Monday, December 13, 2010

Drug Policy

We shoot a lot at my dad's metal shop in Metuchen. Before discovering the joys of Zoloft, drinking was the best way for me to get through the day of directing. I actually direct drunk pretty well. When the damned fog machine is acting up it perturbs me a lot less. In any case, screwdrivers and other fruity cocktails are a regular part of the Pandora Machine experience.
Recently I had this conversation with my father.
My dad says "Is that your bottle of vodka in the refrigerator at the shop?"
"Oh yeah, that probably is."
"You know we don't have alcohol at the shop."
Oops. No. I didn't know that. At the theater we are so not a dry shop. Hell, the place is practically an opium den. For the longest time we gave out beer and wine after shows (for a donation) and would frequently drink hard liquor during the day. There was even a period when vice cops came in (I know, right? No kidding.) And they told us we really needed to have a permit if there was alcohol in a public space so all the whiskey and bourbon got moved into my office for a couple months.
But I should have known better about my dad's shop. Firstwise, it's a metal shop so it's dangerous. Secondly my dad has all his life been a guy who people down on their luck have been able to lean on. In practical terms this means my dad has in the course of his career hired a lot of alcoholics. I mean like "drive the guy to AA meeting, pick him up and bring him home to give him dinner and let him sleep in my old bedroom* so he could get to work the next day" alcoholics.**

Well we in the Pandora Machine have no drug policy. We have a "don't get hurt" policy. Why test people if they have marijuana in their bloodstream if they aren't actually high? And why worry about someone driving a forklift impaired on Jim Beam when they can be perfectly impaired on cold medicine?
So don't be unable to do your job. That's the rule. And if you're an alcoholic, don't drink.
*As a child I would change bedrooms as my older siblings moved out of the house. As they're upwards of 15-years older than me, that process began when I was 4 or 5.
**Fomenting, as it were, my love for Johnny Cash but that's another story altogether.

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