Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Borrowing Trouble

Today we fired a longtime manager who violated TLC’s policy about borrowing money from – or loaning money to – clients. It was sad to terminate him because he’d helped a lot of clients over the past few years and he was genuinely liked by co-workers and clients alike.

None of us are sure why he violated the rules, although he’d recently started a relationship that might have increased his expenses.

The loan came to light when a client was sent to the emergency room for a suspected drug overdose. Instead of discharging the client for misusing his prescription the manager lobbied to keep him in the program. He said the overdose had been a “mistake” rather than the client attempting to get high.

Anyway, one story led to another and it came out that the client had lent the manager several hundred dollars. And when confronted the manager admitted borrowing the money. He lost his job shortly afterward.

The obvious purpose for not allowing loans or favors between clients and employees is to keep such situations from occurring. Once any kind of under the table transactions occur between staff and clients it creates a social contract that keeps management from enforcing rules or discipline.