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Corporate Decency?

August 18, 2012

I care about business and I care about how people reflect their company.  And vice versa.  Hear are two stories where people (and their companies) let us down.

First, United Airlines.  Anyone who travels by airplane knows that it is generally not a pleasant experience to fly.  Virtual strip searches in the airport.  Long waits in multiple lines.  Crowded planes.  Delayed flights.  It is not very much fun.  This story takes it even further.  It is heartbreaking.   Outsourcing of KEY customer-facing positions is the death knell of a company.  It is the ultimate statement that the company does not believe its core mission is to serve people.  United is guilty of that outsourcing.  But perhaps even more frightening is people losing their basic human decency and empathy.  It makes you wonder.  If a person hates their company so badly, why do they keep working there?  I would hope at some point in time a person would look in the mirror and decide “there is more to life than this”.  The article below eloquently tells the story of people who have lost their sense of direction.

United article – http://m.nbcbayarea.com/nbcbayarea/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=tXP38n3H&full=true#display.  The letter written tells it all.  You really should read this one.  It is long but interesting.

Second, NCR Corporation. Those of us who used to work for NCR had to listen to the “code of conduct” speeches but were not always sure management lived them. However, I recognize working in a global world is a hard thing to do.  But if a company trumpets its values of integrity, then they need to live them.  It appears that did not happen in a number of places.  While the motivation of someone waiting 8 years to expose some alleged wrongdoings is questionable, the dealings with the one lawyer is criminal.  http://blogs.wsj.com/corruption-currents/2012/08/13/ncr-investigates-alleged-fcpa-violations/

The moral of these stories, and so many other stories like them is this:  If you are no longer able to allow your own personal decency to override what “the company wants me to do” then you are in the wrong job.  Move on.

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