undisturbed if the man proceeds to tell you shocking things? He may, for example, reveal that he has padded his expense account or that he has planned to take your best customers away from you. In fact, he may say almost anything if he has accepted our solution which, as you know, demands rigorous honesty. Can you charge this off as you would a bad account and start fresh with him? If he owes you money you may wish to make terms.
If he speaks of his home situation, you can undoubtedly make helpful suggestions. Can he talk frankly with you so long as he does not bear business tales or criticize his associates? With this kind of employee such an attitude will command undying loyalty.
The greatest enemies of us alcoholics are resentment, jealousy, envy, frustration, and fear. Wherever men are gathered together in business there will be rivalries and, arising out of these, a certain amount of office politics. Sometimes we alcoholics have an idea that people are trying to pull us down. Often this is not so at all. But sometimes our drinking will be used politically.
One instance comes to mind in which a malicious individual was always making friendly little jokes about an alcoholic's drinking exploits. In this way he was slyly carrying tales. In another case, an alcoholic was sent to a hospital for treatment. Only a few knew of it at first but, within a short time, it was billboarded throughout the entire company. Naturally this sort of thing decreased the man's chance of recovery. The employer can many times protect the victim from this kind of talk. The employer cannot play favorites, but he can always defend a man from needless provocation and unfair criticism.
As a class, alcoholics are energetic people. They work hard and they play hard. Your man should be on his mettle to make good. Being somewhat weakened, and faced with physical and mental readjustment to a life which knows no alcohol, he may overdo. You may have to curb his desire to work sixteen hours a day. You may need to encourage him to play once in a while. He may wish to do a lot for other alcoholics and something of the sort may come up during business hours. A reasonable amount of latitude will be helpful. This work is necessary to maintain his sobriety.
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Re: 12/18/08 BB To Employers pp 144-146 (be prepared)

Postby leejosepho » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:40 am

...if he knows you understand and will not be upset by anything he wishes to say, he will probably be off to a fast start.

...can you remain undisturbed if the man proceeds to tell you shocking things?

I was working as an industrial mechanic when I first got sober, and my supervisor was quite accustomed to hearing the details of brokenness. He was a bit surprised when I told him some of the details of my past intoxication there at work, but the bottom line for him was always found on the day's list of injury reports, if any, and whether all the machinery was running. So, it was great to be able to talk openly with him so he could then pass his own reports along that everything and everyone in his department was currently under control.
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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