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Colleague smelling of alcohol...what do I do ?

(14 Posts)
Broondug Wed 05-Feb-20 21:26:55

A woman in my team is having a terrible time in her personal life. She regularly comes in stinking of alcohol and I don’t know how to speak to her about it. Other people in the team have definitely noticed and we are all just brushing it under the carpet. I really respect her and we get on well both in and out of of work and I’m so worried she will land her self in serious bother. We have to drive as part of the role and she will definitely be other the limit. Any words of wisdom on how to speak to her?

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Thu 06-Feb-20 00:34:20

Next time you smell it on her you should alert someone in authority immediately so they can witness it.

From past experience of a colleague who had a team member who was often drunk, when you raise it at a later date with no evidence it won't go anywhere because no evidence, but will end up in a whole lot of trouble for you.

MorningNinja Thu 06-Feb-20 00:38:03

You don't speak to her about it, you discuss with your manager. You also call the police immediately if you know shes over the limit and driving. It's a complete no-brainer.

Taddda Thu 06-Feb-20 00:49:00

I'd approach her with a bit more empathy (You say you respect her OP, you get on well in and out of work, she's going through a tough time?)- then you speak to her as a concerned friend-
You do have to pull her asap though, obviously you and your team can't let her drive, it's been noticed already by multiple people- she needs to know this.

Be straight with her, your friends- speak to her out of concern then ask her straight up if she needs some help. Perhaps support her in a conversation with HR about taking some leave, or approaching a GP.

You sound supportive of her, she might just need you right now-

MummyOfBoyAndGirl Thu 06-Feb-20 01:19:53

Agree with @MorningNinja's post.

Please do not continue to ignore this. She could kill herself or someone else driving drunk

acatcalledjohn Thu 06-Feb-20 01:46:41

What @MorningNinja says. Whatever is going on in her personal life, it doesn't justify her putting the lives of innocent people at risk by operating a 2 tonne killing machine whilst under the influence of alcohol,

Ava90 Thu 06-Feb-20 01:55:18

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Monty27 Thu 06-Feb-20 01:58:22

OP you care about this person? If so I'd have a very strong private word with her before she fucks up her life any further
sad

acatcalledjohn Thu 06-Feb-20 02:00:05

@Ava90 You'd knowingly let someone get in a car whilst drunk and not report it? It's wrong to stop someone from potentially killing someone?

Drink driving is illegal: the colleague's "wants" are irrelevant.

Christ on a bike.

puds11 Thu 06-Feb-20 02:00:47

@Ava90 what? Even if she’s driving and putting other people’s lives at risk? What a moronic thing to say confused

acatcalledjohn Thu 06-Feb-20 02:20:03

Ah. @Ava is a troll.

Broondug Thu 06-Feb-20 07:19:40

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. She doesn’t appear to be steaming drunk. I would definitely have spoken to her before now. We are in Scotland so the drink drive limit is much much lower. I just dread being the person to add more problems in her life but I know it can’t go on. I would rather speak to her as a concerned colleague and friend first than go straight to management. I have no idea how HR and management would handle this and the thought of her losing her job just doesn’t bear thinking about.

OP’s posts: |
MorningNinja Thu 06-Feb-20 08:19:35

I'd be more inclined to focus on the face that she could kill someone rather than her job. As harsh as it sounds OP, you're now part of this and you have a responsibility to to do the right thing otherwise you may have a death on your conscience. Thats something I wouldn't do for anyone.

As for speaking to her, do you really think that would do any difference because I doubt it.

Taddda Thu 06-Feb-20 11:30:27

The thing is OP its inevitable she will loose her job if she continues to turn up to work smelling of alcohol- also, does she drive to work?
You are in the unfortunately position of having a responsibility to either approach her directly or HR (anonymously if it helps, or backed up by your team?). She will add to her own problems if this continues, the consequences of which might be dire- you will feel far worse having stood back if something disastrous happens.

I understand you dont want to add to her problems, but the problem is already out there and needs addressing urgently- also you need to change your thinking that you are doing this out of kindness and concern.

You obviously care for her as a colleague and as a friend, so please speak up - it's the right thing to do and might just send her on a path to getting well in her personal life.
Best of luck.

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