My interviewee was a truck driver. A female one at that named Linda. When I asked her about ethical issues she faced in the work place she was spoilt for choice on where to begin. She told me that a few weeks after she got hired she realized that some, well most, of her co-drivers were to a very large extent providing over statements on their mileage claims thus overcharging the company. She says at first she was not sure what to do she was in a dilemma on whether to follow suit and continue making the extra money with her fellow employees or blow the whistle on them and lose the trust and friendship of all other employees.
“Arriving at an ethical decision on this issue required me to deeply evaluate myself in terms of what I stand for and exactly what it is I believe in,” she said. She says she had to measure the weight of loyalty to her fellow employees in comparison to honesty and fidelity to the company that gave her a job. “I concluded that the best course of action in this case was one I was willing to stake my professional and personal reputation on and be ready to live with the consequences for the rest of my life both in terms of my professional life and my personal life,” she added. She recalls that she had resolved within herself that the decision she was going to make was going to be one she could be able to justify morally and also recommend to someone in a simm9ilar dilemma. She decided to make a decision which she believed to be indeed right based on her ethical principles and reported the issue to the superiors. The superiors took the issue more heavily than she had. They set up a commission of inquiry and upon submission of the report by this commission twelve of her colleagues were relieved of their duties with immediate effect. She is of the sentiment that the action taken by the management was a bit extreme. She feels that punitive measures should have been put in place to rehabilitate the culprits instead of letting them go. She however does not regret her decision and claims to be proud of what she did to this very day.
My interviewee also shared with me just how difficult it is for a female to fully adapt and cope in a male dominated profession. “Most of the men are kind and just plain gentlemen but there are also those who try to take advantage of women in the profession,” she said. She revealed to me that she had experienced instances of sexual harassment repeatedly on the job with some of the male drivers hell bent on taking advantage of her. She reported the issue to the management and the men involved were subjected to punitive measures for example suspension and cash fines.
She expressed her disgust at how the management dealt with the issue of sexual harassment in comparison to the issue of people stealing from the company. “Apparently stopping a handful of people from stealing little money from the company is more important than upholding the personal and sexual integrity of faithful employees,” she said bitterly. She expressed how the management dealt with her sexual harassment case with a sense of laxity almost as if no one really cared. She also added that she felt that the management had their moral standards backwards and something needed to be done to help minority workers such as herself.