Don't shoot the messengerBy John Putzier
What do you do if you know something is going on in your company that you think the management should want to know, but you are afraid to tell them because you don't want to take the risk of them shooting the messenger, i.e., me!
I know you probably want specifics, but how about I give you a couple of examples instead? What if my boss is doing something unethical, immoral or illegal? Obviously, I can't go to him. But if I go above him, I could get into really big trouble with him, and maybe even his boss, if they are in it together. Can you see where this is leading?
Some people would probably turn a deaf ear or blind eye to this kind of stuff, but it is really hard to be a person of values or with high moral character and to work for someone who apparently isn't. I don't want to leave the company because I really do like what I do, and I think that this may be an isolated incident. Anyway, why should I have to suffer for the misdeeds of others?
This may be one that you can't answer, but I really hope you can.
Rock and A Hard Place
Surprise! I not only have an answerâ€¦I have two answers! This is serious, and we must be judicious in our approach. Not knowing exactly what your boss is up to, I will give you two different solutions, and you can decide which one best fits the situation.
I am sure you have seen the infamous "whistle-blowers" from the tobacco industry to Enron, who sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Obviously, that is an option, but not an easy one. There are federal laws on the books to protect "whistle-blowers" who reveal illegal activity of a company's management and executives.
But the cold, hard truth is that although there are financial remedies and protections for those brave souls who blow the whistle, rarely are they still employed by that same company after it is all over. You be the judge as to whether the situation warrants such action, and whether you can weather the storm.
Another option is a relatively new one, and a little easier. There is now a website called AnonymousEmployee.com, which has only been on line since last March, and is a high-tech version of the employee suggestion box. The Web site is based in Toronto, Canada, but 80 percent of online traffic comes from the United States.
Workers fill out an online form outlining their complaints and including suggestions about how to fix the problem. They provide the name and e-mail address of the person to whom they want their complaint sent, and the Web site then forwards the e-mail, which cannot be traced back to the writer.
Workers can write about any problem on their mind, from personal complaints or complaints about a company's procedural problems to charges of harassment or fraud. The Web site does not require the writer's name. The writer may request a reply from the recipient, which is sent to the Web site.
Even better newsâ€¦the service is free. Hope this helps!
Wizard of Weirdness (WOW)