Should I hire a guy who’s great, but smells of marijuana?

By | March 22, 2021

I recently interviewed a great bartender for a job, who came highly recommended. I would like to hire him but he smelled faintly of marijuana. Can I let him know that I would like to hire him, but if he comes to work smelling like pot I am going to fire him?

Let me be blunt (see what I did there?). Why do you want to hire someone who comes to an interview smelling like marijuana? And a faint smell? Please. There was that beautiful day recently which brought everyone out to Central Park. Then the assault happened — that unmistakable odor wafting around the loop. You can’t even walk down the street without being subjected to that stench, which is anything but faint. (Thank you, Mr. Mayor.) There are plenty of out-of-work bartenders due to the devastation to the restaurant industry caused by COVID-19 as well as our elected officials’ great policy decisions. Hire someone who has the good sense to show up professionally. Am I ready for the “fan” mail on this one? Bring it.

I started a new job three months ago and it’s going really well. But, out of the blue, I’ve been offered a “dream job” working for my former boss. I believe in honoring my commitments, but would it be bad for me to leave?

It would be bad, dude, and unprofessional — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t make the change. Life is complicated and full of surprises. The investment your current company has made in you is significant. Your new boss likely conducted a lengthy search and landed on you. Then there was a big announcement about what a great hire you are. If you leave now it will be embarrassing to your boss and disruptive to the company. Your boss will recover and so will the company but your reputation there won’t. But, this is your life and your career. If this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which is non-competitive with your current employer and you are willing to deal with the consequences, then I can’t blame you for jumping ship. Explain this to your boss ASAP, apologizing profusely, and give them as much notice as you can so that they can handle your exit.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at

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