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, March 24, 2013

Jobless & Homeless

An assistant manager left because a promotion was given to someone else.

Before the manager left I received a call. He asked if there were positions available in the outpatient treatment clinic. Or, perhaps another position in the corporate office? I said I wasn't sure. That I would look into it and call back.

However, before I could do anything, I heard he'd left the program later that day and was drunk.

While I’m, never shocked when an addict or alcoholic relapses, I was a little surprised about this person because he had been doing well for over a year. When he came to TLC from another state, he was so broke that a pack of cigarettes was a major investment. 

After a few months of working in the corporate office - and doing a great job - a mid management position came open and this client applied.

He did well up until a week ago – until someone else was promoted to manage the facility. In retrospect, I believe he thought the position should've gone to him because he'd been in the program longer than the new manager.

However, that's not the way it works at TLC. We pick managers based on who'll give the most to the clients. Who makes the wisest decisions. Who puts the interests of the clients above their own. And while I wasn't personally involved in the decision to hire a new manager, I trust the staff to base their decision on these principles.

The other aspect of is that none of these jobs at TLC are much of a career path when it comes to working in the real world. What we do it TLC is highly specialized. While our managers often go to work in a treatment program or a detox facility, generally speaking they move onto another kind of career once they successfully complete our program and move on with their lives.

The more important purpose of jobs at TLC is that the person doing the work often builds a solid core of recovery for themselves. We've had many managers who've gone on to stay sober and stay clean – and that's what it's about.

We wish him well.  And the door’s still open.