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Professional Workplace Dilema

By lilgirltorres Jan 22, 2013 975 Words
Professional Workplace Dilemma
Christian Torres
GEN 480
December 20, 2012
Dr. Miguel Rodrigues
University of Phoenix
Professional Workplace Dilemma
Each individual has faced his or her own ethical standards that have been learned from society, peers, and through education. Each individual’s morals and values will be tested at one point or another. This can be caused due to economic hardship or greed. Our ethics is the framework for our decision making, and our ethical standard each person holds. However, under certain circumstances we will question our ethics and run into an ethical dilemma. Every individual will face or has faced an ethical dilemma during his or her lifetime. This can happen in a professional setting or in day to day. I will discuss an ethical issue I have experienced in a professional setting. I will also analyze the dilemma and evaluate the outcome of my decision. I was working a retail job at the age of 17. I had been working at the Old Town State Park for over a year. It was a small retail shopping areas that consisted of 10 stores and a staff of 50 individuals ranging in ages from 16 to 35. Most were high school aged and maybe their first jobs. None of us had an assigned store to work and rotated. Because we all did work with each other we, all knew each other and became close. I remember several instances of where my coworker Karina and I had worked together in the same store. We had grown close and had much in common because we were less than a year apart. We would sometimes hang out outside work. At this time we had became close friends. I knew her family and friends, and she knew mine. I remember one-day we were working together, and she was ringing up individuals at the register while I was stocking the shelves. I saw her tell a customer if he paid cash she would lower the price of the item to $20. I saw her take the money, give the customer a bag and thank him. She did not provide a receipt or document the transaction in the register. I knew she was going to pocket the money. I did not say anything this time hoped it was a onetime thing, and it would not happen again. However, I was mistaken. About a month later I went over to Karina’s house and saw store merchandise at her residence. I had asked her about it, and she said she took it. I was confused and unsure of what to do or say if anything. I knew her financial situation and the hardship her family was going through and that she needed her job. At that time I did not say anything and went home to think about what I should do if anything. I knew that she was stealing from the company in several ways. However, my thoughts had me justifying her actions. I knew she just got in a car accident and had no transportation. Her mother was unemployed and depended on Karina’s income. My thoughts also were that we had done inventory three months ago, and the company was also experiences loss because of theft so what effect would only two more items do.  Both Karina and I have the same power and authority.  We both were just retail associates who had the same duties and functions. However, I had seniority over her. I had been employed four months prior to her. I also had to provide her some training when she first got hired when I worked with her. Because we took turns working at different store, I had to make her become familiar with the merchandise and where the back stock was. The ethical issue was that Karina was stealing money and merchandise from the company. I knew that stealing was wrong, and there were consequences for her actions. However, I knew her personal life and was conflicted of the outcome if I did tell. I believed that if I told management about Karina’s stealing that she would get fired. With such a serious offense she will not be given another chance. Also, when she applied for another job they would provide a negative review, and she will have a difficult time finding employment. However, if I stayed quiet she would continue to steal and eventually get caught. Outside just the consequences of Karina’s employment our relationship would be affected. She would be upset that I told on her and our friendship would potentially end. I was in an ethical dilemma and unsure of what decision to make. I knew the right thing to do is tell however with such harsh consequences I knew everyone would be effected. My decision was to talk to Karina an advised her that I was aware of what she was doing. I told her that I had seen her steal money from the register and saw the merchandise at her house. I told her that it was wrong and to think if she gets caught how disappointed her family would be and the consequences in the future. I told her that as friend I am here and willing to help with what I can. I also advised that if it did happen again I would not hesitate to tell management. During the remainder of the time I worked their it never happened again, and we are still friend to this day. Through education and growing up I know I would handle the situation very differently. I would not allow my personal relationships affect my career. I would have told management anonymously so our friendship would not be affected, and the company would not have any future losses. Karina would also have learned a hard lesson to not steal from her workplace.

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