Category Archives: Workplace

Ethics Quiz: A Minimum Wage Lecture Instead Of A Tip?

Diners and bar patrons in Seattle are apparently registering their displeasure over the city’s whopping minimum wage hike (to $15 an hour) by leaving this card instead of a tip:

why-i-dont-tip-in-seattle

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz:

Is this an ethical protest?

My view?  There are minimum wage employees in bars and restaurants, but waiters and bartenders often aren’t among them. In the case of the bartender who publicized this patron’s printed rant, we learn, he is not a beneficiary of the minimum wage increase, and his livelihood depends on tips.

A tip, as Ethics Alarms has stated before, should be based on quality of service. To withhold a tip from a server or bartender—which should be message about service—to register an objection regarding the city’s wage statutes is neither logical nor just. Among the card’s three options, the first is completely reasonable, the second is a necessary consequence of living in a democracy, and the third is just behaving like a jerk. I bet the guy that left this card kicks his dog after a bad day too.

___________________

Pointer: Fred

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Professions, Workplace

“Albuquerque Fire Chief Evaluating Training After Dispatcher Hung Up on Caller”? Why Yes, I Think That Would Be Prudent!

"No...now, see, Mr, Sanchez, this is NOT how we would like you to react with a 911 caller. Let's try it again..."

“No…now, see, Mr, Sanchez, this is NOT how we would like you to react with a 911 caller. Let’s try it again…”

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: watch out for touchy 911 dispatchers.

Seventeen-year-old Esperanza Quintero called 911 after her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver was shot last month. She tried to stop Chavez-Silver’s bleeding and gave him CPR.

“I am keeping him alive!” Quintero is heard saying on the 911 call, which was answered by dispatcher Matthew Sanchez, a ten-year veteran of the Albuquerque Fire Department.

Sanchez asked, “Is he not breathing?”

The teen responded, “Barely!”

On the recording, she can be heard frantically encouraging Chavez-Silver to keep breathing.

“One more breath! One more breath!” Quintero told here wounded friend. “There you go Jaydon. One more breath! There you go Jaydon. Good job! Just stay with me, OK? OK?”

Sanchez then asked again, “Is he breathing?”

Quintero responded, “He is barely breathing, how many times do I have to fucking tell you?”

Apparently this outburst deeply, deeply offended Sanchez, who felt that the use of the vulgarity justified him leaving the panicked teen to deal with her dying friend by herself. “OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?” the dispatcher said, and he disconnected Quintero as she pleaded for help.

So there.

As you know, I’m a big fan of civility, and we really should discipline ourselves and our children to avoid profanity and  vulgarity in dealings with others, in the workplace or anywhere else. Mutual respect is a cornerstone of ethical conduct generally, and civility is how we recognize the inherent respect we owe every fellow citizen. Having one’s friend dying in front of you is a stressful situation, however, and I think the collective effects for fear, panic, desperation and stress creates sufficient adverse influences on a teen that a lapse of decorum should be excused or at least tolerated, don’t you? Particularly when the listener  is allegedly an adult and trained rescue personnel?

Jaydon died. A rescue squad was dispatched before the hang-up, which only means that what Sanchez did could have been worse.

Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey  called the actions of dispatcher Matthew Sanchez on June 26 “unforgivable” and said Sanchez, who had the sense to resign, at least, should not have hung up on the caller. Downey  says he is examining the training procedures.

Good analysis. We can all stop worrying now, at least those of us in Albuquerque.

And we should be grateful, should we not, for Mr. Sanchez providing a superb lesson to all of our young people about the important of avoiding potty mouth?

 

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Professions, Public Service, Workplace

Would You Pay $15 An Hour To This Employee?

I love it when a story  combines recent posts. This one evokes the issue of minimum wage hikes and people who use social media to try to rouse the ire of the web Furies while getting themselves some pop culture fame of the approximate duration—and value— of a mayfly.  If only this teen had shot a lion, it would be perfect.

17-year-old Sylva Stoel was sent home to change when she arrived to work at a J.C. Penney’s store looking like this:

Sylvia shorts

Good for the boss. That’s no way to dress for work in a retail store. But Sylva is imbued with that certitude of perfection that only spoiled and badly raised teens can model, so she quit in protest and announced her defiance to the world, tweeting a photo of her giving the finger to Penney’s…

Sylvia finger

…. with the legend,“Boss sent me home for wearing ‘too revealing’ shorts that I bought from the store I work at in the career section.”

Yes, but what career, Sylva?

Her argument, brainlessly championed by the Huffington Post, is apparently that employees should be able to wear what they sell, which will be fun for those shopping in the bathing attire section.

I’ve got news for Sylva (I also may have found her missing “i”). You know nothing about the workplace. Your idea of professional attire is pathetic. You have no skills, and setting out to webshame an employer, who generously gave you a chance to get some desperately needed experience, by quitting and flipping your boss off should, if there is any justice, make you unemployable for a good, long time.

Those who run businesses can dictate reasonable dress codes for their employees, and red hotpants are not appropriate attire for male or female workers even in hotpants stores, unless the owner decides otherwise. This twitter assault says nothing of value about dress codes or J.C. Penney, but volumes about a deluded and rude child named Sylva Stoel, whom nobody should hire again until she learns acquires humility and  manners.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Social Media, The Internet, Unethical Tweet, Workplace

The Dishonest And Irresponsible Minimum Wage Issue.

Good bye. I know when I'm licked...

Good bye. I know when I’m licked…

I heard Bernie Sanders make another one of his economically-deranged statements as the crowd cheered, this one about how no American should work 40 hours a week and not have enough to live on. Then I went to the local Baskin-Robbins.

I ordered a single scoop of Chocolate Mousse Royale in a waffle cone. The cost was…$4.68.

For a single-scoop ice cream cone.

I will not go back to Baskin-Robbins again, which means I may have had my last ice cream cone. I also cannot believe that the company can continue selling ice cream cones at such absurd prices. When I worked for Baskin-Robbins as a summer job, a single-scoop cone cost $.29, and no, dinosaurs were not roaming the earth. I was paid the minimum wage, because a moron can do that job and you get to eat all the ice cream you want (within limits, which I thoroughly explored.)

Like most minimum wage jobs, scooping ice cream is overwhelmingly one filled by the young, who do not need a living wage, or those who have no skills or experience whatsoever and need to develop some. When the minimum wage goes up, companies eliminate jobs, and when it goes  up too much too fast, whole occupations and companies disappear. This isn’t capitalist propaganda: it’s true. Most of the jobs that disappear are those that make life a little more pleasant for those not doing them, like pumping gas, ushering in movie theaters, operating elevators, waiting on tables, and scooping ice cream, jobs that can be learned in about an hour or less by anyone with an IQ hovering around 90. Continue reading

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Finance, Government & Politics, U.S. Society, Workplace

This Prosecutor Was Fired For A Non-Apology Apology, But He Should Have Been Fired Long, Long Before That

Bias bone or no bias bone? Wait---WHAT THE HELL IS A BIAS BONE???

Does Karl Price have a bias bone or no bias bone? Wait—WHAT THE HELL IS A BIAS BONE???

Karl Price, up until recently an assistant Jefferson County (Kentucky) district attorney,  was suspended last month for making derogatory remarks in court about gays, immigrants and the disabled.  First he was reprimanded for disparaging a Korean American family, but The Courier-Journal published a story showing that Price had denigrated defendants  in court many times and had even been admonished for it by judges. This prompted a review by the county attorney’s office that turned up more such incidents. One example: At an arraignment of a black defendant who was caught after running away from police, Price, an African-American, said, “I thought you black guys could run, but you never get away from police!”

Query: What kind of supervisor only finds out about long-term misconduct by an employee in public proceedings after reading about it in the local newspaper?

County Attorney Mike O’Connell offered Price, who had worked as an assistant prosecutor in the office for 25 years (“without complaint,” we are told, which may only mean the newspapers didn’t report the complaints)  a chance to keep his job if he submitted a sufficient apology for his conduct. Price submitted a letter that qualifies as a Level 9 or 10 on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale. It was  a “deceitful apology, in which the wording of the apology is crafted to appear apologetic when it is not (#9) as well as “an insincere and dishonest apology designed to allow the wrongdoer to escape accountability cheaply.” (#10).

Price guaranteed the #9 rating when he began his apology by including the magic phrase, “if I have offended anyone…” He cemented a #10 rating by loading his letter with rationalizations. He wrote that he had been treated unfairly, arguing that other prosecutors have been given “several second chances” [Rationalization 39. The Pioneer’s Lament, or “Why should I be the first?”] and that his predecessor in arraignment court said “far more outrageous” things than he did [Rationalization Number 1: Everybody Does It].

Then this: Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Workplace

Unethical Quote Of The Week: The Huffington Post, Which Is Having A Really Unethical Week

KKK assestance

“The photo has gone viral this weekend as netizens praise the officer’s extraordinary show of professionalism and grace under such trying circumstances.”

The Huffington Post, commenting on the photo above, showing black police officer Leroy Smith giving a feeble white supremacist assistance during the Ku Klux Klan rally held at the South Carolina Statehouse over the weekend.

Does the Huffington Post have any idea what professionalism is? Ethical conduct? Increasingly, I have my doubts, and this is just the latest example.

We already know the average “netizen” doesn’t know ethics from shinola, but the Huffington Post is a news and culture commentary site. One would think a basic comprehension of such concepts as duty, fairness, justice, responsibility and ethics would be essential. Well, let me rephrase that: they are obviously essential. One would think the Huffington Post would know that without them, its analysis of pretty much anything is worthless.

Look, you ethics dolts: Smith was doing his job, that’s all. The fact that he personally may have objected to the beliefs and words of the protesters is completely irrelevant to his professional obligations. He must treat all professionals the same. To do otherwise would un-professional, un-ethical, and wrong. Dominique Mosbergen is  apparently  of the opinion that the normal, professional thing to do is to refuse to help people whom you don’t like, agree with, or whose views offend you. Wait—isn’t this what the jerks who refuse to sell cakes to gay couples do? Somehow I don’t think Dominique agrees with those anti-gay marriage zealots or that she feels to just treat such customers as human beings would constitute an “extraordinary show of professionalism and grace.” Why does she think a black cop helping a distressed racist like he would a similarly needy  NAACP member because they are both citizens and as a public servant he is duty-bound to treat them both exactly the same is an “extraordinary show of professionalism and grace,” then?

It is because she is incompetent and ignorant. It is because she doesn’t comprehend what professionalism is. It is because to her, “White Racist Lives Don’t Matter,” so she is just bowled over when an African American acts without employing her biases.

Leroy Smith behaved like any professional would, and should. Nothing more, nothing less. Most cops do their jobs, and do them professionally. There is nothing newsworthy or extraordinary  about the photo, except to people who believe that the primary motivating factor for most people is hate.

_____________________

Pointer: Fred

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, The Internet, Workplace

Now THAT’S An Incompetent Intern!

Trump tweet

Donald Trump’s Twitter account accidentally tweeted out the image of The Donald’s face superimposed over an American flag with soldiers visible marching  under it.

Nazi soldiers.

A blow-up of the soldiers in the tweet revealed that they are wearing SS uniforms.

Perfect. Perfect. What possibly could be tastier chum for Trump-hating pundits and journalists?  Trump’s campaign blamed a careless intern, and that sounds plausible. But what a careless intern! And what an advertisement for Trump’s self-proclaimed management skills.!

Well, good. It is unethical for  public figures to authorize communications to be sent out under their name when they never even sign of on them–deceptive, lazy, irresponsible. It is even worse when the agent placed in charge of such unvetted communications is a low paid, or unpaid, inexperienced intern.

I love it when this happens. I would love it even if it happened to someone I respect, unlike Donald Trump. Maybe if this kind of tweeting disaster happens to a few more public figures, they will stop lying to gullible people who eagerly follow tweets based on the lie that they come from The Donald, or Barack, or Jeb, when in fact they come from Melvin Spoccolodo, age 23.

Nazis!

There is cosmic justice after all!

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, History, Marketing and Advertising, Social Media, The Internet, Workplace