Janet Garner works as an administrative assistant in Eco-Waste Environmental Services, which is a small waste disposal company. The company is famous for its ethical leadership and concern for the environment in the industry, and that was the reason Janet chose to work in this company. As a divorced and with two children in her thirties woman, EWES is a very ideal company. Having been here for three years, Janet promoted twice and raised the salary for three times, offered for four weeks’ paid vacation, and medical and dental insurance. Janet is very satisfied with her work.
However, yesterday, Janet saw an envelope printed “CONFIDENTIAL” in the copy room, and peek out of curiosity. She found that her employer put a hospital client’s medical waste disposal in a local municipal landfill. She was shocked, thinking that was illegal to do so, wasn’t it?
Back to her office, Janet searched on the Internet and found that if it is inadvertently inevitable discarded trace amounts of toxic medical waste is not illegal. But she thought the company was not unintentional, and the definition of “trace amounts” was not available on the Internet. At the same time, she found that in some previous cases, the companies dumped medical waste in municipal landfill just be fined and had never been investigated for criminal responsibility. Before leaving, Janet went to read the document again. This time she was relieved for the deposal the company dealt with was really a small amount. But she thought that even a trace amounts will bring harm to public health.
This morning, Janet gathered the courage to go to talk about this matter with her immediate superior, Fred Lamb. He also surprised with that, but at the same time he didn’t think it his or Janet’s concern. He said that their job was record-keeping instead of deciding how to deal with the medical waste.
After leaving Fred’s office, Janet went to the office of Angela storm, who is the company’s Vice President of Operations. After Janet’s words, Angela appeared impatient and said, “Don’t you know what the meaning of “confidential”? We did so in order to reduce the cost and improve the advantage in competition, and just a little bit of medical waste will not have harm. This matter is not your concern, and let it go”.
Now, Janet is caught in a dilemma. On one hand, she thought this kind of treatment of medical waste was illegal and unethical, and would pose threats to the public health. On the other hand, the company’s treatment is very good, and it really a perfect job to Janet. She wants to keep it. Moreover, this is really a small amount of incorrect medical waste processing and the management staffs of company meant this thing was not Janet’s concern. Janet confused, she didn’t know she should let such a thing happen, maybe continue to happen, reveal to the public, or just simply leave the company.
I think all the main characters in this event had their own ideas and motivations.
The first character is, Janet. She works here because she thinks this company disposes waste with safety and ethic. But now she suddenly found that the company did incorrect or maybe illegal treatment of medical waste. That made she disturbed.
First of all, she thinks this kind of treatment of medical waste, even a small amount, can also give threat to the public health. Janet thinks such behavior is very serious and very wrong, for which she specially search related information online. She was surprised when she knew the companies which did similar things before just be fined without being pursued criminal responsibility.
Secondly, the company’s such behavior is not consistent with its slogan, which is “Safe, Efficient, and Ethical Waste Disposal.” Customers choose the company because they think the company disposes waste with safety and ethic. And now, what the company did is deceit to the customers. Moreover, the CEO of the company is involved in some environmental non-profit...
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