Six Weeks Until Christmas
Chapter 2: Alcohol Test
It had all the hallmarks of a typical Monday morning. Feeling lethargic from a weekend dominated by Alcohol consumption—sweats, shakes, sickness and paranoia of how I looked and felt. Nothing new there. In fact, I felt okay because I stopped my binge at 8:00pm the night before to sleep off the day-long session at the soccer game. My neatly pressed pale blue shirt was complemented by camel trousers. My hair was neatly styled and although my eyes were bloodshot, that could be attributed to tiredness. But deep down I felt rancid from severe alcohol abuse stretching back years. That remained inside.
Breakfast stayed in my stomach five minutes before being distributed down the toilet via my mouth. The other end wasn’t too reliable either, so best pad a man diaper, three sheets of TP, in the place where the sun don’t shine. But following a week’s vacation visiting a friend from Scotland in LA, I felt quite chirpy as I set off to catch the train to work on a crisp, fall morning.
I caught up with my Manager on the previous week’s happenings and began the mundane tasks of opening post, filing, checking emails and listening to voice messages. Once settled I looked up at my wall calendar. November 12, 2012. I flipped back through the months, clueless where they had gone. Then I counted the weeks forward. Six weeks until Christmas. That seemed scary. Where had the year gone?
Somewhere around the time that I pondered Christmas’s proximity my name was randomly selected for an appointment. A Random Alcohol test.
Regaling my manager with vacation stories, my desk Phone rang but I ignored it, letting it go to voicemail. Once it stopped ringing, my boss’s phone started, and stepping back to allow him privacy to answer, I headed to my office.
“Simon, can you call extension 3475 please as you have a missed message from them?” my manager said.
Maybe it’s a personal call I thought and dialed the number back without checking the solid red light on the phone signifying voice mail. No big deal.
“Hi, Simon, it’s the company medical team on the fifth floor. Your name has been selected for a random alcohol and substance test. Do you need some time before coming down to give a sample?”