Monday, December 5, 2011

Ethically Challenged

Preliminary warm up:
     The work place break-room can be a pretty tricky territory. I don't know how it is at other places, but I've worked at lots of hospitals, and it's always the same. If you don't want to share it with the world, lock it up. This get's complicated when what you don't want to share needs to be kept refrigerated. In the past, my lunch has been eaten, picked at, and thrown away, so I graduated from carrying my food in Walmart-sac's to an official lunch box (it's leopard, but not made from real leopard skin, so no need to throw any red paint on it). Problem solved. My new problem is putting a brand new bottle of coffee creamer in the frig (after writing my name on it 6 times), and coming back to work for the bottle to be almost completely empty. Not cool. If I bring something to work to share, I write on it, "ENJOY!" If I bring something for me, I write my name all over it. Since this method is failing miserably, today I tried something new:

     Do you think it was okay for everyone to find it appropriate to drink my creamer? Would you drink/eat something from the frig that had someone's name all over it?

     Close your eyes. Crank the ignition to your imagination. Get it all nice and toasty. Then picture yourself in the following ethically challenging scenarios:

    You and your handsome, funny, endearing husband are spending the day together. You decided the only thing you need to put the finishing touches to your Christmas decorations is a little rustic Charlie Brown tree on your fireplace mantel. After an effortless and unnecessary debate, the two of you head to Hobby Lobby to find the winner. Upon arrival, the place is packed with holiday shoppers, but you are a determined shopper, and unshaken by the chaotic environment. When approaching the tree section, you realize the selection is limited, and lacking your dream tree. They're all too tall, or too wide, or too full. But wait. . . . .what's that?. . . .  .could it be? . . . . .Exactly what you wanted? . . . . . . . Nope. Never mind. It would be the perfect tree, except there's a dumb looking orange football helmet attached to the base. You verbalized your disdain. In efforts to please you, your handsome, funny, endearing husband carelessly picks up the tree to inspect it for surgery (the helmet's remove-a-bility of course).
     Then it happens. The helmet slides off the base and comes crashing on to the tile floor, shattering into no less than 50 pieces. It was ceramic. SHIT. Shit. shit. SHIT. Shit. shit. Your husband bends over to gather the pieces as the two of you discuss who to notify. (Remember, there are tons of bystanders watching you!) You decide you will just buy it, to make everything right. Then you look at the price tag. $60 for a 2 foot, bare tree, that's not even pre-lit, just because it had an ugly (and now broken) ceramic football helmet base. No way. You soon find out that your husband had no intention of notifying anyone. He tucked the broken pieces neatly onto the bottom shelf and wasted enough time for the witnesses to move on. You quickly debate whether or not this is morally right. "People do it all the time," your husband says, "We'll buy something else to make up for it." You try to keep shopping, but can't think of anything other than the recent event, so you run to the car, humiliated.

     Would you have told someone, offered to buy the ridiculously priced item, or collected the pieces and put it back on the shelf? Am I guilty by association? 

    A booger is hanging out of a work accquantence's nose. Do you (A1) tell them or (B1) pretend not to see it so they can further embarrass themselves in front of everyone else they encounter until either (A2) someone finally decides to break the horrid news to the clueless sap or (B2) they go to the bathroom hours later and notice it themselves and cry over the sink after realizing how many people saw a booger hanging out of their nose that day and didn't have to balls to mention it.
     I choose (A1). Which reminds me of the time, in Breckenridge, when we were riding a bus back to our car after long hours of skiing, with the skies dumping snow like Niagara Falls. After getting a good giggle and sneaking a few pictures of the poor ignorant guy standing in front of me with an icicle hanging from his ass like a dingle-berry, I revealed to him my gratitude for unknow-inly letting my immature crude sense of humor be entertained after an exhaust-ingly fantastic day. Sadly, he didn't think it was as funny as I, but I can live with knowing I saved him from being further humiliated by his melting butt-cicle, as long as I got the last laugh. A satisfying conclusion to a delightful day. 

     Do you have a criteria to determine whether or not you tell someone they are flaunting something embarrassing? 



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