Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ethics : Are they necessary?

In the recent months, as I become more involved in the business aspect of the company that I am employed, I have come to know that some deals come with conditions which requires one to be flexible when it comes to ethics..

So what are the ethics or in simpler words, the proper way of doing things?
If a deal requires one to not be honest, is it right?
If the working ethics of an individual clashes with the business processes of a company, which one should bend?

Even more recently, I encountered a fair share of ethical and unethical taxi drivers. These drivers could be considered business owners, a one-man-show, confined to his vehicle, with any passengers within his taxi considered to be his customers.

This country that I had to visit quite regularly had an abundance of taxis awaiting outside its immigration customs, all eager to pick up fresh visitors. At the point, I should probably note that all these taxis though fitted with a meter, they are hardly used. Most of the fares are already decided even before the engine starts. One wanting to take a taxi needs to negotiate the price with the driver after informing the driver of the destination. Along the way, I noticed the taxi meter is still turned on and its numbers jumping happily away. Also, whenever I alight, I noticed , each time and everytime, the meter will always reflect a lower fare price than what was negotiated.

When selecting a taxi, it was noticed that also with each driver, comes different rates even when the pickup and destination location is relatively the same. And when it comes to popular taxi waiting areas like the Customs or close proximity to a major shopping landmark, the rates increase as the drivers proximity to these landmarks decrease. I had the chance to discover this fact when I tried to compare the given fares from the point where I reach the outside of the Customs and when I travelled about 100m inwards beyond the exit of the Customs.. The fares quoted was amazingly 100% different..No prize for guessing which was the cheaper quoted fare.

In any case, I'd also heard of cases where passengers were seriously overcharged because they weren't aware of the standard rates or they did not ask for a quote before going into the taxi...

Which brings me to the next few questions.
It is amazing that for some, even in the confinement and solitude of 2 persons, 1 being the customer and the other being the business owner and knowing that the chances of pickup up the same customer again in future is virtually 0%, ethics are applied and withheld proudly by the business owners.. Of course on the other side of the argument, there are jackals and hyenas waiting to pounce and tear the customer to shreds knowing the fact that their customers will definitely only be a 1-time customer..

So, in the scenario where there is no one but 2 persons and 1 of them lacks the knowledge and tact, would one still be ethical?

In a world where everything is regulated by laws, rules and regulations, must proper business ethics be specified?

Can ethics be taught?

Or more specifically, is there a 10 Commandments of Ethics?

Today is 15th Feb 2007.
Time is 09:14hrs

I am off work thinking about work.
Am I ethical?

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