Tag Archives: ethics alarms

DNC Progressives Jump The Shark

Pop Quiz: Name all the ways this photo is appropriate to the post...

Pop Quiz: Name all the ways this photo is appropriate to the post…

[A “Happy Days” reference seems felicitous, since last week saw series creator, writer and frequent director Garry Marshall head off to the Big Malt Shop In The Sky. In addition to having the good taste to be named Marshall, Gary’s myrth-inducing career in TV and movies as a producer, writer, director and actor (Marshall’s turn in “Lost on America” as the incredulous casino boss whom a desperate Albert Brooks tries to persuade to give back the life savings lost by Brooks’ wife in a mad gambling spree might be my favorite comic acting bit of all time) was long and productive, and the culture will miss him greatly. As will I. ]

Attention must be paid to the fact that while the speakers at the Republican National Convention sounded scary (to some), the Democratic National Convention authorities acted scary.

Twenty-one Vermont Democrats have filed an official complaint with the party, protesting that the Democratic leadership ordered  the state party to replace Vermont Sen. Tim Ashe and party member Ken Dean with women, in the name of “gender balance” without adequate due process.

By all means, let’s make sure that gender discrimination in pursuit of the greater good and Progressive Nirvana is done with due process!

I think it’s cute that both political parties are losing their minds at the same time, don’t you? Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society

Unethical Manager Writes Advice Columnist For Affirmation, Gets Head Handed To Him.

mr-potter

Well and rightly done, Allison Green!

Allison Green, a management advice blogger, received this jaw-dropping question from a relative of Mr Potter:

I manage a team, and part of their jobs is to provide customer support over the phone. …One employee asked to come in two hours after the start time due to her college graduation ceremony being that same day (she was taking night classes part-time in order to earn her degree). I was unable to grant her request because she was the employee with the lowest seniority and we need coverage for that day….I told this team member that she could not start two hours late and that she would have to skip the ceremony. An hour later, she handed me her work ID and a list of all the times she had worked late/come in early/worked overtime for each and every one of her coworkers. Then she quit on the spot.

I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.

…I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?

He also said that on one occasion he had granted a similar request “because they had concert tickets that they had already paid for, but this was a special circumstance because there was cost involved.”

!!!!!

Before showing you Allison’s response, here’s mine: Continue reading

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Filed under U.S. Society

Ethical Quote Of The Week: Relationship Advice Columnist Carolyn Hax

befriend-v-t-to-make-an-ingrate-quote-1

“[I]t’s time you made the acquaintance of an institution we all must embrace at some point in life: the thankless task. That’s how you file away changing a baby’s diaper, paying your taxes, visiting a relative turned cranky from infirmities, throwing in extra toward the tip because everyone else left the table. You do these because they’re the right thing to do, even though babies don’t sit up and say thanks for the squeaky-clean butt.”

—–Syndicated advice columnist and natural-born ethics whiz Carolyn Hax, answering a young woman’s question regarding the proper response to someone who should have thanked her for a kindness, but did not.

The letter writer was a high school athlete who, like most high school students today, had never been introduced to the satirical wisdom of philosopher/humorist Ambrose Bierce in his indispensable “The Devil’s Dictionary.”  The young woman had organized a senior night tribute to a graduating teammate, who then expressed no gratitude after the event.

“I am not sure whether or when I should broach the subject. Am I being needy and selfish, or do I have a legitimate case for feeling disowned?” she queried Hax.

As she is about 98% of the time, the columnist was spot on in her response. Doing good things and right things do not assume some kind of quid pro quo, cosmic or otherwise, in this  world or a subsequent one. Learning to feel good about doing the right thing whether you are praised, rewarded, thanked, or derive any tangible benefits yourself is one of the hardest lesson on the way to ethical living, and one of the most important. No, you shouldn’t assume that you will be treated unfairly, as Bierce suggests. As he meant to warn you, however, you shouldn’t be surprised, either.

Do not expect karma, or justice, or thanks—don’t even hold out for credit. Just figure out the right thing to do–how you would want to be treated, how you wish everyone would act, the conduct that will make society better for everyone by solving problems or making them bearable—and do it. Those who don’t understand that it’s also right to reciprocate by exhibiting recognition and gratitude  haven’t figured things out yet, and their ethics alarms are jammed.

Be glad yours are in good repair.

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Filed under Character, Etiquette and manners

The Washington Post’s Ethical Unethical Accurate Stupid Tone-Deaf And Dangerous Headline

Go ahead, keep deriding "the people." Can't do any harm...

Go ahead, keep deriding “the people.” Can’t do any harm…

The big problem with the “elites” that conservatives and Trumpeteers keep demonizing is that they insist on acting and talking as if they are exactly as insolated and contemptuous of “the masses” as they are accused of being. Witness this headline on the Washington Post website, on the Wonkblog column:

Headline Post1

Talk about walking into a haymaker! This headline went viral on the conservative media and social media, with such comments as, “Know your place, peasants!” and  “Stand aside and pay attention to your betters!” As with many such incidents, the headline signals that some ethics alarms aren’t functioning in high places. How could this headline make it to the web without anyone seeing it and thinking, “Whoa! Hold it! That sure sounds like (another) call to authoritarian government, and this is the major paper in the Capital of what is supposed to be the cradle of liberty! We can print that, and if we think it, we have to be a lot more clear about what “some things” are.” What does it tell us that nobody had that thought at the Washington Post?

This is the realm of headlines, which, like internet memes and bumper stickers and Twitter posts, are not safe for expressing complex ideas, and should not be used by competent journalists to do so. Ultimately, in a representative democracy, the people do decide such things indirectly, by electing their representatives and punishing them with their votes if they don’t make decisions the public finds competent and beneficial. The Post web headline asserts an ugly and arrogant dichotomy between “the people” and what, their rulers? The intelligentsia? The aristocracy? The 1%? Journalists? Since trust in our institutions are at a dangerous low point, this is a mind-blowingly stupid thing to print, and plays directly into the hands of the anti-establishment hucksters like Trump and Bernie. Continue reading

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Filed under Around the World, Citizenship, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Rights, U.S. Society

Ethics Quote Of The Week: My Friend Mark On Facebook, Politics, Community, And Fathers Day

wisdom

In my recent essay about my Facebook friends’ reactions and over-reactions to the Orlando shooting, I referred to one particular Facebook post and my critical response to it. As I suspected, knowing that poster and his character like I do, my friend Mark commented on the essay, and followed up with this statement on Facebook. I asked if he would grant me permission to quote him, and he did.

This is an extraordinarily ethical and thoughtful man, and this is how an ethical human being thinks when emotion and non-ethical considerations become the strongest.

This is what an ethics alarm ringing sounds like.

Having suffered a near-toxic overload of Facebook this week, I’m going to give the points to Facebook and withdraw from the game for a few days. I love being here and interacting with my friends, family, and especially with those who don’t necessarily share my beliefs. Argument can be fun and challenging.

But.

We need to start being more careful with each other, especially in times of sorrow like this last week. What we forget (and what I have learned recently in myself) is that these shootings traumatize the whole country in one way or another – whether a fear of a loss of rights and liberty on one side, or increasing fear for bodily safety in our every day lives on the other. Orlando becomes DC becomes Kansas becomes California becomes . . . When American citizens die, we are – or should be – all in this together. The poisonous dialog I’ve witnessed and, sadly, participated in or instigated this week shows that I, at least, had forgotten that.

Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Quotes, Facebook, Government & Politics, U.S. Society

From The “I’ll Take My Tiny Victories Where I Can Get Them” Dept., A DirecTV Update

DirecTV is now running a new version of the “Turn Back Time” ad featuring Bon Jovi. It looks just like the earlier one, except that now turning back time re-unites the female side of the satellite TV-watching couple with her old boyfriend, as her current partner looks on in horror. This is a major improvement over the first version, as it doesn’t make a wall-drawing kid vanish into the ether as his parents smile at ridding themselves of an unwanted child.

Maybe this is just an effort to vary the theme. I’d like to think, however, that enough ethics alarms went off among viewers and maybe even DirecTV executives that they realized that the original ad was more ugly than funny, and pulled it for a more ethical version that doesn’t tell us that this corporation thinks vaporizing children is hilarious.

Don’t disillusion me. I can’t always feel like I’m screaming in the wilderness here.

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Popular Culture

Hmmm…Might THIS Stem The Ethics Alarms Traffic Slump?

ink tonersI received this e-mail today. If I were Ken White at Popehat, I would deliver an extended faux discourse on ponies, but in this case the message itself suffices:

Hi Jack,

My name is Stephanie Song. I am a freelance writer. I was wondering if you would be interested in allowing me to write a unique article for ethicsalarms.com? I’m working to get myself established in the industry. All I would ask is for a very brief About the Author section at the end of the article that has a single link in it to my site at InkTonerStore.com.

If you check our blog you’ll see that I am very focused on high quality content. Although our blog focuses on ink toners, I can write on any topic.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Humor and Satire