On work trip abroad. Colleague gone crazy

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IloveDisneyworld
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Just that really. I'm abroad for work, 2 days in a major European city with a client meeting tomorrow morning. I've travelled with a female colleague/friend who, like me, has 2 young children. When we found out about this trip she messaged me to say she was desperately looking forward to it as she needs a break from the children and is run ragged juggling everything. I said I totally sympathised and she replied that we should use this trip as an opportunity to get rat arsed on the company's money. I just laughed.

Arrived at the airport this morning for our early flight to find she had already had downed 2 pints but was at least sober. She kicked up a fuss on the plane as there was no alcohol on sale - not massively but enough to embarrass me. Landed and she bought more alcohol and has generally been increasingly drunk, hyper and shrill since saying this is 'her time'. We arrived at the hotel at 3pm and were meant to go over our presentation for tomorrow but I've had zero input from her. I need her to contribute a bunch of slides and practice a demo of the technical solution we are meant to be presenting to the client but she is not playing ball and has just been propping up the bar. I'm stressed. It looks as if I will have to do her slides and I don't have enough knowledge so emailing colleagues back home. I don't want to speak to my manager about this. She is normally quite conscientious.
I really don't want to speak to my manager because I'm good friends with her and know that she has serious mental health problems which she hasn't received help or support for and I suspect this behaviour today may be a cry for help from her
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
Just that really. I'm abroad for work, 2 days in a major European city with a client meeting tomorrow morning. I've travelled with a female colleague/friend who, like me, has 2 young children. When we found out about this trip she messaged me to say she was desperately looking forward to it as she needs a break from the children and is run ragged juggling everything. I said I totally sympathised and she replied that we should use this trip as an opportunity to get rat arsed on the company's money. I just laughed.

Arrived at the airport this morning for our early flight to find she had already had downed 2 pints but was at least sober. She kicked up a fuss on the plane as there was no alcohol on sale - not massively but enough to embarrass me. Landed and she bought more alcohol and has generally been increasingly drunk, hyper and shrill since saying this is 'her time'. We arrived at the hotel at 3pm and were meant to go over our presentation for tomorrow but I've had zero input from her. I need her to contribute a bunch of slides and practice a demo of the technical solution we are meant to be presenting to the client but she is not playing ball and has just been propping up the bar. I'm stressed. It looks as if I will have to do her slides and I don't have enough knowledge so emailing colleagues back home. I don't want to speak to my manager about this. She is normally quite conscientious.
I really don't want to speak to my manager because I'm good friends with her and know that she has serious mental health problems which she hasn't received help or support for and I suspect this behaviour today may be a cry for help from her
You need to tell your manager in case she does something stupid (if she does have mental health problems) especially if you are abroad, and also it’s not fair for you to be doing her share of the presentation which you don’t know that well.

It shouldn’t be your responsibility taking care of her on a business trip. It’s not a holiday.
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username2908878
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Well, you need to say something basically. She’s doing you or herself no favours behaving this way and it’s embarrassing and damaging for you both. It’s sad she feels that way but this could be the inroads for the help she needs.
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icequeenninja
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You need to sit her down and let her know what's up. You said you have a solid relationship with this person in the office, so being real about work things and the situation is how you can approach this. "I'm concerned about our presentation tomorrow, and I need the both of us to be prepared" is a good place to start.
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IloveDisneyworld
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It is a very long presentation. She is supposed to provide slides that will be inserted at different points in the deck but she hasn't even sent them to me so I can't put them in the master deck. We need to work on the product demo together so we speak with one voice in front of the client.

It is both of our faults that this is so last minute.
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Fermion.)
You need to tell your manager in case she does something stupid (if she does have mental health problems) especially if you are abroad, and also it’s not fair for you to be doing her share of the presentation which you don’t know that well.

It shouldn’t be your responsibility taking care of her on a business trip. It’s not a holiday.
She has serious mental health problems that she has never had help and support for. I'm nearly (if not 100%) certain that this behaviour from her is a cry for help. I've been on loads of work trips to do presentations with her and she has never done this. I know her very very well out of the office and she has never done anything as bad as this.
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Supernova36)
Well, you need to say something basically. She’s doing you or herself no favours behaving this way and it’s embarrassing and damaging for you both. It’s sad she feels that way but this could be the inroads for the help she needs.
She has mental health problems though and I'm almost certain this behaviour from her is a cry for help. I'm worried if I tell our manager she will lose her job and won't be able to feed her children, pay her mortgage etc.
She's my best friend and I couldn't live with knowing that I caused her to not be able to feed her children or not pay her mortgage for example
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by icequeenninja)
You need to sit her down and let her know what's up. You said you have a solid relationship with this person in the office, so being real about work things and the situation is how you can approach this. "I'm concerned about our presentation tomorrow, and I need the both of us to be prepared" is a good place to start.
I am best friends with her outside of the office too. I will go down and try and speak to her now.
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username2908878
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
She has mental health problems though and I'm almost certain this behaviour from her is a cry for help. I'm worried if I tell our manager she will lose her job and won't be able to feed her children, pay her mortgage etc.
She's my best friend and I couldn't live with knowing that I caused her to not be able to feed her children or not pay her mortgage for example
Tough love is required, the spiral is pointing downwards! If your manager had any ounce of compassion he/she wouldn’t be understanding. A difficult situation that’s for certain, however, thing of the bigger picture and respond to the cry for help
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barnetlad
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I've read this before somewhere- sounds familiar? Has the OP's colleague been away with other team members before?
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by barnetlad)
I've read this before somewhere- sounds familiar? Has the OP's colleague been away with other team members before?
I've been away with her on work trips loads before and she has been away with other team members before. I know her well enough to know that it is a cry for help.
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Supernova36)
Tough love is required, the spiral is pointing downwards! If your manager had any ounce of compassion he/she wouldn’t be understanding. A difficult situation that’s for certain, however, thing of the bigger picture and respond to the cry for help
What If she loses her job though?
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username2908878
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
What If she loses her job though?
I made a typo there should say would not wouldn’t **

What are you asking, then ? You say you can’t tell your manager but her behaviour is not acceptable, she is not working the way she should and is going to potentially ruin (or she already has ruined) the trip for you.... is she the type of person who responds well to being pulled up on something or is she too drunk now ?

My job requires me to go away to a different country every week, we are at work and we’re not children so any bad behaviour is simply not tolerated. If there is a root cause then that’s what you need to address, surely in the long term it’s for the best...
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Supernova36)
I made a typo there should say would not wouldn’t **

What are you asking, then ? You say you can’t tell your manager but her behaviour is not acceptable, she is not working the way she should and is going to potentially ruin (or she already has ruined) the trip for you.... is she the type of person who responds well to being pulled up on something or is she too drunk now ?

My job requires me to go away to a different country every week, we are at work and we’re not children so any bad behaviour is simply not tolerated. If there is a root cause then that’s what you need to address, surely in the long term it’s for the best...
Sorry the typo confused me.

She is not falling down drunk but is very merry and really quite loud.

We work at the same level otherwise I would dearly love to take the company credit card from her. To stop her from doing any more harm to her mental health as she already has serious mental health problems. Unfortunately we are also in a country where alcohol is very cheap.

I have asked her to give me the USB with her slides on so I can at least try to create the deck myself and she is saying she will get it 'soon' - I'm worried she hasn't actually done them at all.


I know her behaviour is not acceptable but she has serious mental health problems and her behaviour today is clearly a cry for help. If I'm honest I'm not angry at one bit, I feel sorry for her as she needs support and help for her mental health but her GP keep on refusing it saying it's not serious enough but it is as she's seriously attempted suicide twice in the past because of her mental health problems.
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
She has serious mental health problems that she has never had help and support for. I'm nearly (if not 100%) certain that this behaviour from her is a cry for help. I've been on loads of work trips to do presentations with her and she has never done this. I know her very very well out of the office and she has never done anything as bad as this.
Right well you need to tell her to stay in her room and then just do the work yourself. It sounds like she wont be up for it.
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username2908878
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
Sorry the typo confused me.

She is not falling down drunk but is very merry and really quite loud.

We work at the same level otherwise I would dearly love to take the company credit card from her. To stop her from doing any more harm to her mental health as she already has serious mental health problems. Unfortunately we are also in a country where alcohol is very cheap.

I have asked her to give me the USB with her slides on so I can at least try to create the deck myself and she is saying she will get it 'soon' - I'm worried she hasn't actually done them at all.


I know her behaviour is not acceptable but she has serious mental health problems and her behaviour today is clearly a cry for help. If I'm honest I'm not angry at one bit, I feel sorry for her as she needs support and help for her mental health but her GP keep on refusing it saying it's not serious enough but it is as she's seriously attempted suicide twice in the past because of her mental health problems.
You sound like a very kind and caring person and a very good friend. However, a bit too soft, you need to put your foot down and be assertive here. Get that USB and focus on the project and then when you get home (Because they would avoid any issues with managers at work) have a serious conversation about it. Good luck
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IloveDisneyworld
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The company has a high daily allowance just for food and drink ($200 / whatever that is in pound sterling). We are somewhere where a bottle of wine is average £5 - £10

I messaged 1 colleague and asked if he can download and send me some info I can put in to pad out the deck in worst case scenario.

The meeting is at 10am tomorrow.

So we have dinner booked at 9.30pm (In 15 minutes) local time (locals eat late here). She has staggered to her room to get dressed and said she will come back with the USB and 'some slides' she completed. She is saying we can wing it, stop stressing etc. The purpose of this meeting is to ensue the client renews their license of a particular technical solution and our bonus is tied to it. I am being extremely patient with her as I know she doesn't mean to cause me all of the stress and that she is crying out for help and desperately needs it.
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Supernova36)
You sound like a very kind and caring person and a very good friend. However, a bit too soft, you need to put your foot down and be assertive here. Get that USB and focus on the project and then when you get home (Because they would avoid any issues with managers at work) have a serious conversation about it. Good luck
Sorry if this comes across as rude, do you mean to speak to work when we get back home or my friend? Also, what do you think I should say really?
Sorry if this comes across as rude.
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IloveDisneyworld
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(Original post by Fermion.)
Right well you need to tell her to stay in her room and then just do the work yourself. It sounds like she wont be up for it.
She says she will be up for it tomorrow. We are going for dinner in the hotel restaurant in 15 minutes.
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username2908878
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(Original post by IloveDisneyworld)
Sorry if this comes across as rude, do you mean to speak to work when we get back home or my friend? Also, what do you think I should say really?
Sorry if this comes across as rude.
Not rude at all, dw. I’d say speak to her personally when you get home to address her behaviour. That way, you would avoid any issues arising that may lead to job loss (as opposed to speak to your manager). Just gotta be honest and give some home truths, tell he exactly how you feel and why her actions are wrong.
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