The Morning after the Night before: is it suddenly OK to come to work drunk?

There has been much reporting today of the antics of some of Australia’s morning show hosts in the aftermath of the Logies (Australia’s TV awards). Of course for particular reporting has been the conduct of Channel 9’s Karl Stefanovic who has made a habit of appearing on his show, Today, in the aftermath of this awards show either drunk or severely hungover.

For those who missed it, Stefanovic again showed up for work this morning severely hungover (at best) and left with 20 minutes before his show ended. Two other hosts on the Today show, Messrs Fordham and Jacobs were missing at the start of the show but made it later on and stayed to the end.

I ask you readers: if you turned up to your place of work either drunk or hungover, late and then left early do you think you would have a job (or at least receive a warning) the following day? Or do you think you would be lauded as “great bloke” / “larrikin” just entitled to have a good time?

Did I miss a memo? How is OK for a role model, which Stefanovic is, to continue to turn up to his show in an unfit state and not be punished for it? Or worse for us to not even question the wisdom of such conduct?

In professional sports we have seen players, in Australia, stood down for turning up drunk to games (Andrew Symonds), had their contracts torn up because they preferred to drink rather than turn up to a recovery session (Josh Dugan) and, generally, be heavily scrutinised for their habits when it comes to alcohol.

I concede that I do not drink alcohol: I am an alcoholic. That said I am no puritan and, indeed, I am all for people having a good time. Further, I am a massive advocate for those in the public eye both having a life outside of work and enjoying that life.

Stefanovic and pals getting on the tins at an awards dinner is not the issue; rather, I applaud the fact that these guys who work very hard getting the chance to let their hair down. What I am bothered by is the message that it sends when these guys then go to work drunk / hungover or just don’t turn up. I am even more bothered by the fact that as a society we seem to laud and reward a guy who does that.

For goodness sake: if you are going to get on the tins so hard that you know you are not going to be able to perform at a level that equates to your normal work standard TAKE A ANNUAL LEAVE DAY. It is not that hard is it?

And as society surely the time has come for this sort of conduct to be outed for what it is: entirely unacceptable! Your or my boss would haul us over the coals, as a minimum, if we acted in this way and as a society we have to recognise that it is not behaviour to be lauded. It seems that we have already made this step when it comes to our sports stars, it leaves one to wonder why our television presenters ought be any different.

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