Is Cheating Ethical?

Of course not!  Well, let’s step back from the abyss just a bit and look at how widespread this has become.  We could start with transgender sports issues where men “identify” as women, but that one is too volatile right now.

Let’s start with cheating on tests.  The recent article in the Wall Street Journal  indicates modern competitive pressures coupled with easy technology choices has proven just too alluring, so cheating is rampant.  My progressive friends will quickly support these poor individuals and want to lower test score expectations or eliminate testing entirely.

Something funny happened to me in high school.  A student sitting slightly behind me to one side copied my answers to a multiple-choice test.  I guess she thought I was a good student, but it turns out that this was in my worst subject: history.  So, when she too got a lousy grade, she had the nerve to get in my face and complain!  I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “I am not good at this subject.”

But let’s consider how many employees companies believe they have working for them today are also working full-time for someone else, or perhaps just “consulting on the side” in some way.  If we are being honest, the employee agreements we sign specifically disallow this, without some accepted exceptions.

Our remote work environments make this almost too easy.  But something else is at work here:  There is a noticeable shift in expectation among some younger employees that work must be meaningful and fulfilling to them … that they have to feel connected to a greater good or cause, or they simply go into hiding and start looking for somewhere else to work.

The result is you see many applicants for your jobs who have had 10 jobs in as many years.  When you ask them about that, they give you vague answer like, “I am just trying to find myself …”

Somewhere along the way, the definition of work has shifted from things that need to get done to opportunities to enrich your personal lives.  A high-level executive at SDG&E once told me she told employees, “It’s called work for a reason.  It’s not called play.”  Work performing essential tasks and as you get better at that, it is part of the reason people get promoted, which by the way, tends to be much slower than today’s newbies expect.

For some reason, they seem to think that simply showing up reliably for a few months deems them so good they deserve a promotion.  They believe work/life balance means work must fit into their lives.  They do not answer emails outside of working hours … if they even answer them there.

We shouldn’t be surprised given they have been coddled in life playing T Ball and other sports where everyone gets a trophy.  They have been told they are smarter than we are and shouldn’t put up with our traditional points of view.  Ask them.  If they feel safe, they will tell you these things.



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