This installment of the "Punishment File Chronicles" features the exploits of "Chuckles," a former employee at my company. (For those of you who are new to my blog, please see this post for the backstory on the Punishment File.)
Chuckles was an affable fellow. He always had a grin on his face and was well liked by his colleagues. But Chuckles' downfall was booze. The man just couldn't resist the demon water's siren song...even when it called his name an hour before work. Throughout his tenure with us, Chuckles' battle with the bottle landed him in the Punishment File a couple of times. Here's a transcription of his first brush with Mr. By Order:
Dear Mr. Chuckles,
It had been observed by the management than you had took the alcoholic drug and came to duty and fallen down unconsciously which created a bad impression to our organization and staffs. Furth to the above matter above the Management herby has decided to suspend you for a period of 10 days starting from 15/8/20XX afternoon to 30/8/20XX morning.
This is first and final warn to you and if this naughty misbehavior is repeated you will be deported without any benefits and to the expense of yours only.
Adminitater? Now I'm picturing Mr. Potato Head penning these letters. Oh, Mr. By Order, whatever you lack in writing abilities, you surely compensate for it with your whiz bang counting skills...
Ok, I know what you're wondering: What pray tell are "alcoholic drugs" and where can I score some? Why am I dicking around with a nightly vodka on the rocks when I could be enjoying alcoholic drugs? Well, from what my sources tell me, Chuckles' beverage of choice was "toddy" a homemade firewater distilled from the sap of coconut trees. I'll keep my eyes peeled next time I'm cruising through the duty-free and let y'all know if I spot some. :)
Alright, so back to Chuckles' infraction. Chuckles staggered into the office one morning, his eyes bloodshot and his clothes reeking of alcohol. He stood still in the middle of the lobby for a couple minutes and looked around in complete confusion. Then he fell backwards, crashed into a potted plant and lay on the floor unconscious.
But Chuckles took his 10 (or 15) day suspension in stride and came back to work. He was doing ok for a few months, but then the demon reared its ugly head again, as evidenced by yet another citation in the Punishment File:
Dear Mr. Chuckles,
The management had noted that you did again some disbehavior because of consuming the alcoholic drug. The management herby demands that you submit full explanation in the hand written from why you had gone to [a furniture store] and made intimindations to the browsers then done the vomting and sleeped off at that premises.
You did mischief that caused some shame to us colleagues that had to collect you and this shame is also on the company. Again you shall be under suspension on 10 days and this is last warning. The management warns you to put full stop to this mischief.
Yeah, I know, this letter's not quite as crystal clear as the last one. I had to do some digging to get to the bottom of this one. Here goes:
After several weeks of sobriety, Chuckles fell off the wagon and failed to turn up at work one morning. Shortly before noon, Mr. By Order got a phone call from a furniture store across the street. Chuckles, it seems, had reported to work there. (Now, if you've ever seen my office, you would realize that in order for Chuckles to confuse our office with a furniture store, he would most definitely have had to be on alcoholic drugs with powerful hallucinogenic properties. Being plastered on conventional alcohol alone would not explain that sort of mix up. The tattered pea-green furniture we used to have in our lobby looked like some kid's microbiology science project.)
Anyway, Chuckles walked into the furniture store and sat down at one of the kitchen tables. He opened his brief case and started bantering to customers, whom he mistook for his co-workers. The store proprietor tried to shuffle him out, but Chuckles got belligerent. This was his place of business, dammit! He had a job to do!
At some point in the altercation with the store's floor staff, Chuckles stood up and vomited all over a nearby couch. Fortunately for them (and for us since we got stuck with the cleaning bill) it was leather. He then fell over and passed out in a reprise of his previous infraction. At this point, the store manager fished out Chuckles' wallet and tracked down his employer. Mr. By Order and his posse were dispatched to collect Chuckles.
You might think that Mr. By Order would have driven Chuckles straight to the airport and sent him home. However, Mr. By Order's ominous letters were but empty threats. While Chuckles was under his second suspension, his brother contacted Mr. By Order. The brother had recently moved to Sand Land and suggested that Chuckles vacate his "bachelor accommodation" and move in with the brother and his family. The brother vowed to keep Chuckles on the straight and narrow by taking him to nightly Bible studies and prayer meetings at his Pentecostal church. Yeah, I know. Poor Chuckles, no one deserves punishment like that...
A few years went by and Chuckles managed to keep it together. He performed his job well and remained popular with his co-workers. But things fell apart when his brother moved away from Sand Land. No longer in the clutches of the Pentecostals, Chuckles once again gave in to the toddy's siren song. His eyes became blood shot, he answered every question with a giggle and disappeared from work for several days.
When he returned to the office after his multi-day bender, he had the misfortune of riding the elevator with me. I smelled the fumes and looked at his pink eyes. "Dude! Chuckles, are you drunk?" I demanded.
"He he he. Ha ha!" he responded.
I took him to my office, shut the door and sat down. "Look, Chuckles, you're completely intoxicated and I'm going to have to let you go," I said.
Chuckles snorted and smiled broadly.
"Chuckles, do you understand what I'm saying? I'm terminating you and I'm going to send you back home."
"Ha Ha Haaaaaaaaa" Chuckles said as he shook his head and slapped his knee.
"Well, at least I've made someone happy. Can't say that most days," I sighed as I dialed up the HR guy to get the termination process started.
Later that day a "Save Chuckles" petition materialized on my desk. I called the supplicants into my office and explained that we couldn't employ people with substance abuse problems under any circumstances.
In a show of solidarity, the employees then launched a "Chuckles Aid 2010" drive to collect money to send him to rehab. It was a touching gesture but seeing as they handed the cash over to him, I'm willing to bet it's now sitting in the cash box of the toddy stand nearest the airport.