Monday, January 31, 2011

Ethics and your previous jobs...

Reflecting on jobs you've held in the past or currently have, reflect on what your "obligations to your employer" were, an idea your book discusses in chapter two. Was there ever a time when your obligations to your employer conflicted with your "obligations to the public"? How? If you've never been faced with such a conflict yourself, relate an experience of a friend's or family member's or one that you've seen unfold in the public domain.
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  1. At my first job in high school I was a autobody repair and refinish technician, fancy for painted cars. I started as a grunt laborer but in the Summers I took some ASE certification courses. Got to learn more about the trade and what it takes to earn a good living as an autobody tech. Open you own shop was the bottom line. This is what my boss did, owned his own small business.

    With this said, the ethics question came in when I learned what chemical compounds were being released into the atmosphere by our daily operations. Regulations for an auto dealer were strict, they have to minimize the organic compounds they release into the atmosphere or pay fines to the EPA. As a small business of less than 5 people, the EPA regulations were very lax. The organic compounds we released into the atmosphere troubled me, personally, but as a small business it was not feasible to come into compliance with the same EPA regulations of and Auto Dealer.

    My job required me to work with minimal regulation, but my personal ethics toward minimizing my effects on the world were challenged daily.

  2. I used to work construction and there was a constant demand to finish quickly. I often felt obligated to meet my bosses expectations of when he wanted jobs completed. I had to decide whether i wanted disappoint my boss or do a good job and take however long the job needed.

    P.S. My boss really was all about quality and he always told me do it right rather than quickly, unless of course the customer's were not very nice.

  3. When I worked for Kohls, there was a constant push to sell credit to people even after the banks failed. I felt like part of my job was to push credit on people who might wind up in debt because of it.

  4. I used to work at a theme park as a parking employee. I was often asked where the "free" parking was. Company policy was to tell them that there isn't any. And technically the company does not provide any. However, a block away there is a street that cars can park on. My "oblication to the public" probably was to tell them where to find the free pakring. My obligation to my employer is obvious, and being told to lie to the public is of conflicting obligations.

  5. I used to work at a shopping center and it was policy to tell the customers that if food was purchased there were absolutely no refunds. However, if the customer made a big deal about the purchase, such as the food being rotten when it was purchased, we were supposed to refund the money. So usually I would tell customers, the ones that wanted to return food, to yell at me so I could give them a refund. It was awesome seeing the look on their face when I told them in a quite voice to yell at me.

  6. I worked for an elementary school in the summer to help tutor kids. If a kid misbehaved, he was suppose to be disciplined in some way. I felt bad because it wasn't the kids actual fault that he was misbehaving but the other kids influencing him to misbehave.