We will call him “T”, as I don’t want to reveal his real name. Slowly it became a problem for T to show up on time or even at all. I generally kept in touch with him every day but then sometimes he would just disappear for days at a time with no communication at all. I am not used to this, and I didn’t know how to even deal with it. Did something happen? Is he hurt? Dead? I just wasn’t sure. Eventually he always checked back in and came back to work. This started to happen more and more frequently and I was getting frustrated with him. Did he want to change or was this all for his PO? Every time I would see him or talk to him he would tell me how much he appreciated me and that he was going to keep working on being a better person. By this time I was extremely invested in T and seeing him through to a new life. This went on for about a year on and off and I just began to not count on him for working but I still talked to him daily and tried to listen and guide him in the right direction.
It was near the end of the year and T was in a working mode. He was coming in fairly regularly but he wasn’t the same as was before. Then one day he accidentally sent me a text that was meant for someone else and I knew I had lost him. He was definitely using drugs and that explained a lot of the problems I had been having with him. I had been having an issue with another employee at that time who was a former heroin addict so I brought them both in and drug tested them both. They were both using and T was using pills so his drug test came up positive for every drug that it tested for except PCP. You have no idea what you are taking when you take those pills, it is beyond scary. I sent them both home and told them both it was time to clean up or don’t come back. A week later T called me and told me that he went home and he stopped using everything and was going to clean up his act. He had a court date that day and they had not been drug testing him anymore at his court dates but they decided today was the day they were going to do a surprise drop. When they did his drop he didn’t have anything in his system and he stayed out of jail, for now. T told me that he was so grateful to me and that he was changing this time for sure, he wasn’t going backwards anymore. T managed to stay off the drugs but that was about it, because the streets are a drug too and much harder to kick than anything else.