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Co-worker drinking on the job?
I work at a neighborhood grocery store and I've been there around a year now. There's a cashier by the name of Eric. You see, Eric has the smell of alcohol on his breath almost all of the time he's at work. I would normally just bite my tongue and ignore the indiscretion, but the problem is he is a very mean person when intoxicated. The guy keeps a cantine filled with grey goose vodka under the checkstand. And when he feels that passively sipping down booze in public becomes noticeable, he'll begin taking abnormally long bathroom breaks. Upon returning he will just descend into furthered drunken rage. He will randomly yell at other workers, make snarky comments directed at customers and just overall I think he is a complete and utter nightmare to work with.

Taking my concerns to management, I feel is out of the question. Eric has 15 years tenure at my store and the supervisors are wrapped around his finger. We are a unionized workplace, so could they be of any help? Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Are you the only person that knows that Eric is a lush? If several of you approached management and voiced concern about Eric's drinking and behavior perhaps they would give him some help with rehab. You do not want to say he needs to be fired just that he needs help. Your complaint is based on concern for Eric and the stores customers. Be diplomatic!

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Andrew S
I'd go to your Union head and speak with them about speaking to the management on your behalf.

Not only is "Eric" making the work environment difficult and uncomfortable for you, he's also making it just as bad for the customers that shop at your store. And as a cashier, he's very much a front facing employee to the public.

Also, consult your employee guidelines. Consuming alcohol on premises or during work hours is likely a rule and 15 years or not, you can't break rules.

If you're worried that "Eric" might lose his job, then suggest the company putting him into a detox program. Most companies with unionized labor also have a comprehensive health program, which would include detox and mental health coverage.

You're concerns are not unfounded and you shouldn't have to work with someone who is clearly putting you, the customers and themselves in a dangerous position.

I wish you luck on helping "Eric" and find resolution.

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Go to your Union Steward and talk to him about your discomfort and any resolution to the situation. . But be aware, the Union's job is to protect ALL the workers, not just you. After 15 years, it seems that Eric's problem is an open secret, however the Union is not going to throw Eric under the bus just to make you feel better, especially since he has seniority. Your last, best option may just be to work elsewhere.

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