Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A client asked to speak to me in private after yesterday’s employment meeting, saying he had “serious issues” to discuss with me. I took him to a separate part of the employment area and asked what was on his mind.

He started off with a list of complaints, one of them being lack of help from the employment staff. Since we were in the employment office I summoned the manager and asked him to join the discussion.

It turned out the client was unhappy because the manager hadn’t spent enough time helping him with his resume – nor had he found the client a job in IT, which he said was his profession. When I told him the employment office provided leads, rather than guaranteed jobs, the client seemed to understand.

As the conversation evolved the client had several other complaints, including the condition of his feet which he said he injured on a construction job when he’d “stepped on nails.” I told him if he was in serious pain we’d drive him to a hospital or urgent care as we were not a medical facility.

He declined, then went on with his complaints, to which I listened for a while. The conversation ended abruptly a few minutes later though when the man asked me, very seriously, if I’d received the “two trillion dollars,” he’d recently donated to the program.

At that moment I understood his real issue and excused myself for a meeting I had to attend.