Saturday, September 6, 2014
No, this isn't about serial killers nor is it my usual praise for the glories of nature.I hope you will stay with me.
Many years ago, a wise man who had been in the working world told me about certain employees of his who had criminal minds.I dismissed what he said as his thinking tends to float on the down draft of cynicism.
I see it differently now and it disturbs me.In 1980, I went back to work after a 15 year hiatus.I was grateful to a large telecommunications company for hiring me as I had no idea what my marketable skills and education might be worth. I was part-time, so I had no benefits but this gave me more time with my family.If I had to say what my thinking was when I went to work it went like this; I want to prove myself so I can be full-time, make more money, have health benefits and possibly a career.
The phone center where I worked as a clerk took orders for new service and sold designer phones.Mickey Mouse and the Trim-line phones were favorites.I was in my 30s and there were other clerks, men and women in their 20s.I was very naive and thought that everyone saw things the way I do. I didn't appreciate that their approach was different.From their activities, their thinking must have gone something like this:what can I get out of working here, how can I game the system ?Soon, rumors floated that they were passing the expensive sets out the side door to a cohort who would drive to Georgia Tech and sell the phones.Orders were changed to provide a friend with deposit free service.I am sure other things happened that I knew nothing about.In their minds, there was no loyalty to a company that provided them with an opportunity,nor any sense of right and wrong.These were bright, attractive people but their thinking undermined them.
Here is a litany of what happened after I left for a full time job at a different location:
-a male clerk fired for altering an order.
-clerk fired for bad mouthing the regional manager over the phone which cause her to have a stroke.
-a male manager fired for bouncing a check on the same company.
-manger fired for stealing money from the teller location entrusted to her.
Think of the money lost from training these people and then the time lost investigating their activities.Where are they now?Did they learn from what happened or did they repeat their behavior?
Is there an answer? Schools are not allowed to teach ethics.Church attendance is down.Who will teach children the value of honesty and gratitude .Their parents? And without the support of the culture, will it fall on deaf ears?
I don't think that we as a nation can go on without addressing the thinking that is ruining lives.The headlines bear witness.