By Karen Cleveland

An acquaintance of mine divulged a gaffe that I couldn’t help but share (anonymously, bien sur)….oh dear, what a conundrum.

She’s simply burnt out at work: too many late nights, too many weekends and desperately needed to blow off some steam. On a school night, after clocking in a heroic Wednesday at the office, she looked for respite and found it on Ossington, in liquid form.

Nursing a violent hangover, she called in sick and took the day off. Fast forward to Friday, she comes into work, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed (and sober), and her colleague boasts, “Wow, you were so drunk Wednesday night! I saw you getting into a cab, you couldn’t even walk!”.

In front of her boss.


My advice to her? I’m going old school here, but honesty is really the best policy. Fall on your sword. You got drunk and missed work, really an act completely undeserving of sympathy. Chin up and come clean to your boss that you acted irresponsibly, and that it won’t happen again (depending how guilty you feel, you could offer to take your sick day unpaid). And by golly, it better not happen again….in fact, your behaviour should overcompensate for your screw up.

And don’t throw a tantrum on your colleague for blowing your cover. It’s not her problem you slipped up. You might want to coach her on what’s appropriate morning office banter, your drunken-debauchery notwithstanding. Save that conversation for down the line.

For interest’s sake, the girl that this happened to had a melt down and started to cry, telling her boss that she’s so stressed and the pressure she’d been feeling was just too much. Her boss could easily infer that when stressed, this girl drinks too much, then misses work. Not good.

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