Ethical Dilemma: Would You Tell on a Colleague/Friend?

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Daily ethical dilemmas are something everyone has to face. Sometimes, we may not notice them. Sometimes, we may ignore them.

Today, I’d like to look at two concepts that are part of my core values: loyalty and honesty. You know this goes. Below is the situation which you have to think about.

You have a colleague whom you’ve worked with for many years. You’ve developed a relationship beyond that of co-workers. You consider each other as friends and, in fact, you two are thick as thieves.

You both work in the Quality Assurance Department and are tasked with rating other employees. The ratings you give play a major role in whether or not the employee receives a raise or stays in the same salary bracket.

One day, you go over to your friend’s desk to ask her about going out for lunch together. Since she isn’t there, you decide to grab a piece of paper and look around for a pen to leave her a note. While doing so, you inadvertently look at her computer screen and see traces of “tweaking” the rating of a colleague who also happens to be a friend. This tampering spells the difference between a considerable raise and not getting any raise at all.

What do you do?

Do you confront your friend about it? Maybe she’ll have a perfectly rational explanation, and everything will be forgotten.

Do you confront your friend, and tell her you are going to report it?

Do you just go ahead and report her?

Do you forget what you saw? Maybe you misread the data.

Now, let’s start the ball rolling. What would you do?

Related: Ethical Dilemma: Would You Turn a Thief In Without a Thought?

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