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O.T. Management question

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Old 08-18-2002, 11:39 AM
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Default O.T. Management question

Ok, who here is in management.
I am not talking corporate America type when you have no one working for you.
I mean management that does the work on the production floors.
I am in the printing industry book binding. I have been Supervisor now for a little over 3 years with over 13 years at the company.
In the last 2 weeks I have truly done the worse part of my job possible. No its not firing someone, no its not writing someone up for performance issues. Its not even sending someone home for the night. Been there done all that.
I am talkign about calling one of your employees, someone that has worked there 12 years- it was his 12 year aniversiery last night
A truly great operator of the machine he runs.
I had to call him on a reasonable suspicion for being under the influence. At the start of shift I smelt what I thought to be alcohol.
$5 minutes later I spoke with him about job instructions and once agian teh same unpleasant smell.
I brought him into the office. Told him that i have reason to beleive he is impaired to work. I mentioned he going to be randomly selected for screen testing. He went OFF on me. Saying how he has not touched a drink in 6+months, etc,etc.
Calling me names, saying how other people on the floor don't like me and so on. I knew he was saying things out of spit because he was the one in the hotseat. But it still ticked me off.
Well needless to say, he tested high on bac scale
Then he had the second test come back non negative. Meaning further testing
This took 5 hours out of my work night. Put alot of under stress on many people, including myself. Kept machines down from production. And just over all ruined my night.

BTW, did I mention that I had to do the same thing last week with a general helper. He blew 2 times the legal limit 4 hours AFTER starting work!!!!!

And We are to tell ourselves we LOVE our job NOT in these cases.

So my question is, How many other people have gone through this??
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Old 08-18-2002, 11:50 AM
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They know the rules, everybody must be treated equally in the company. You ARE doing your job - even though it may not be pleasant all the time. Everybody is human and can "make a mistake" but thats what the procedures in the policies are for. You need to concider the safety point. If he is operating machinery and if something bad happends under the influence, everybody loses there! The employee, the company and especially you the manager. It is not easy thats for sure. Try a sexual harrassment issue! That's terrible too.
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:32 PM
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You did the right thing Hugh. It's something you HAD to do. If he had gotten hurt because of his impared ability it would have reflected on you. From what you said it sounds like this guy needs help. He sounds like he's in denial, going off on you like that and saying he's not had a drink in 6 months. Classic denial. I grew up with alcoholism in my house and thank God it didn't ruin our family. Call it tough love or strict management. But whatever you call it you are just trying to help by doing your job. You may have saved his life in the long run, not just his job or fingers (I worked in a book bindry as a summer job in college and there are a LOT of machines that will simply nip a finger or two off without even slowing down the machine!!!).

You did the right thing.

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Old 08-18-2002, 12:46 PM
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Yes you did the right thing, and look at it this way, you might have been the first step in getting this person back on track.
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Old 08-18-2002, 12:47 PM
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I'm agreeing with Waterfoul!
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:03 PM
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Default If it was easy, we'd probably be doing something else...

Actually, you didn't "randomly" select him, you elected to test him based on reasonable suspicion, which is fine.

It may not be the law, but our company has a policy that if an employee approaches the company with a substance abuse issue and asks for help, we will provide it. In the past, I've called employees in who were under suspicion and read them the pollicy over and over until the got the hint and asked for help. If he refuses help and continues, he won't be giving you any choice in the matter. On the other hand, if you can use your long-term relationship with him to convince him to get help / let you help, then he gives you (and your company) a way out. At this point, the ball is in his court.

On the other hand, I've had cases where employees failed true random tests for controlled substances. (We have an outside firm who does the random selection of both the date and the employee(s) for testing.) They were given an opportunity to re-test, and when they declined, they were gone within minutes of the test results. Our policy was explained to them up-front before they were hired, and they signed a form acknowledging that they had recieved, understood, and agreed to a copy of our policies when they signed on. That's the other part of this - document, document, document.
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:52 PM
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You did the right thing, for him, for the company, for you.

Last night I had a similar issue. Mom and Dad brought in their 6 year old with a forehead laceration along with their 5 year old girl to the ER. The mom and dad both smelt strongly of alcohol and I have a bad nose, and after suturing her forehead I felt uncomfortable discharging them and letting them drive the children home for the children's safety. I called the local police and they came to the ER and talked to the parents who admitted to drinking and he asked if someone would come and pick them all up and drive them home. The grandmother came and picked the family up and drove everyone home safely. No one was hurt, ticketed, reported, no CYS. Everyone was happy and appreciative in the end.

When you do the right thing, You are not wrong.
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Old 08-18-2002, 07:34 PM
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Thanks guys.
Troutly, you need to patrol Maple Gorve and Osseo area. Sometimes real bad
Not like other areas cannot and are not either.

I know I did the right thing. I have told people in meetings to not put me in the spot like this. He has had a problem for a long time. Just last night was the night I had all the prof needed.
I feel sorry for his kids and all. But then agian, I did not buy him the drinks

I love my job, both the good nad the bad. But sometimes things just really friggin suck. You all know what i mean.

Tonight, Sunday, was supposed to be my last night before vacation. Now I have to have meetings mon and tue
Hopefully be able to get out of town by Wed or at best thur
Been a stressfull weekend.

NEED A VACATION
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Old 08-18-2002, 07:40 PM
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Unhappy I've learned to live with it...

...but it's not easy, especially when it's someone you like/trust/want to keep. I've learned to stand back from it (psychologically speaking) when they don't give me a choice. Still, those times are not as bad as having to fire a friend. Hope you didn't have to let him go - it's not clear in your message. Every now and then you can turn these things into "wake-up calls" that result in happy endings. Other times, you just can't change the spots on a dog.....
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Old 08-19-2002, 01:25 AM
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You did EXACTLY what you are suppose to do..enforce the rules of the company and protect the employees (all of them). It isn't a popularity contest and feelings may be hurt but in the end you did what had to be done and what was the right thing to do.
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