Friday afternoon was the most exciting afternoon at work for a long time (possibly ever!) for all the wrong reasons.
At work, we are quite slack about lunchtime drinking. It's not encouraged but it's sociable on Friday to go for a quick pint or two with your colleagues, so the management turn a blind eye. Most people are responsible and know their limits. The accepted rule is that if that pint turns into four or five or even more, you suddenly realise it's three-thirty and you are smashed....don't come back to work. Just ring your colleagues or your Boss, explain the situation and go home...or sit in the pub all afternoon. As long as it's once in a blue moon and you haven't got a critical deadline, it's fine.
The main thing is - don't come back to the office drunk.
Anyway, on Friday we all trooped down to the pub for lunch and a few beers. After lunch we all drifted back to work, some later than others, but by 3:30 we were back at our desks. Except for Ollie, Steve and Bill who were still drinking. It was Ollie's last day (so he obviously didn't give a damn) but Steve had an important piece of work to complete that day.
When Steve doesn't show up by 4 o'clock, his line manager Anton rings his mobile to ask when he is coming back. It's obvious that Steve is drunk on the phone so he's told - look, you've had too many, don't come back to the office. OK. Just go home, or stay in the pub.
Steve suddenly takes it into his head that "nobody can talk to him like that" storms back into the office and starts to berate Anton. Our Boss tries to get it under control and lead the clearly drunk and slurring Steve into a meeting room, but Steve isn't having it.
He starts to rant and shout at Anton saying who do think you are? I'm not just a stupid XXX! I have an MBA, man (cringe*cringe*) I have a first class degree man! (cringe*cringe*) What have you got? HNC?
For the rest of us, it's painfully embarassing: watching a 40+ year old man self-destruct in front of your eyes. A few people try to lead him to the meeting room, but he keeps shouting and making a scene until finally the Boss has enough and says OK, that's it. Get your things. You're out.
By now Steve realises that he's really fucked up, he starts to cry and says stuff like I have three kids man. I love this place man. My life is in ruins man. I really liked working here....
Finally we had to call security to get him out. As he left, he asked the Boss - will I still get a reference? The Boss didn't answer.
It was horrible watching that happen. Like a car crash in slow motion. There is no way he can come back to work now. I bet he felt like an idiot on Saturday morning.
When things like this happen, the management take it very seriously. Steve could try to sue the company for unfair dismissal etc etc so I will probably have to sign a statement on Monday. *sigh*