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Lying in order to get time off work

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LoBagola
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I'm starting to really appreciate and sense how having a validated, integrated morality internalized would help you become not only better, but more confident and happy. When there is uncertainty there is anxiety pressing on any action you chose to take. You take the action you chose less boldly. And if you're right you should be bold.

 

I'm still at the stage where I feel a moral/practical split in many areas of my life. It's a ring of gyges type split. It feels more urgent for me to get to the root of this now as I'm starting to see how more and more choices I make will depend on my understanding of these ideas.

 

Here is just one recent event. I'm currently working at a call center. I stopped looking for work after I got this job back in August and have spent my time outside of work studying, exploring and cultivating passions. The work serves the role of providing me income but it is not what I see myself doing for a career — that's what I'm figuring out. In the mean time it provides me with income, pays bills and doesn't consume all my time.

 

Recently I was invited to interview for a nicer job overseas. It's the perfect fit. It's the type of work that won't consume all my time and pays really well for what I'll do. But here's the thing. The call centre is really busy at the moment and they won't give me any time off work to go to these interviews. I've had one interview already which I had to fly for. I called in sick — so I lied saying I didn't feel well so I could interview elsewhere. I'm going to have another. 

 

As far as I can see it my options are:

 

Don't lie. Quit before the next interview so I can fly interstate again for the next interview. In this case I'll be left jobless and may not even land the other job. It's a very big, bureaucratic company and my boss is also just somewhat of a pawn. She needs to meet "targets" setup by a computer. And she won't be allowed to let me off for leave. So if I tell her I have this job interview I will be putting her in a bad position because even if she wants me to go and succeed (I'm sure she would) she can't tell me to call in sick and she also isn't allowed to give me an unpaid leave day.

 

Lie. Call in sick for the second time. No one can do anything about it or prove anything. If I get the new job great. If I don't get it then I keep working at this call center.

 

I know it's not as simple as that. The consequences might not just be loss of a job but other, less easily seen consequences to the development of my character.

 

By the way I've had this same issue with downloading music. And it's something I've been unsure of for a very long time. My approach has been to just keep studying epistemology and keeping these type of problems "mentally noted" so that by the time I have the tools to work through them properly I'll remember to. 

 

 

 

 

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Have you tried stating something along the lines of: I have some personal business I have to attend to, and I require a day off in order to accomplish it.

 

From doctor visits to closing on a house, all require interaction with folk that do not necessarily adapt their schedules to meet yours. While I wouldn't recommend saying I have an interview with a perspective new employer, the proposed statement would certainly subsume that activity as well.

 

In the event that inquiry is returned about the nature of the business, just say it's rather personal, and that you would rather not discuss the particulars of the matter.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Does your contract of employment or company policies say anything about giving notice before taking time off? Are they acting within their rights by declining your request?

The ideal thing would be to be honest. Tell them you have an interview for a dream job, that no matter what they say you're going to go to it. They can either let you take the day off or refuse. If they refuse then make it plain that you will not be attending work and that you can quit now or keep working - the choice is theirs.

If they value you and have any sense, missing you for one day would be preferable to losing you entirely, having to find someone else as competent, waiting for them to start during a busy period etc. The latter would be a bit self-defeating.

If you lie and accept payment from them for the day taken off it would be a bit out of order.

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You cannot get time off work during the nov-jan period for "personal reasons". You must be specific. I don't get paid for time I call in sick and I don't see what difference it would make as either way I'm lying to get a value (time off work to interview elsewhere). my boss physically can't allocate me time off because her computer won't let her. She could "escalate" it to someone higher in the corporate chain but then she needs more than "personal reasons". This will very likely come down to lie or quit which seems drastic and I'm not quite sure how telling the truth would be good for me here.

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"Lying" isn't intrinsically good or bad, it depends on the context. The possible "moral breach" with lying from an Objectivist's perspective is that you're avoiding reality in the broadest sense, which is the basis for all immorality. For example, if you're on a plane and you're afraid of flying, it doesn't help yourself to just suffer through in that moment, and instead you might want some short-term reality-avoidance in the form of a sleeping pill. That doesn't make you a reality-avoider altogether, aka. a liar to yourself, aka. immoral. You're moral because you recognize the reality of your inability to stay calm on a plane.

With your job, you have to first start with yourself. What's good for you? You're doing this already by pursuing new work. Then, it's true that avoiding reality in little ways, such as telling yourself it doesn't matter to lie about sick days even if you're not yet sure about that, could affect your character negatively. So, use your judgement from their perspective, too, as a check on yourself. What's in the company's interest? Is it reasonable? What would you do to an employee like yourself in their position?

Often, a company will have many policies and rules which exist only because of one-off issues with problem employees of the past. Basically, the vast majority of their rules are for the lowest common denominator at all levels of employment. At the "top," management will take the company down business paths which serve little purpose but to stave off the management's fears of inevitable change and to hide their own inadequacies. "Lower" management and employees are not knowledgable or creative, and oftentimes are lazy. So, they will "solve" employee situational problems with little thought to the long term ramifications, and implement more crap rules which stay around a long time. The net effect is a labyrinth of seemingly nonsensical rules -- non-personal and impractical policies for regular, honest workers. Often, this labyrinth will punish good workers unjustly, and both the worker and company loses when the employee quits or is fired.

My basic rule in dealing with this labyrinth is to give one single, cautious chance to management to fix a problem reasonably. If they fail or if their rules fail and they aren't willing to step outside of those rules (ie. have a backbone), I play by their reality-avoidance games instead. Sometimes, if I think it's not going to be bad for me, I'll even mock their rules as I play their games. "Jeff, so you know, I'm feeling a pretty bad cold coming on next Friday." They don't like that for some reason, but the effect is to let them play their games, while getting me the day off and covering their asses by allowing them to claim ignorance. See? A game! This isn't your doing, who gave them a chance to be honest, it's theirs.

If you're not certain about which action to take, I think you should at least make sure you're not throwing yourself under the bus (getting fired from a job you could use right now), only to decide later that was a pretty bad decision.

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You cannot get time off work during the nov-jan period for "personal reasons". You must be specific. I don't get paid for time I call in sick and I don't see what difference it would make as either way I'm lying to get a value (time off work to interview elsewhere). my boss physically can't allocate me time off because her computer won't let her. She could "escalate" it to someone higher in the corporate chain but then she needs more than "personal reasons". This will very likely come down to lie or quit which seems drastic and I'm not quite sure how telling the truth would be good for me here.

Sounds like there is a policy to be honest. Not, as Jaskn seems to suggest, an incompetent set of managers or bad policies. It would be a fine case of evasion here, to just lie as if the other people are fools and can't make their own decision about how to react. You don't know you'll be fired, don't assume you will. If you are a good worker, they'd keep you around and accommodate you. If you aren't a good worker, they might not, in which case you're lying to avoid your own poor work so you won't be fired. If you are a good worker and they don't accommodate, what're you doing at a job that doesn't care about good employees?

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Call centers are notoriously awful to their employees, probably because they are ideal for the worst types of employees (and thus follow the labyrinth pattern): desperate, probably can't hold a job, unskilled, and with more or less nothing to lose because they hate the job and hate working in general. I think a good manager would struggle under these conditions, but a good manager is also difficult to be found at call centers.

Even if his manager is nice and likes him, who knows how competent she is or how willing she is to stand up to her bosses. Even if she's willing, it's probable they'll still override her. All this improbability for a call center job he doesn't even want. Honesty sounds like a losing proposition.

And, if this *particular* policy of theirs is "honesty," that could easily be for shortsighted, "practical" reasons of the past where some chronic liars had screwed them over. So, over time their labyrinth could include this "honesty policy" while the company as a whole is dishonest, and disingenuous toward their employees in general.

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Even if his manager is nice and likes him, who knows how competent she is or how willing she is to stand up to her bosses. Even if she's willing, it's probable they'll still override her. All this improbability for a call center job he doesn't even want. Honesty sounds like a losing proposition.

Honesty, as a virtue, then, requires admitting the job is worth quitting, and now is a good time. Mere pragmatism, in contrast, requires keeping the job for that paycheck, and it is impractical to reveal intentions which could make people at your job like you less and maybe fire you. The "loss" of honesty is finding out that you might be accommodated in the end, or discovering you're surrounded by Keatings - or perhaps realizing you are one of those Keatings by needing to hide who you are from corporate hacks.

 

you = general you

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By "you=general you," do you mean that time and circumstances are not relevant? Even "you" changes, almost constantly, not to mention the circumstances around you.

"Honesty, as a virtue, then, requires admitting the job is worth quitting, and now is a good time." Why is this the obvious action necessitated by "honesty"? There's honesty toward yourself, and then there's honesty toward others. I said I'd give others a chance to be honest once, and then for me that's it -- honest to myself only from there forward, because being honest with others literally proved to be bad for me.

It's not "pragmatism" to hold true to a principle of being honest with yourself.

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Honesty, as a virtue, then, requires admitting the job is worth quitting, and now is a good time. Mere pragmatism, in contrast, requires keeping the job for that paycheck, and it is impractical to reveal intentions which could make people at your job like you less and maybe fire you. The "loss" of honesty is finding out that you might be accommodated in the end, or discovering you're surrounded by Keatings - or perhaps realizing you are one of those Keatings by needing to hide who you are from corporate hacks.

 

you = general you

I live in the southern United States, so there are a lot of Christians around, including at my job, where all of the managers and almost all of the employees are Christians of one sort or another. I have been asked what my religion is several times, and I always respond that that is a personal matter rather than lie or tell them that I'm an atheist. I do this because I don't know what their reaction would be, and I value my job too much to create any risk at all that I might be fired.

 

I have thought about the matter and this is the most rational solution that I could come up with, so I don't consider it immoral. It certainly qualifies as hiding who I am, but I see it as unlikely that it will turn me into a Keating.

 

This isn't exactly analogous to the OP's concern, which is about lying, but it seems like an exception to your claim that hiding who you are turns you into a Keating that is worth mentioning.

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By "you=general you," do you mean that time and circumstances are not relevant? Even "you" changes, almost constantly, not to mention the circumstances around you.

No, I just didn't want to seem like I was snide to you. I'm saying that circumstances matter, except there is no particular reason to lie. There is no principle to suggest it. The supposed losses are assumptions, not facts. There is no being honest with yourself if the objective is to present yourself as different - wearing a mask to get by.

 

"I'll lie that I'm sick, be indirect and imply what I mean without saying it, suck up to the bosses, play them as fools who don't deserve to judge for themselves if they want me around. Who cares about my integrity? They're losers anyway. Why be just? They're bad bosses. Why be productive? They don't -really- care if I sneak out of my job. Why be rational? They'll fire on a whim anyway. Why be prideful in my ability? They'll fire me the moment I do something not written down, so I need to hide when I seek more."

 

Your earlier response, as far as I could tell, was predicated on the improbability that anyone else knows what they're doing. If they -really- don't know what they're doing, then there is no rational reason to continue working there anyway. Staying at the job is lying to oneself in that case. Except, it doesn't sound like a totally incompetent call center.

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No, I just didn't want to seem like I was snide to you.

Oh, whoops.. overthunk.

 

I'm saying that circumstances matter, except there is no particular reason to lie. There is no principle to suggest it. The supposed losses are assumptions, not facts. There is no being honest with yourself if the objective is to present yourself as different - wearing a mask to get by.

 

This thread was made because of the reasons he might want to lie. Why are assumptions not valid? If they're reasoned guesses, and they come true, what would you say to that? And, he wasn't trying to present himself as with a mask to get by, he was trying to do just the opposite. But, the company isn't cooperating. Still, even if he *was* trying to present a mask in this instance, that doesn't automatically make it immoral.

 

"I'll lie that I'm sick, be indirect and imply what I mean without saying it, suck up to the bosses, play them as fools who don't deserve to judge for themselves if they want me around. Who cares about my integrity? They're losers anyway. Why be just? They're bad bosses. Why be productive? They don't -really- care if I sneak out of my job. Why be rational? They'll fire on a whim anyway. Why be prideful in my ability? They'll fire me the moment I do something not written down, so I need to hide when I seek more."

 

I didn't see evidence of any of this sentiment from him, and lying to them wouldn't necessarily suggest it, either.

 

What I'm getting at is lying is never intrinsically immoral. It looks like you both agree and disagree, so I guess you just judge this particular situation differently than me.

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I didn't see evidence of any of this sentiment from him, and lying to them wouldn't necessarily suggest it, either.

To the first part, I agree. It is just a narrative to describe what would be unprincipled ways to think, and thought processes to avoid. To the second part, lying would go in that manner only if there is some reason to say the call center job is a disvalue and the people involved are irrational So yeah, lying is not intrinsically immoral - I just see no reason that it is moral in this case. Generally, I only see lying as appropriate in circumstances where people truly are irrational, or your life is at risk. I'm posing this situation in a way that telling the truth has good consequences.

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If you are a good worker and they don't accommodate, what're you doing at a job that doesn't care about good employees?

 

I’m good at answering phones, but so is almost everyone else. I’m good at showing up to work, but so are 1/5 new recruits they have. I’m there to pay bills, study and figure out what career I want to pursue. This is the best I managed to find so far.

 

 

 

 

If you are a good worker, they'd keep you around and accommodate you. If you aren't a good worker, they might not, in which case you're lying to avoid your own poor work so you won't be fired. 

I disagree that these are the only two alternatives. How is it not possible to be a good worker and still not lose my work? The manager has to meet numbers on a board. It "looks" worse for her to give random leave to any employee for time off then to lose one in natural turnover. 

 

 

Then, it's true that avoiding reality in little ways, such as telling yourself it doesn't matter to lie about sick days even if you're not yet sure about that, could affect your character negatively.

I’m trying to concretise some of the possibilities involved in the impact on my character. The first thing I think of is the accumulation of experiences where I deal with man’s rational faculty. For example, I’ve made certain assumptions about what might happen yes. I think they’re likely — but they could also be wrong. If I approached my boss and told her the truth, and said: this job interview is really important to me, I haven’t looked for work elsewhere, I still think I can add value and here’s why. What if she found a way to let me off, or even offered to conspire by telling me to call in sick (since she’s somewhat powerless here). Now I have accumulated an experience where I appealed to the rationality of someone and they responded positively. The accumulation of those experiences over a life time WILL impact my sense of life. I know it from self-introspection. Does my reasoning make sense here?

 

What's in the company's interest? Is it reasonable? What would you do to an employee like yourself in their position?

To keep me during this busy period rather than have me quit. But my manager’s interest do not always coincide with the contractors interests (who hired me) and with the companies interests. As far as my manager goes she can’t be giving out leave willy-nilly during this period, otherwise she gets the hammer. From my understanding of the system, it is actually better for her to let me quit and lose an employee in “natural turnover” rather than give me leave. It’s a high turnover business.  

 

 

"Lower" management and employees are not knowledgable or creative, and oftentimes are lazy. So, they will "solve" employee situational problems with little thought to the long term ramifications, and implement more crap rules which stay around a long time. The net effect is a labyrinth of seemingly nonsensical rules -- non-personal and impractical policies for regular, honest workers. Often, this labyrinth will punish good workers unjustly, and both the worker and company loses when the employee quits or is fired.

This may be true here but the point is I accepted the role, they are paying me money and I do need to pay the bills. So to lie I’m lying to acquire a value which I would (likely) not otherwise get: time off. The other option is telling the truth and potentially being  in a position unemployment again. These probabilities make it harder for me because I just don’t know for sure what will happen in either scenario. I know that’s what principles are for, to help us think over ranges of time (and handle probabilities), but in this case it’s incredibly difficult for me to really understand and feel it’s true that telling the truth is better, but I am trying to explore that possibility. 

 

 

 

My basic rule in dealing with this labyrinth is to give one single, cautious chance to management to fix a problem reasonably. If they fail or if their rules fail and they aren't willing to step outside of those rules (ie. have a backbone), I play by their reality-avoidance games instead. Sometimes, if I think it's not going to be bad for me, I'll even mock their rules as I play their games. "Jeff, so you know, I'm feeling a pretty bad cold coming on next Friday." They don't like that for some reason, but the effect is to let them play their games, while getting me the day off and covering their asses by allowing them to claim ignorance. See? A game! This isn't your doing, who gave them a chance to be honest, it's theirs.

I did ask them for time off before and they essentially said no. That's honest. 

 

 

The problem here is I can’t forsee the many impact this might have in the future. E.g. perhaps in a future interview someone might ask me why I had to quit that job and I will tell them the reason, and they’ll find my honesty impressive. Or I could just be unemployed for the next few months after quitting and not finding work.  I asked for time off before for “personal reasons” (2 weeks in advance) and when pressed I said “I really need to help my father with something”. They gave me two hours off work in the afternoon (and that was locked in only the day before) AND this was a period that was way less busy. Lucky that interview was teleconference, in the afternoon, and pushed out by an hour. Obviously if it’s a day time interview which I have to fly for, there’s no way I can wait till the day of the interview and hopefully get a few hours off. So that’s what I’m worried about that it’ll come down to “I just can’t give you the time off” and then I’ll just have to call in and quit which will be a really terrible situation if I don't land that other job. 

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Calling in on the day that I have the interview and telling them I've got an interview so I can't come to work would be worse than quitting because I'd probably be fired in that case. Calling in sick would be fine, but I'd be lying again to keep/attain a value: work.

Edited by LoBagola
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Most bureaucratic rules are created with an expectation that a certain amount of "cheating" will act as a safety valve, and that the rules themselves should not provide safety-valves, lest they be taken as licence.
If an employee were to tell me they had to go for an interview, and if I absolutely thought I could not pass the truth up the line, my reaction would depend on whether I thought the employee was an asset who should be retained on my team. If I wanted them to stay, I would tell them to call in sick or do whatever else to stay within the rules.

From the employee's perspective though, instead of lying, they have asked me to lie. Still, I would prefer to know the truth rather than be lied to. (Though I personally would not hold it against an employee if they did not tell me. That would be my default expectation.) If the employee quits and it comes out that he was interviewing, there's a pretty good chance I would tell my boss that I knew. Given the bosses I have had -- most very sensible -- they would understand that this was a situation where the rules ought to be broken, or at least that I am in the best position to make that judgement. If I were to say: "yeah, I knew he was interviewing, but he's a good worker and I didn't want to lose him. I'm glad he told me, so that I could plan for it."

 

I really can't say how this applies to you. You could take it as advice to lie. Or, you could take it as advice to tell your boss. I think it could be either, and it really depends on your analysis of the facts at hand about your own work and value, about your boss, and about the employer.

Edited by softwareNerd
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I disagree that these are the only two alternatives. How is it not possible to be a good worker and still not lose my work? The manager has to meet numbers on a board. It "looks" worse for her to give random leave to any employee for time off then to lose one in natural turnover.

I gave three alternatives, one even grants the possibility to be fired.

"It "looks" worse for her to give random leave to any employee for time off then to lose one in natural turnover."

Assumption that your employer cares more about "looks" than the reality. If it is true, why are you working there? To say paying bills is your reason, fine, but if your assumption is true, you're implying that you don't care about the company being good, you'll work anywhere, even if the place is terrible morally speaking. In any case, assumptions are bad, so lying emphasizes that you want to ignore your own assumptions and take them as truth.

"What if she found a way to let me off, or even offered to conspire by telling me to call in sick (since she’s somewhat powerless here). "

What if she did the right thing and got you time off legitimately? What you've deemed likely is without reasons, and dependent on an employer being equal to "The Man" trying to screw you over.

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I advise you follow Objectivist principles and uphold Objectivist virtues.

 

Be rational, be honest, but remember honesty does not require revealing your private affairs to everyone.. you have a right not to provide any information you wish to keep private!

 

Assess the following ascribing probabilities to outcomes (benefits or loss):

 

There are two courses of action:

1. Miss the interview

2. TELL your boss you are going (which you are) but ASK for them not to fire you.  TELL your boss you will not be providing any details about your absence (if you plan to keep it private) and offer in return for your privacy and a day or two off, overtime, or whatever else is reasonable they are willing to exchange. They have the choice now to reach a deal with you or fire you, they cannot literally force you to stay or to divulge why you plan to be absent.  You have to be firm that they do not have a choice or say in whether you go, only what they are or are not willing to accept in exchange.

 

After assessing the probabilities of benefit/loss rationally decide on a course of action sticking to Objectivist principles and virtues.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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Assumption that your employer cares more about "looks" than the reality.

[...]

What if she did the right thing and got you time off legitimately? What you've deemed likely is without reasons, and dependent on an employer being equal to "The Man" trying to screw you over.

Again, what is wrong with assumptions? If there is reason to expect something, it might be good to expect it. You can't read minds, people are dishonest, people "mean well" but are ultimately spineless, etc.

What if she *didn't* do the right thing, and you have reason to expect it? Is the risk of being honest worth the consequences, all things considered? Why is honesty with others whose interests are not necessarily good for you, the default? The default should be, "What's best for me?" He's verified the employment atmosphere I described ("high turnover"). This employer is in a business where they have decided it doesn't matter much who they employ -- they use a staffing agency for goodness sake. Why should an employee bend over backwards about this company's best interests, when they plainly act in the opposite way?

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I’m trying to concretise some of the possibilities involved in the impact on my character. The first thing I think of is the accumulation of experiences where I deal with man’s rational faculty. [...]

Now I have accumulated an experience where I appealed to the rationality of someone and they responded positively. The accumulation of those experiences over a life time WILL impact my sense of life. I know it from self-introspection. Does my reasoning make sense here?

[...]

The problem here is I can’t forsee the many impact this might have in the future.

Well, you can't expect yourself to be omniscient. Look at the facts and make what you think is a good decision. You'll see afterward how well it worked out. Even if you don't know some essential facts in this particular situation, future experience will give you a different and better idea of what was going on, and whether or not you made a good choice.

As for your reasoning above, to me it seems backwards. If you're worried about your outlook in life, look toward yourself. You can't depend on other peoples' good will to keep you optimistic about the prospects of your own existence!

Calling in on the day that I have the interview and telling them I've got an interview so I can't come to work would be worse than quitting because I'd probably be fired in that case. Calling in sick would be fine, but I'd be lying again to keep/attain a value: work.

Although these probably aren't your only alternatives, I'll still point out that any company who punishes an employee for wanting to leave -- just because he wants to leave -- is not a company worth much consideration, in my opinion. Employment goes both ways -- if an employer wants and expects excellent employees, they have to act like it. If you want employment at an excellent company, you have to act like it, too.

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Again, what is wrong with assumptions? If there is reason to expect something, it might be good to expect it. You can't read minds, people are dishonest, people "mean well" but are ultimately spineless, etc.

By assumption, I mean illogical or baseless reasoning. Subject to cognitive biases, rather than reason. Much of the reasoning LoBogola offered was in fact attempted mind reading, imagining what this boss would do, trying to presume you know the person will be irrational when I was given an example of rational behavior, and totally missiing any benefits of telling the truth. Bottom line is, lying is a clear evasion of either a bad environment, or evasion that a lie is making something up that is false in order to manipulate someone. All lies are manipulation!

 

The very fact that we're trying to justify a lie seems to be abdicating honesty as a virtue, turning honesty into a means for social harmony, and lying as sacrificing others to yourself. This is literally what The Fountainhead is about. Roark worked in a quarry rather than attempting to be pragmatic and lie as needed. Keating opted to give into all the social harmony of pragmatism so he could make decent money. Keating would lie to get his way, and everyone else did. He is a prime example of someone who thinks about what is best for himself in terms of getting by, but was so worried about what others might do, he was plain spineless. Roark was perfectly glad to work in a quarry, it wasn't torture.

 

In other words, lying is dishonest plain and simple. We're not talking about a life at risk here, where lying is literally required to prevent destruction. But in the context of trade, lying is dishonest.

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Most bureaucratic rules are created with an expectation that a certain amount of "cheating" will act as a safety valve, and that the rules themselves should not provide safety-valves, lest they be taken as licence.

If an employee were to tell me they had to go for an interview, and if I absolutely thought I could not pass the truth up the line, my reaction would depend on whether I thought the employee was an asset who should be retained on my team. If I wanted them to stay, I would tell them to call in sick or do whatever else to stay within the rules.

From the employee's perspective though, instead of lying, they have asked me to lie. Still, I would prefer to know the truth rather than be lied to. (Though I personally would not hold it against an employee if they did not tell me. That would be my default expectation.) If the employee quits and it comes out that he was interviewing, there's a pretty good chance I would tell my boss that I knew. Given the bosses I have had -- most very sensible -- they would understand that this was a situation where the rules ought to be broken, or at least that I am in the best position to make that judgement. If I were to say: "yeah, I knew he was interviewing, but he's a good worker and I didn't want to lose him. I'm glad he told me, so that I could plan for it."

 

I really can't say how this applies to you. You could take it as advice to lie. Or, you could take it as advice to tell your boss. I think it could be either, and it really depends on your analysis of the facts at hand about your own work and value, about your boss, and about the employer.

So in your scenario rules were broken. Does that mean someone telling you they were sick when they actually interviewed or you giving sick leave to someone you knew was interviewing because you couldn't grant it any other way(and then taking on the responsibility yourself for the lie)? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I gave three alternatives, one even grants the possibility to be fired.

"It "looks" worse for her to give random leave to any employee for time off then to lose one in natural turnover."

Assumption that your employer cares more about "looks" than the reality. If it is true, why are you working there? To say paying bills is your reason, fine, but if your assumption is true, you're implying that you don't care about the company being good, you'll work anywhere, even if the place is terrible morally speaking. In any case, assumptions are bad, so lying emphasizes that you want to ignore your own assumptions and take them as truth.

 

I accept that you could be right: why would I work for a company who can't get their shit together and give me one day off? The only answer I can think of now is I really need to pay bills, save. I find it difficult to project further potential consequences of taking a policy of lying in this situations. 

 

 

Again, what is wrong with assumptions? If there is reason to expect something, it might be good to expect it. You can't read minds, people are dishonest, people "mean well" but are ultimately spineless, etc.

What if she *didn't* do the right thing, and you have reason to expect it? Is the risk of being honest worth the consequences, all things considered? Why is honesty with others whose interests are not necessarily good for you, the default? The default should be, "What's best for me?" He's verified the employment atmosphere I described ("high turnover"). This employer is in a business where they have decided it doesn't matter much who they employ -- they use a staffing agency for goodness sake. Why should an employee bend over backwards about this company's best interests, when they plainly act in the opposite way?

 

 

I agree. I expect, with high probability, needing to quit; but, that doesn't invalidate the principle that I shouldn't lie in order to acquire a value (time-off work). And if I don't follow principles I'm utlimately riding on whims.

 

What I am really struggling with is situations like this, where it is not at all clear to me how being honest (not your definition of honesty JASKN) is to my benefit.I don't mean, in being honest, tell her I'm going to a job interview, I can of course say to my boss that I need time off and I don't wish to share the reasons — I mean not calling in sick when I'm not. 

 

Another thing I was thinking about. Say I discuss this with my manager and she tells me to just call in sick. Do I quit then? because I have to lie to my contractor and the upper level managers will be lied to in order to acquire a value.

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100% honesty, ie. always reveal all, is a utopian dream.

I didn't say "reveal all". DreamWeaver's approach is fine, where it leaves the issue at "personal matter". A lie is something that is false, and the person saying it knows it is false. A lie is a form of manipulation. The whole point of a healthy society is that while it is important at least not to violate rights, letting people make their own decision - moral or otherwise - is part of how to cultivate beneficial relations. To be clear, in terms of Objectivism, I think Rand didn't have the time to examine what virtue demands when seeking the best social environment, as she had to establish first and elaborate on selfishness. Even so, I'm saying that all people must be treated as worthwhile traders in some respect, unless they demonstrate themselves to be irrational.

I like StrictlyLogical's post best.

LoBogola, to get you thinking of all angles here, what are potential good consequences you can think of by following SL's option number 2? What principles would you apply to find an answer?

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Although these probably aren't your only alternatives, I'll still point out that any company who punishes an employee for wanting to leave -- just because he wants to leave -- is not a company worth much consideration, in my opinion. Employment goes both ways -- if an employer wants and expects excellent employees, they have to act like it. If you want employment at an excellent company, you have to act like it, too.

Earlier in my career, I did mention the prospect of looking for employment elsewhere. My boss, at the time, made note of it, and at a later point in time called me discreetly into a meeting room. He pointed out that there are employers out there that might take that as being dissatisfied with the current situation and might fire someone for making a comment like that.

 

He did not fire me, he just took the time to bring that aspect into perspective.

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