A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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  1. #1
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    Army

    Default Major Dilemma, Need Serious Advice.

    I have a cousin that has put me in a tough situation. At a young age, her mother started just randomly acting like a nut. As a result, my cousin decided she was going to go to school to study psychology to find out why she is the way she is.

    When she went to school, she became a very big drinker. After she got her Master's, it was apparent she was a hardcore alcoholic. How she accomplished what she did academically, while drinking in just about every second of free time she had, is beyond me.

    I used to be a heavy drinker, but she is on a new level. For 15+ years, she will get drunk with breakfast most days. She gets so sick sometimes, that she will smoke absurd amounts of weed to ease the nausea. In other words, it is fairly obvious she has a pretty bad substance abuse problem.

    Here is where my dilemma comes in. Today, she was on facebook bragging about this great new job she started this week, and how much she loves it. A friend of hers asked where she worked now, and she said the City of Norfolk hired her as a substance abuse counselor for the city. WTF??????

    The reason I am in such a tough spot, is because I have always been taught that you never screw family. I have even taught my kids this. On the other hand, I feel like I owe it to her patients and the City of Norfolk to let her employers know about her issues, because she is definitely not someone who should hold that position, and I can't believe she would even take it. It's not right, and I don't see how she can possibly counsel anyone on substance abuse, when she can't kick her own addictions and refuses help.

    To me, this would be like a preacher being a serial killer. Or a judge being a drug dealer. Or a woman teaching driving courses I just need some advice on whether I should just look the other way since she is family, and losing this job could literally put her on the street, or if I should place an anonymous call. It's a bad position to be in, and I really don't know what to do.
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  2. #2
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    St. Mary's

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    Private message her asking if she is still addicted and if she thinks she can give advice on how to quit. Make sure it's Private message in case she is as naive as the birth mother of our current foster kid's bio mom who talks about needing a blunt or committing suicide or....on her facebook posts about going through the courts to get her kid back. People and their privacy settings...(BTW if her privacy settings aren't right and she is in that job, she needs a warning).

    Here's the hard part. I don't know what the city regs. are for dealing with addict employees, but in the Fed they would try to get her the help needed to beat the adddiction. Look into city regulations for how they deal with employees' addictions. It may not be as harsh as you think with the auto firing. It may ease your concious on the anonymous call/email from freshly made account just for sending anonymous emails (I think everyone should make one of these).

    Regardless, before you send the email, try to know what the likely outcomes will be for her and for Norfolk.

    good luck.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    That's good advice, and I didn't even think that they might get her help that she needs. If they have policies in place like that, which I will definitely check out, it would be good to let them know and I wouldn't have her losing her job weighing on my mind.

    On a side note, I am 100% certain she is still addicted. Last time I actually spent time with her was about 2 weeks ago, and she was just as sloppy drunk as she always is. She likes to write it off and say, "I'm Italian, we all drink." Funny, because we are related, and a lot of us don't drink at all. I really think she's ignorant to the fact that she has a problem.
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  4. #4
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    St. Mary's

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    Good luck.

    In the Fed, an employee isn't fired for being an addict. They will even find and in some cases fund rehab programs. Addiction is treated as a medical condition/disease. The key is finding out whether the state/city has similar rules. If it is treated as a medical condition, the treatment of the condition may be legally required to be treated differently from just being irresponcible.
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  5. #5

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    Default

    Is there no probationary period for government employees?

    If she just started this week, having that problem with that job, she would be helped and not fired?
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  6. #6

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Is there no probationary period for government employees?

    If she just started this week, having that problem with that job, she would be helped and not fired?
    I've never heard of any municipality not pre-screening prior to hearing a person. Hell' ya gotta pass a piss test to flip burgers ay burger king these days.
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  7. #7
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    St. Mary's

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    helped not fired during probation period:
    Depends on the union and whether the government treats addiction as a medical condition rather than a conduct issue. When I say depends on the union, I think the fed looks at addiciton as a medical issue as the result of some haggling with the union (and quite possibly a law suit or ten).

    For the Fed, we have to treat conduct issues differently from medical or production issues.
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  8. #8
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    Army

    Default

    I just couldn't bring myself to rat her out, so what I did instead was talk to her about it. She agreed to go straight to her HR officer and discuss her options with her on the matter. Instead of firing her, they are suspending her until she completes a substance abuse program that includes 90 days of rehab. When she completes the program and is certified to return to work, she will be given her same title and pay back. My Aunt has thanked me profusely over the whole matter, because she has been trying to get her to go to rehab for years. So in the end, I was glad I could figure out how to get her help without her losing her job, or going behind her back to do it. It all worked out for the best I'd say, especially since she has to foot the bill for it all herself (not that it's an issue since her and my Aunt are loaded), so taxpayers aren't being left with the tab.

    My cousin herself was a little pissed off at first when I called her about it, but now that it's had a few days to sink in, she's grateful, because in her words, she has lost a grip on her life and didn't know how to stop the downward spiral. It worked out for everyone involved in the end. Hopefully she can stay sober.
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    It's ok, I don't like you either.

  9. #9

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    Default

    I'm smiling on an otherwise unsmileable day. REALLY glad it worked out so well, Ex.
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    HTTR

  10. #10
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    Army Marshall

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    Awesome to read the conclusion to this, buddy. Congrats on not only getting the desired result, but handling things the right way. You should be immensely proud, and I wish your cousin the very best.

    Oh and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Extreme
    Or a woman teaching driving courses
    I LMMFAO'd.
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  11. #11
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    Army

    Default

    I was wondering if anyone would catch that woman driver remark lol. Thank you everybody. it just goes to show, no matter how bad a situation might seem, the right answer is hidden in there somewhere.
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    It's ok, I don't like you either.

  12. #12
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    St. Mary's

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    Congratulations. That result is optimal as in the end it was her going to HR herself. Often those decisions we reach by ourselves are the ones most likely to stick, and with any addiction, anything to help make the solution more likely to stick is important.
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