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You smell like drink, part I

"Lucky we don't have a breathalyzer"

In Ireland, showing up for work smelling like drink: part II

We had a job down in Clonmel and since I had not been on-site I had to be inducted, which meant we had to be there at 8 in the morning. Had to leave Kilkenny at 7.

The night before, my bud J_ had had the rare night off work and was going out for a pint. I met him and M_ up at Brennan's pub. After close of Brennan's we went back to J_'s the three of us. Usual craic, we didn't think about what time it was until after 4 o'clock. I went home at 4:30 and got some sleep.

G_ and I were going down to Clonmel to do the initial clean of some windows at the newly-completed branch of Dunne's, a national department/grocery-store chain. Since the property in these cases is still a construction site, all safety regulations apply, and that's why an induction is necessary for anyone who has not yet worked on a particular location.

As directed by our supervisor, we reported at 8 o'clock. We had to wait a bit before the on-site safety officer showed up — or as it turned out, an alternate supervisor. When a fellow who was qualified to perform the induction came around, he asked me into one of the portable office buildings, and he sat behind the single desk there.

He said "boy, you're lucky we don't have a breathalyzer on site."

"Hm," I said. "Boy" is a normal form of address, in some parts of Ireland.

"I had six pints myself last night," he told me, "and I can smell the drink off you."

Then he proceeded to issue the induction, which consisted of one sentence describing the locations of the canteen, the first-aid kit, and the toilets. He took my "safe-pass" certification number, and let us get off to work.

  — March 2005