“A Greenkeeper has just accused his colleague of poisoning him. What shall we do now?”
This is the absolute corker of a client question this year so far, by miles!
And here’s the story…
The Greenkeeper in question had decided that all of the drinks he had at the club tasted “funny”.
Whether it was a pint of beer or a cup of tea, he was adamant that it tasted strange.
Fair enough, but you’d have to argue that his way of dealing with it wasn’t ‘fair enough’.
Instead of going to his doctor to see whether he was okay, and whether he had any symptoms, he took a different tack, and started a blazing row with a colleague.
Accusations flew threw the air, closely followed by a fist or two.
The confrontation was the first moment that the Club Manager became aware of an issue, and quickly consulted with us and suspended the Greenkeeper on full pay.
Which, given that the accusation had led to some serious health and safety concerns and that he’d acted in a violent way towards his colleague, was the only natural course of action.
Then we got investigating, to understand the poisoning accusations.
The investigation wasn’t particularly easy though, mainly because he kept blocking us from requesting a GP’s report, as he felt we were ‘all out to get him’.
And in the midst of it all, he kept trying to come back into the Club, and a couple of times he managed it, got violent and abusive and was ushered out again.
Then, all of a sudden, following a letter we’d written that he had to take to the Citizens Advice Bureau, he withdrew his accusation.
In the meantime, things were going from bad to worse at the Club, with two other staff off with stress and the Captain up to his eyeballs doing voluntary service on the green.
Then, one day, the Captain got a call from the suspended Greenkeeper to say that he’d had a “turn” at home.
And by “turn”, he meant the same symptoms he’d attributed to poisoning at the Club.
Finally, he accepted that we needed to get a GP’s report, which we duly did.
Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t being poisoned – instead he was suffering from a “persecution complex”.
He was referred to a psychiatrist, and then there was another twist.
Suddenly he was “normal” again, there was nothing wrong – he just felt like the Club were trying to get rid of him.
Oh, and the poisoning accusations? He point blank refuses to accept that he ever made them, despite over 10 witnesses testifying to the contrary.
In the end, he took voluntary redundancy and he waved goodbye to the Club, but without a doubt, it’s one of the strangest sequences of events I’ve ever come across!
If you know of a Club that could do with our help, please let us know – we always reward referrals with chocolate!