Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thoughts on the Road

Slow posting today. I taught a class on ethical decision making this morning, then drove to Tucson. Tomorrow brings a workshop on communicating in a diverse workplace.


If you wonder about all of that unexpected traffic out there, there is an explanation:


Consultants.


They're out there, clogging up the highways and the airports, and there's one for every type of specialty. [This may be because the job has a very simple definition: Someone will pay for your advice. Everything beyond that is commentary.]


I once met a consultant who specialized in doctor's offices, which can resemble a caste system out of the Middle Ages. Her main task, it seemed, was keeping the front desk staff from assaulting the doctors. She never explained how the nurses fit into the equation but apparently her specialty was a lucrative gig. I think of her every time I see sad faces staring out at a waiting room.


Several good points were brought up during the class discussion this morning but one in particular stays with me. At what point is it permissible to bury your concerns about a management action in order to preserve your job and your family's economic security? My response was that the old "family security" defense can be a huge loophole. Many a scoundrel has probably been abetted by good family men who went along for the ride because the mortgage was due, baby needed new shoes, or a teenager wanted a car.
Most people are repelled at an employer who would permit the harassment of employees by a major client. The idea that management should permit someone to harass employees if the harasser pays enough money is odious. But what about sell outs on the other end of the power grid? Are some employees saying in essence, "If management pays us enough, we are willing to go along with unethical behavior?"



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