Half A Chance?

For recovery discussion
hazel4

Half A Chance?

Post by hazel4 »

My gardener of seven years is talking of retirement. A mixed blessing, since I have relied on him through a fair amount of adversity, but really do not see him as a friend, only a gardener. We differ on that point!

I interviewed two young men today around the same age as my son – 38-40

Bear with me…one man is just starting up in business. He knows nothing about plants, but will come – or not – any time I advise. He is ‘into’ teaching difficult children swimming. Loves gardening. However, he was honest enough to confess that he is what he calls “a battling alcoholic” whose wife is “going through hell”. Yes he knows about AA.

The other has the same love of gardening, does not drink, but left his family only four months ago. He makes no promises, but will fit me in!

I actually like both of these ‘boys’ equally.

My problem – Step 4 – is that, without thinking, I am inclined to reject the alcoholic

Feed back? Advice?

Peace
Hazel
Last edited by hazel4 on Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Toad
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:09 am

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Toad »

Hi,
Try and find the book "As Bill See's It " . page 144 may give you a clue.
Good Luck.
Wayne

hazel4

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by hazel4 »

Wayne
As with 'our' buddy (my mentor), Jim, you always come up with a thought provoking 'koan'....without a specific instruction !
Yes, found "Blind Trust". Will sleep on it.
I guess, also, I should remember a particular employer who gave me a chance that earned my loyalty far beyond my contractural obligations. Had forgotten that...
Thanks a mill.
Peace
Hazel

joey
Forums Contributor
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:35 am
Location: India

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by joey »

It's a personal decision really.

Had I been in your shoes, I too would be inclined to reject the alcoholic. I think it is basic human nature to be a little skeptical .
Joey

User avatar
Ken_the_Geordie
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1184
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:53 am
Location: UK (South Wales), but I'm a Geordie!

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Ken_the_Geordie »

I'm a self-employed tradesman, once an active alcoholic and now a sober one. My customers liked me when I was drinking and they still like me sober; I would have been hung-over and not well (I almost never drank while working thankfully); and I usually did a passable job at the very least.

So alcoholics can and do function; I'm sure many of us were active drinkers and still gained promotions at work; we're good at hiding that part of our lives, till it gets to the point where we can't function or hide it.

But, to Hazle's problem, she has the option of going with a sober 'normal' guy who'll 'fit her in' when he can, this means she'll be a 'B List Customer' (I have them also), or she can go with the alkie and be on his 'A List'.

I think Hazle could be better off on the alky's A List, rather than someone's B List. B List customers are only done when all your A List customers are done, and you don't have to give 'B Listers' any special treatment, or go any further than the minimum requirement, since if you lose them it doesn't matter.
I'm more commonly known as Tosh (it's a nick name, but everyone I know in real life calls me it); just in case there's any confusion; I tend to use Tosh or Ken interchangeably and it confuses some; including me. ;-)

hazel4

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by hazel4 »

Thank you Joey and Ken

I had not thought of A & B list customers, but you have a point Ken
Having slept on the matter, it still remains unsolved, although I am more inclined - with hindsight - to give the alkie a chance.
Perhaps a month's trial for each man - two visits - to judge their attitudes more than their ability. I need to trust and that has to be earned.

The alkie does not know that I am, albeit a dry one, but I liked his honest volunteering of his situation...I never would have when applying for a job ! We shall see.

Peace
Hazel

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Lali »

I would give the alkie a chance. We're not talking about hiring a brain surgeon, just a gardener. If he screws up or doesn't show up, what is the worst that could happen? The other guy might just as well not show up due to being so busy. Also, the fact that he was honest says alot about his character.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

Joe H
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Joe H »

Just my two cents...but I would reject both of them. I think there is a big difference in hiring a capable employee and social project. Both of these potential gardeners seem to have a very hard time accepting responsibibility in their private lives, why would I expect them now to treat me any different than their families?

I do not see myself as the great savior of the world's troubled. I just do not have the power to fix other's lives. I would suggest to one that they go to a marriage couselor and the other to AA, if they want help. Then I would keep seeking some one capable of taking care of my garden, their purpose for being in my life.

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Lali »

I re-thought my answer after I re-read your original post and Joe K's post. The alkie described himself as a battling alcoholic. Does this mean he is not in any kind of recovery program? You might want to interview a few more guys.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

hazel4

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by hazel4 »

Thank you all.

I think that I really was clutching at straws: labour is at a premium here and anyone between 8 & 80, still upright, can find outside work.

It varies within counties, but the average hourly rate for garden work here is around £18-£20 (£26.50 - $29.00+) and some considerably higher. These were charging $22. It makes a difference at five - six hours a month.

I have since phoned them with all the support from this Forum in mind. No, the alcoholic is not in a programme, but gave no details. The other chap admitted he is over-booked, but needs as much as possible to live on, pay rent, a large mortgage, plus children etc. I would be fitted in as last on his list.

Both assure me that they would not let me down, but then I would say the same. If the alkie comes back I may suggest he reads the B.Bk and eases back from his "battling", but that will mean losing my own anonymity.

I really appreciate the diverse thoughts on this, but will now advertise. I guess we can drop the topic here, but I needed the sense of peaceful 'handing over' to my HP which has always worked through people.

Peace and gratitude
Hazel

Mike O
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:55 am
Location: UK

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Mike O »

Whether he's an alkie or not is not really of importance, IMO, if he does the job well.

Get some references from previous customers for both applicants.

User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3701
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Karl R »

yep...

you're not hiring an alcoholic/nonalcoholic; family man/not a family man; you're hiring a gardener.

Assess the ability to do harm or the ability to do good in your garden as a gardener.

K.

Steven F
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Estonia

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Steven F »

If I were looking for a gardener, I would look for someone who knows how to do that particular job in the first place. Someone who doesn't know anything about plants might not be a great candidate for that - unless of course you can give very specific instructions (but then you should be paid more :-)).

But Hazel...
hazel4 wrote:If the alkie comes back I may suggest he reads the B.Bk and eases back from his "battling", but that will mean losing my own anonymity.
How will you ever be able to help a suffering alcoholic if you are worried about that? And what about your own sponsor - who would have helped you if they would have been worried about giving up their anonymity? And should your sponsor be sorry that she did?

If I were in your shoes (which I am not, of course), I would invite the guy back, talk to him as described in the chapter "working with others", and see where he wants to go from there. Ask a male member of your home group to join you on that 12th-step call, if it makes you more comfortable. You have a unique chance here to help another fellow - by his own admission suffering - alcoholic. Personally, I would jump at that and grab it with both hands. Or do you really think it is just a coincidence that you happen to meet a bloke who just happens to tell you he is struggling with his alcohol addiction, and that he knows of AA but obviously not about AA?

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by Lali »

Hazel need not feel responsible for this young man. He said he knows about AA, so he can easily find that in the phone book. Until we reach 12th step ourselves, we should leave 12 step work to others.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

hazel4

Re: Half A Chance?

Post by hazel4 »

Will re-think all posts.
I am told that there are no co-incidences.
Why I bother others with my inadequacies I am not certain, but invariably I am grateful for the E S & H in this forum.

Neither men are 'real' gardeners, but, for me, the employee/employer chemistry is more important. I have only a tiny, 'tamed wilderness' and just need someone to follow instructions, but need that someone to take on board that it is only my minor disability that creates physical weakness!! I do not tolerate being patronised..Spammer in the younger male generation...or over-protected..Spammer in the elder.

When I allowed a female 'outsider' to know that I was in AA, it took very little time to go around the village like a flash-fire and took far, far longer for me to overcome their 'curiosity'.

Will consider all options, but certainly will re-advertise.

Peace
Hazel

Post Reply