Truth & Consequences in The Ethics Zone

You’re traveling through another dimension — a dimension not only of right and wrong, but of relationships. A journey into a space whose boundaries are that of the human condition. That’s a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Ethics Zone!Image The Ethics Zone

Hannah Thrumplemyer glanced at her phone. Fifteen minutes until her new hire was due to report. She reviewed the company’s on-boarding checklist. Security badge: check. Email setup: check. Business cards: check. Things looked good to go. She took the elevator down to the security desk to meet Ron Stimpleton.

There had been a few solid candidates for this position, but Ron’s experience, references and attitude pushed him over the top. He had responded so enthusiastically to her email with the parking information and orientation schedule for his first day. Hannah checked the time again. Ten after. Ron was late. Maybe he was caught in traffic?

At 30 past, with still no word from Ron, Hannah decided to call his cell. No answer. She returned to her desk, and gave HR a call. No, they hadn’t heard from him either.

An hour later, Hannah called the staffing firm that had placed Ron. The recruiter was surprised Ron hadn’t shown up, and he assured Hannah he would follow up immediately. Later that day, the recruiter called back. He was embarrassed and apologetic. It seemed Ron had decided to take another offer – one that neither the hiring manager nor the recruiter knew was on the table.

In the meantime, Ron was having a coffee with his new co-workers. He never gave Hannah a second thought. Why should he? All’s fair in a tight job market, and he knew he was a high commodity, right? Why should he show his hand and tell her he was interviewing with another company? It wasn’t that recruiter’s business either, right? Little did Ron know that wasn’t how things worked in the Ethics Zone.

A few months later, Ron’s new manager, Thurgood Hornblower attended a conference out of town, where he ran into his old classmate, Hannah Thrumplemyer. They met up during the evening reception, and Thurgood told Hannah about this great contractor he had hired several months ago. As Thurgood talked, Hannah began to experience a little déjà-vu. Her suspicions were confirmed when Thurgood slipped and called the contractor, Ron. “Interesting,” said Hannah. “I hired a contractor named Ron about that time, with the same skill set. He was a no-show. Can’t tell you what a bad fix that put me in.” Thurgood commiserated, but his gut clinched a little.

Time rolled on. Ron’s contract came up for renewal. As Thurgood reviewed Ron’s work, he remembered his conversation with Hannah. So far things had been fine, but Thurgood decided to see if maybe there was an internal fit for Ron’s position. As it happened, there was someone working on another project that was nearing completion. Good gal, great skills. It would be a shame to lose her. Good reports, too. She seemed so… trustworthy.

Ron was very surprised when his contract wasn’t renewed. But, he still had a valuable skill set. He sat back and gave his old recruiter a call – the one who had placed him before. Imagine his chagrin when the recruiter said, “Ron, I can’t work with you. Think about it. You weren’t honest with me about your plans. You gave your word to Hannah when you accepted her offer. And then you didn’t even bother to call either one of us about your change of heart. Ron, it’s gotten around that you’re not a man of your word. Good luck with your job search.”

*With thanks and apologies to Rod Serling.

Corporate Media Specialist, DPP 


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