Friday, February 05, 2010

Happy Friday

This gave me a chuckle. Classic advertising fail. But I suppose if you really needed their services, you wouldn't notice the error.

The comments on the shopping ethics post were funny. It was the same when I talked about it in class along with an article I have about a guy finding a hundred bucks on the ground in a parking lot and being conflicted about keeping it. (I would have had no confliction at all.) My students were like you, ranging from the prudish to the jaded. The lawyer was interesting, she said it's not stealing in the eyes of the law unless intent can be proven. Having worked as an undercover security agent prowling for shoplifters, she said the big problem is not the occasional cashier mistake, it's the incredible number of shoplifters that cause much more loss. As for "honesty", I'm as honest as can be if I know you. But I couldn't care less about the shareholders of a giant retail chain. A mom and pop store would have been totally different. A corporation has no obligation to be moral or ethical, their only objective is to generate a profit, regardless of the bullshit mission statement. Consequently, I have no moral obligation to them either.

More happiness about the Magicjack. When someone leaves you a message (yes, a voicemail box is included with your $50 annual fee) you are sent an email with a .wav file of the message. I love the convenience of being able to know if anyone's called just by checking my email inbox.

The weather has been pretty nice here. All the precipitation has remained south and although it's chilly, the sun has come out every day and it's slowly changing arc higher in the sky is heralding the spring. It makes me feel grateful.

19 comments:

Rick said...

I'm with you on the $100 bucks. The DVD player I don't know.

Stephen Chapman... said...

That image is great!

Paul Brownsey said...

Am I illiterate? - I can't see the error, unless it's the sophisticated one of implying that plagiarism is a matter of bad grammar.

Anonymous said...

I would have taken my free DVD player and celebrated my good fortune without one ounce of guilt.

People who think there is a dignity in being poor, have never been poor.

Sean said...

"Consequently, I have no moral obligation to them either."

The moral obligation is not to the corporation, it is to yourself.

And with the recent supreme court ruling...

tornwordo said...

Free "from" errors is technically correct, but "of" is preferred as is omitting the preposition altogether, ie "error free".

Rebekah said...

I'm with Sean on this one. It has to do with my moral obligation to myself.

And I don't believe "prudish" is fair. I'm honest.

And as for anon? Poor has nothing to do with it.

JC said...

No offense, but your DVD player wasn't an ethical dilemma. It was a pure case of right or wrong. Knowingly taking an item you have not paid for is theft. There isn't a gray area.

An ethical dilemma is a decision-making scenario in which it is difficult to decide on how to choose between two competing ethical values. Theft is not an ethical value.

Lemuel said...

I understand your attitude toward corporations and shareholders of same, but I also understand that the cashiers, etc. who work at these stores are usually not part of that corporate gravy train. Although I am not sure how it might apply in this situation, I know that many corporations "punish" the cashiers who make [honest] mistakes. The corporation would not have taken the hit. Someone perhaps worse off than you would have taken it.

Again, on this and similar points, we need to take the high road, and when a clerk or other is surprised at our honesty or ethics, we can urge them to "pay it forward".

tornwordo said...

Wow JC, nice judgmental comment. The law says it isn't theft, period. Many of the readers, however, agree with you. Setting the item on the counter to have it be scanned means the intent was to pay for it. Let me ask you this, if an item is scanned for a lower price than marked on the shelf, do you mention it? Because if you don't, you're essentially stealing as well. It goes without saying that I would never mention that store error.

Paul Brownsey said...

1. "Error free" needs a hyphen between the two words. The modern fad for dispensing with hyphens is a bad thing. "I have 20-odd cousins" means something different from "I have 20 odd cousins": the former means I have something over 20 cousins; the latter means that I come from a family of loonies.
And a bad boss of mine wriggled out of a disciplinary case because, though the charge should have been that he engaged in too many "extra-departmental activities", they merely wrote "extra departmental activities", which allowed him to reply, "So I work more than other people - what's the problem?"

2. I don't understand this idea of an obligation to yourself, at least in this context. I can at least understand the idea that I have an obligation to point out the underpayment (I don't know if I agree), but I don't see how that is an obligation *to myself*.

Paul Brownsey

Rebekah said...

An obligation to myself, means I have to be true to my ideals. I believe I shouldn't take something for free that I was meant to pay for, no matter how little it may mean to the other party, whether or not it was the other party's mistake, and it definitely doesn't have anything to do with how poor or wealthy I am.

Anonymous said...

Its not as if he stashed the machine under his coat with the intent of avoiding paying for it!!!

I now feel completely inadequate in my mother tongue, it looked fine to me, my problem is that I read so much that I just scan over groups of words, and though it may not have been best practice it had not changed the meaning.
Nick UK

wanderingthroughwonderland said...

I can't help but wonder if JD has ever illegally downloaded any music or movies. No offense.

Paul Brownsey said...

It may be a transatlantic thing, buit I'm pretty sure "free of" isn't "preferred" here in the UK. That was probably why I couldn't see anything amiss with the notice.

I have a hunch that "free of" may be more common in the UK where the condition is something you've achieved for yourself, where you've managed to shake off the restraining feature: "I'm free of her at last," someone might say after getting a divorce. But I'm free *from* discrimination if a new anti-discrimi nation law is passed, and I want to be able to walk the streets at night free from violence.

On obligations to oneself, since Tornwordo seems not to hold the sort of ideal to which Rebekah refers, then he doesn't have an o bligation to himself to point out the shop's error.

Rebekah said...

I never said he did.

Anonymous said...

Poverty and wealth are at the heart of the matter.

Only rich people have the luxury of saying things like "I have a moral obligation to myself."

Moral obligations get a little grayer when you're starving.

Rebekah said...

Wait. I just want to make sure I understand you correctly: are you saying that if one is poor, stealing is okay?

And starving? Please. It was a portable CD player, not a loaf of bread for a homeless person.

Snooze said...

Okay, I adore Rebekah's last comment.

As for me, I have pointed out when i've been undercharged, but I have no problem with speeding. I guess each person takes their own stance.