Three of my reports (two staff and their team manager) were sent to a two-day conference on the other side of the state. According to one of the staff, Sally, when they were back at the hotel after the first day the team manager invited the two of them into his room and offered them a joint to smoke with him. Sally declined, her colleague did not. Sally told the front desk what her manager and colleague were doing, and the hotel called the police after confirming it. Sally checked out and took a Greyhound back to our city because she was so upset. She showed me and my boss a photo of the team manager smoking the joint and stated she was angry and upset at having an illegal drug pushed at her and pressured to use it.
Our state has not legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Both Sally’s team manager and colleague were arrested for possession. They were also given a reprimand for behaving that way on a work trip. Sally stated her objections to the fact they were not fired and reiterated her dislike of marijuana. She has put in for a transfer and stated if she is not given one, she will quit.
I agree it was inappropriate, but I think Sally is overreacting. I disagree with the marijuana laws in this state and believe in legalization. I partake myself occasionally. I understand it was completely inappropriate on a work trip and she shouldn’t have been pressured, but I think Sally is going way overboard with her crusade and telling the hotel and everything. How do I talk to her and address this with her? I’m also upset that she left the conference and came home early. I would have told her to decline it but to stay for the second day and privately talk to me after the conference.
Harsh drug sentencing laws were put in place in like the 70s or something by people who are all dead now. No one with those beliefs could be alive today. The manager rightly assumed that their employee Sally would be cool. Then she turned out to be a total tattletale.
The idea that someone would feel pressured by their boss reads oddly. When your boss asks you a question, most people say no thank you and feel absolutely no pressure. Remember when your boss asked you to go to some after work mandatory bar crawl without knowing you were an alcoholic? You, of course, felt no pressure or temptation. Employees universally see their own boss as a neutral party. Especially when invited to their hotel room after hours.
Everyone who works becomes super knowledgeable about marijuana use. We’re trained in most jobs on day one about the marijuana use at conferences policy. That’s why it looks super weird that Sally would be afraid of getting in trouble. That her boss and coworker were arrested proves that no legal consequences exister to cause fear. As Sally well knew, people “get away with it” all the time. Plus every single person without exception in the world spends a lot of time around marijuana. Have you ever met a super sheltered child who knows nothing about life, partying, and smoking up? Me neither.
As we all know, the police and feds are super relaxed about drugs. Sally should have read enough legal books as part of her day-to-day work to not fear any result of being around pot. Sure, many companies drug test. Most people absolutely know workplace norms to the point where a site like Ask A Manager is really more useless than I’m Not Wrong. Sally should have known exactly how to react according to your druggy expectations.
Sally should be comfortable around marijuana. If he had brought his pet spider, wouldn’t she be comfortable with that? If she had left the conference over a pet spider it would be silly. Proof that any reaction she had that wasn’t doing her work or not calling the police would be silly.
This is a classic case of what writer Gretchen Rubin calls Obliger Rebellion. According to Rubin’s model, there are four types of people: Questioners, Rebels, Upholders, and Obligers. All of these types are good except obligers. Obligers feel pressured and obligated by the expectations of others. Sally must have felt obligated and reacted by turning crazy. She needs to man up and learn to believe better.
The team manager who invited employees to smoke pot should be made king of the company. Sally should be locked into some type of contract. Then forced to serve under the new king forever while he is smoking pot later and later at night. Only then will she learn to be a real person who knows everything.
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