How timely that 10 LCBO workers have just been busted for an Air Miles scam just as I’m poring over the Codes of Conduct pertaining to my new employer.
These liquor store workers tranferred Air Miles credits to their own personal accounts, thereby accumulating miles meant for customers. Their employee agreements clearly state that this is wrong, in the eventuality that some workers are too stupid to already know that. The Codes of Conduct that I am reading are also very simple and in a perfect world, ought to be assumed. But this world is far from perfect and some people need a clobber on the noggin before they understand the most basic principles of ethical and decent behaviour.
In essence: don’t be a jerk at work. (Only peer pressure can hope to change you if you’re a jerk in your personal life.) Most big companies have clearly outlined policies that define what is and is not acceptable and they actually administer tests to ensure that you’re aware of those policies. I can’t blame them, really. There’s always some dinosaur or narcissist who can’t see outside of their own little world-view bubble. This protects the company so that in the unlikely event of an infraction, it can go back to the test results and say, see, you knew it was wrong!
Back to the government workers. I believe there are people who can commit this kind of low-level fraud and those who cannot. Those who can have crossed an imaginary line that takes them into a territory where other, more sinister things are possible. That imaginary line is an electric fence as far as I and most people I know are concerned. The 10 were fired making room for 10 ostensibly ethical people to take their places. It’s survival of the fittest and part of being unfit is contravening your company’s and your country’s laws. Most of us will never do either and that’s crystal clear as I leaf through the thick ream of paper outlining what’s expected of me in my new workplace, starting tomorrow.