So I’ve been trying to think what I want to write for this post for days, and nothing has sounded right, because it seems I am being misunderstood on so many levels at the moment. It’s exhausting and tiring, and I’m just a bit over trying to explain myself constantly.
But back to the beginning.
In an effort to further procrastinate the writing of these words, I did what any self respecting blogger does in this situation.
Hang out on Facebook.
Usually a fail proof idea to unwind my random thoughts and get my brain pumping again.
The only problem with said plan, was that Facebook was full of Valentines pics, and whilst this in itself is not a problem (I myself proposed for V-Day this year), the fact that 90% of those pictures involved alcohol was. And not because I’m against alcohol at all, but because I’m halfway through febfast and the image of any kind of white wine or champagne is making me salivate like Pavlov’s dog.
And I’m about to make it even harder on myself.
Remember last week when I was writing letters to the apple fairy, in the hope she might send me a brand new iPhone5? Well that post was really me trying to make light of a fairly serious situation. Boatman has had one day of work in about 9 weeks, and our savings have all but disappeared. We’re praying for a miracle pretty much anytime now.
Because desperate times call for desperate measures, I went through the online application process for Coles Myer, and got a call last week asking me to come in for a a job interview.
At Liquor Land.
I’ll admit I had to laugh at the irony. An ambassador of Febfast, a person who believes whole heartedly in drinking responsibly, being not much more than what my dad would call ‘a grog runner.’
I had a slight crisis of conscience over it. Was it the right thing to do?
Would it be sending mixed messages?
And were my kids going to be hungry next week?
Thankfully, I was able to reconcile both sides of the argument.
In part of my preparation for my new role, I had to complete the Responsible Service of Alcohol online course (RSA), and it was in doing this, that I gained a new respect for those who work behind a bar.
The key word of the RSA is Responsible. Owners of bottle shops, and liquor outlets have an obligation to their community to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol. There are strict rules that govern the sale of liquor in our country, and they are designed for the health and safety of everybody.
What struck me though, reading it, was that every single one of us have an obligation to drink responsibly. This does not mean we don’t ever drink (although for some people that may be the only option), but it does mean that when we do so, we do it in such a way so as to not to cause adverse effects to ourselves or the members of our community.
The following information, was taken from the RSA Course:
Alcohol misuse costs the Australian community 15.3 billion dollars each year when factors such as crime and violence, treatment costs, loss of productivity and premature death were taken into account
(1). 51% of alcohol consumed is drunk at levels that pose a risk of short-term harm
(2). Over 3,000 Australians die each year as a result of harmful drinking
(3). Over 450,000 children (13.2%) live in households where they are at risk of exposure to binge drinking by at least one adult
(4).It is estimated that over 8,000 people in Australia end up in hospital every year because of alcohol-fuelled assaults and injuries, and over 30,000 attend emergency departments.
Those are pretty staggering statistics. Over half of us drink at a level that is risking our health, and the amount of children who are growing up in homes and being privvy to that is unacceptable.
According to the RSA, those who sell and provide alcoholic beverages have a duty of care to the people they serve, but in my opinion we all have a duty of care to our families, our friends and our own bodies.
Febfast is about raising awareness of these issues. Of reminding people to be careful and aware of the fact that drinking is not just about us and the moment, but is part of a broader social issue, and as such the onus of responsibility lies with each and every one of us.
What this means for me personally, is that I can guilt free find employment in this role, knowing that I am helping to provide for my family, but also be confident of the fact that I am prepared as I can be, to encourage the patrons of the store to drink in a responsible manner, and that is all that any of us can do.
If you are interested in finding out more about Feb Fast, check out their website.
Or you could donate to the cause here.