Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Dealing with Unethical Attitude - Case Study -1

Case Study: Miss A is a writer and she has applied for a post through an online forum.  Mr. X interviews her and asks her to write a sample article to help him evaluate her writing skills. Miss. A does as she is asked. Mr. X offers her a job; but she feels that the pay is too low and turns it down.

A few days later, Miss. A finds the sample article she sent Mr. X published in an online forum under his own name.  Shocked, she confronts him. But Mr. X is unrepentant and justifies his action saying, "It's after all a simple blog post.  Moreover, I offered you the job and you turned it down."

Miss. A is furious.


With the intention of exposing Mr.X, Miss. A posts the incident in one of the online groups she belongs to.  She says that she never realized that her articles were so good until she caught people posting her articles without paying her and without her permission.

Advice starts pouring in.  People tell her, she should not let him get away with it.  She should narrate the incident in all the social media channels with links pointing to his profile.

Do you think their suggestions will really help?

How would you help her deal with the situation and prevent her from getting into similar situations in the future?

By exposing the guy on online forums they both belong to?

No. Because, he would simply find other forums and people to scavenge off. Besides, the point is to prevent Miss. A from getting into similar situations in the future. So, we are not going to resort to counter- productive, vengeful  measures that could become a vicious cycle of throwing insults at each other.

So, should she simply let it go?

No. She should confront him and let him know that what's he did is unethical and leave it at that. Our job is not to correct the unethical behaviour of X but to help prevent A from getting into such situations in the future.

One solution to this specific problem is, she could start a blog (if she does not already have one) and post her sample articles in the blog. And then point prospective employers to the specific article they are likely to be interested in. That way, any publishing they do will merely be republishing and would infringe on copyright laws.

Key point: We can do nothing about other people behaving badly.  What we can do is equip ourselves to defend ourselves against such behaviour.

Any other solutions?


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