Rocketman on September 06, 2009, 07:05:42 pm
Example.
You have an employee who, for some reason, you CAN'T fire, but who you desperately want to, (he's a screw up, he's abrasive, he's ...whatever).
He has found another potential job, and wants a reference.
For whatever reason, you know you will NEVER be called to account for any lies you say about him, that is assuming you choose to lie.

Do you.
A. write him a scathing recommendation, that either covertly or blatantly lays out his flaws, or
B. write him a glowing recommendation, that gets him to quit sooner?
 In a situation like that I would do BOTH.  Write both letters and bring him inside my office for a little chat.  I would have him read both letters and then tell him.  "Here's the deal."  "You can quit right now and you get the letter from me telling your future employers what a valuable employee you are or you can stay around and I will make your life totally miserable and when you finally have had enough and quit then the companies that are looking at you will get the letter that says that your lazy, stupid and don't even show up to work on time."   "Which do you want?"  "You've got 30 seconds to give me an answer."
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 07:07:36 pm by Rocketman »

quadibloc on September 06, 2009, 07:46:43 pm
In a situation like that I would do BOTH.

But that's not the right answer. You aren't told if it's possible to get him to change his behavior, and become a better employee, and, in fact, the statement of the problem appears to imply that this is not an option.

The point of the question seems to be: if you have an employee you would like to get rid of, but can't, then you have a choice between remaining stuck with him, or being dishonest to his future employers. Thus, the question wasn't meant to elicit an answer, it was meant to illustrate a point about how much faith one can put in employer references these days.

At least that's what I think is intended from the question as quoted. However, it is ambiguous as to whether "you can't fire him" is because you are working under some human resources process which makes it impossible to fire people... or because your business needs his continued services despite his flaws.

I am assuming the former, because in that case the question as phrased makes more sense.

EDIT: and, looking back at the full previous post, I see my perception was correct. A point was being made about how people lacking in ethics would deal with a problem to maximize benefits to their own self-interest - by covering up Admiral Harris' failure rather than punishing it - and the question was intended to give an example of the principle.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 07:49:37 pm by quadibloc »

J Thomas on September 07, 2009, 06:41:41 am
This is one of the things that governments do fairly well. Without government some people fall into multi-generational feuds and vendettas, and that's bad for the society as a whole. Governments come in and reduce that.

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.... I can point to other things governments do reasonably well (at least good enough for government work), but at what cost? Government is not a Chinese menu (one from column A, one from column B...); it is a "set meal." You have to buy the whole package, eat everything on your plate and then do the dishes.

Certainly. I didn't mean to imply that this benefit was enough to morally justify the whole thing.

This glimpse of the Ceres legal system doesn't give much hint how they handle that. Somebody informally captures a murderer and ties him up, and lets him discuss it with the victim's family? All informal.... And the family member who shoots him gets no repercussions from his family? They don't informally capture her and tie her up and give him the chance to discuss it before they shoot her?

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Here we go again; Ceres does not have a "legal system." There is no system and what does exist are not laws. I got excoriated by Perry Metzger, because Ceres didn't have "rules." He pointed out--quite correctly--that anarchy means "no rulers" not "no rules. What Perry and others have missed is that the obverse is not necessarily so. Just because anarchy can have rules, it does not follow that it must have rules. Ceres has customs and voluntary dispute resolution mechanisms and that's it. It has not "evolved" to the point of having a more sophisticated "system."

And most of the population owes their lives to the interdependency. It takes special attitudes for that to work for generations. Like, in the USA a whole lot of people got upset about slavery, they were upset enough to kill and raid over it. The government tried to paper over the dispute as long as they could and finally broke down into civil war -- not a war created by government sending citizens away to kill little brown people, but one that the mass of the population (on both sides) wanted. The government headed off that war as long as it could against the public's wishes.

Given people who're kind of fractious it takes special dispute resolution mechanisms. It helps for people to try to mind their own business, but at some point you get the problem of perceived rights. "His neutrons are making my living space radioactive." "The backwash from his rocket contaminated my solar cells." People need to be sensitive to each other's demands even when they seem unreasonable, and yet at some point when someone seems *too* unreasonable it boils down to "what are you going to do about it", and third parties start taking sides....

Special environments breed special people. So part of what you're doing is imagining what kind of special people could make it work.

The story did a very good job of describing the parts of the society which were important in that particular context. I don't want to criticise it for not showing everything at once. At any rate, they let the survivor decide whether to kill the murderer...

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But there is no "they." So nobody let Emily Rose decide. She decided and nobody objected.

To my way of thinking there's a great big "they", and every single individual who could have intervened "let" her decide. Which says a lot about that society.

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Admittedly, Reggie et alia, facilitated her ability to decide, but that is just what they decided to do as their personal choices. I'm sure if Perry Metzger had been there, he would have objected and tried to stop the execution, but at the end of the day, the results probably would have been the same. What happened to the Roses could have happened to anyone. I cannot imagine a Cererean who would give a flip about Harris, and not much more about Young.

Agreed. If we had a setup like that with 200 million late-20th century americans, there would have been thousands of idiots who'd want to intervene, each with his own agenda. Many of them ready to kill somebody to make it come out the way they wanted. Ideally they'd fight it out among themselves....

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Why? Because the culture of the Belt, to the extent there is one, demands that people take personal responsibility for their actions. Kids can say, "it was his idea," but that won't carry much water with their parents. Adults who blame others get shunned, ostracized or worse.

That's vitally important. Also, they would have an attitude that nobody's in charge and they don't want to be in charge either. "You can't stop injustice, you can't make sure that bad things don't happen. If you keep a weather eye out you might keep some bad things from happening to you." I would expect a culture that does not stop people from keeping slaves. You might choose to assist an escaped or escaping slave -- who is acting on his own initiative -- knowing that this might cause a personal issue between you and the owner. You might go so far as to lend a gun to a slave who's ready to use one. You don't start a mass movement to kill the owners.

My natural thought is if I killed somebody on Ceres, I'd want to shoot anybody who tried to informally capture me. I'd rather take my chances weapon in hand than be tied to a chair and talked to by a series of people who will only not kill me if it's unanimous.

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This was a one-off event. The justice wasn't democratic, there was no vote. Daniel's widow, was satisfied to let others do what they thought best. Of the people at the execution, probably only Reggie would have stepped up to the plate had Emily declined. BTW, he also would have killed them both. In some was the "I was only following orders" defense was worse than Harris' crime.

I can see it. And I want to note that in a society with many thousands of people like americans, there would definitely be one who would show up to kill Harris.

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As it was, please note that Emily blamed Harris more. She shot him in the heart so he would feel his death happening. Young was spared that with a bullet to the brain. Personally, I would have shot them both in the head, but I'm not Emily.

My own thought is that if I absolutely can't live in the same world with somebody to the point that one of us has to be dead, I don't care about how they feel just before they die. I just want them gone. But I was a little surprised that she shot him so that he died so quickly, and considered it remarkable maturity on her part. Speaking as an american.

quadibloc on September 07, 2009, 07:46:49 am
And most of the population owes their lives to the interdependency. It takes special attitudes for that to work for generations.

Which is why most of us suffer along with governments.

I would expect a culture that does not stop people from keeping slaves. You might choose to assist an escaped or escaping slave -- who is acting on his own initiative -- knowing that this might cause a personal issue between you and the owner. You might go so far as to lend a gun to a slave who's ready to use one. You don't start a mass movement to kill the owners.

That might be consistent with the general principles on which their society is based, but slavery probably has such a bad reputation that they would make an exception in its case.

Or slavery could be impossible to tolerate for them simply because being a slave is not an excuse for denying responsibility for one's own actions... and so it, and certain other evils, are prohibited but for reasons different than those our society uses.

Rocketman on September 07, 2009, 02:18:42 pm
Quadibloc:  I see that your looking at this as an ethics problem, do you try to change the employee by making him a better employee or do you offer to get him out of your hair by writing him a glowing resignation letter, therefore lying to his next boss?  In today's France I have heard that they have this problem. once you hire someone there it's nearly impossible to fire them.  The problem as I see it is what is going to make the employee want to do a better job when he or she already has job security?  Remember that the government artificially makes it impossible for the law of free market principals to apply.  You can't simply fire him and hire someone that you believe will do a better job.  I believe that my eariler solution is the best of a lot of bad choices since your at least getting rid of him and depending on the individual's job and responsibilities his screw ups might end up costing you the company that you might have spent years building up.

dough560 on December 31, 2009, 03:50:22 am
Ike, I'm a former MP/MPI.  I appreciated your posts.  Please continue to comment.  Not just lurk.

We're both aware under current Uniform Code of Military Justice and The Law of Land Warfare, the order was illegal.  The gunner had an ethical and legal duty not to follow the illegal order.  The commander had an ethical and legal duty not to give the  illegal order.  In today's military the gunner and commander would have been subject to the death penalty in a military court.  Without incoming fire, the gunner would not have been legally subject to summary execution.  In today's system, the commander would have been tried for murder for a summary execution.  In any event, the gunner would have faced the possibility of court marshal for disobeying an order.  The court would have decided whether the order was illegal.

Were the executions self defense?  Yes.  Self defense is the defense of yourself or another facing possible death or major injury.  The commander and gunner initiated aggression and used superior weapons and position to kill helpless individuals.  Every indication is, if released with those same weapons and capabilities, they would have continued to commit similar acts.  With their executions the surviving family members and public can be assured they are in no position to continue these activities.

Under the circumstances the commander and gunner involuntarily stepped from military law, into a separate legal system.  They were not tried in a military court, but the civil system of a people they attempted to conquer. Under either system they would have been found guilty of murder.   As the man used to say, "The facts mam, just the facts".  These were established and the guilty were executed.  The manner of execution was no different or inhumane then processes used by today's military.

As to the matter of the home invader.  Once I forced the attack termination, It is my legal duty to protect the suspect until he is turned over to proper authority.  If possible I would record every word this individual makes.  Said tape or disk would go to the authorities as additional evidence.  I'm no longer a police office and have no duty to advise him of his Miranda Rights.  The more he talks, the better.  With such a recording in evidence, it is highly unlikely he will be out in 48 hours.  His gang members will very likely consider him an idiot and not take steps to defend him.

As for any additional threats against me and my family.....  This presumes he survived the initial incident.  The professional criminal class recognizes jail time as part of the game.  Amateurs and Gangsters are another matter.  They don't recognize any  power but their own or someone they fear.  One of my trainers taught us, "Make them think you are crazier then they are".  How is up to you.  No one wants to deal with a "crazy" person.

Knowledge is power and it won't take long to get his entire history and known associates.  Anyone can get information off the internet.  That and a friendly cop doesn't hurt either.  There are simple things to make you and your family hard to attack.  After that, do what you must.  With effective action, the gang will fear you.

SandySandfort on December 31, 2009, 08:06:40 am
IWe're both aware under current Uniform Code of Military Justice and The Law of Land Warfare, the order was illegal.  The gunner had an ethical and legal duty not to follow the illegal order.  The commander had an ethical and legal duty not to give the  illegal order...

FYI, in the EFT world, the UW UCMJ is essentially as the US version. Beyond that, however, taking those actions was morally/ethically wrong by generally accepted principles in essentially all cultures. Legality is another--and by Belter standards, irrelevant--matter.

As to the matter of the home invader... If possible I would record every word this individual makes.  Said tape or disk would go to the authorities as additional evidence.  I'm no longer a police office and have no duty to advise him of his Miranda Rights...

Almost correct. A police officer is under a positive duty to advise a suspect of his Miranda rights only if he questions the suspect (beyond simple identity questions). Any spontaneous statements by the suspect are admissible as evidence in court.

Rocketman on December 31, 2009, 10:41:31 am
  Amateurs and Gangsters are another matter.  They don't recognize any  power but their own or someone they fear.  One of my trainers taught us, "Make them think you are crazier then they are".  How is up to you.  No one wants to deal with a "crazy" person.

Knowledge is power and it won't take long to get his entire history and known associates.  Anyone can get information off the internet.  That and a friendly cop doesn't hurt either.  There are simple things to make you and your family hard to attack.  After that, do what you must.  With effective action, the gang will fear you.
Dough:  You are SO right there.  Gangs will stay clear of anyone that they are convinced is crazy.  The reason is because crazy people are unprediciable and are liable to do anything to retaliate.

wdg3rd on January 01, 2010, 01:07:39 pm
  Amateurs and Gangsters are another matter.  They don't recognize any  power but their own or someone they fear.  One of my trainers taught us, "Make them think you are crazier then they are".  How is up to you.  No one wants to deal with a "crazy" person.

Knowledge is power and it won't take long to get his entire history and known associates.  Anyone can get information off the internet.  That and a friendly cop doesn't hurt either.  There are simple things to make you and your family hard to attack.  After that, do what you must.  With effective action, the gang will fear you.
Dough:  You are SO right there.  Gangs will stay clear of anyone that they are convinced is crazy.  The reason is because crazy people are unprediciable and are liable to do anything to retaliate.

It's why any (smart) gang leader tries to have one absolute lunatic beholden to him.  Since if they pass the wrong block and the other nut-case comes roaring, there's an expendable defense.

Decades of changing buses in _really bad_ neighborhoods in Los Angeles (South Central is far from the worst), the Bay Area, NYC and North Jersey, I'm safe.  The maniacs look at me and know I will eat them for brunch (I'm not an early riser).  And these are places where I can't pack proper self-defense.  (I don't like prison any better than the next scheduled rape-victim, and in any of these places, if you defend yourself and a court finds out, you're as certain to be raped in the slammer [some gang brothers of the asshole you defended yourself from] as a baby-raper).

I would call my martial arts system "The Way of the Weasel", but Scott Adams already trademarked that.  Marvel Comics got Wolverine.  When walking around, I just put on a DON'T F+U+C+K with ME face, and they go around.  (I don't say they'll die if they mess with me, but it's a good bet it won't be by my hand if they don't).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

wdg3rd on January 02, 2010, 09:32:50 pm
Ward, this is Lisa yur wife. Next time you use MY COMPUTER WITH WINDOWS XP, figure out how to sign out of whatever forum you are posting in, or DO NOT USE MY COMPUTER TO GO TO WEBSITES! If I can figure out where you have been, so can anyone.
Another rule, sort of like, do not drink and drive; do not post while under the influence or under lack of sleep! 
Your computer security skills are getting rusty dear, but I love you anyway.          Lisa
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on January 02, 2010, 11:20:00 pm

EDIT: and, looking back at the full previous post, I see my perception was correct. A point was being made about how people lacking in ethics would deal with a problem to maximize benefits to their own self-interest - by covering up Admiral Harris' failure rather than punishing it - and the question was intended to give an example of the principle.

     Hadn't noticed your "edit" before now.  In the future please start a new post rather than do an edit as I don't always look back at previous posts.  I imagine that most people don't either.
  You seem according to this post to be saying that my answer maximizes benefits to my own self interest.  Okay, that's one way to look at it.  I personally call it "rational" self interest.  The problem is things don't happen in a bubble and ethics from one person don't always transfer to the next.  It's that I realize that the employee because of the situation is unlikely to change (quite possibly he or she IS trying to do a good job and just stinks at it) or they plain just don't want to.
  If I own a factory and I hire an assembler, agree to pay them 10 dollars an hour, properly train them, and they sit around while the work piles up behind them then who is being ethical and who is not?  I've agreed to and kept my end of the bargain while they have not.  If that person is in my judgement at least trying to do the work but doesn't do it correctly, depending on the situation I might spend some time trying to retrain them but in the end that person is a liability then I don't feel bad about getting rid of them any way I can.

dough560 on January 03, 2010, 02:08:57 am
MP (Military Policeman)  MPI (Military Police Investigator)   Investigator's generally have above average skills before being selected for the program.  After the program.... experience comes fast and furious.

Sandy, agreed.  A serving police officer, federal agent etc... has a positive duty to protect a suspect's civil rights, except in the case of a spontaneous incriminating statement.   Miranda Rights do not have to be read at the time of  apprehension (military) or arrest (civilian), but do have to be read before questioning.  However I was pointing out, I'm no longer restrained by those duties or restrictions.  I'm free to engage....  Video cameras and shotgun-mikes can be wonderful things when used with a little fore-site.

Every group has their enforcer(s).  The trick is to identify the actual dangerous individual and not focus on the biggest loudmouth.  Many actual enforcers are the smaller guys.  When up against a larger opponent, they have nothing to loose and everything to gain.  Mutt and Jeff teams all always dangerous.

Ethics and Morals effect how we deal with individuals.  Many times the two travel hand in hand.  But not always.  When law and justice coincide, it is a happy accident.

A case sample from my military law class.  Vietnam:  Towed Howitzer 105mm  Artillery Battery being attacked by ground forces.  Specialist 4 (E-4/Corporal) tried to convince the Sargent First Class  (E-7 / SFC) in command of the Battery to Surrender to the Enemy.  SFC Refused.  SP4 turned personal weapon on SFC and tried to force surrender.  SFC promptly shot SP4 who later died.  SFC continued to command the battery, used the main guns for direct fire and beat off the attack.  Out come:  SFC Court Marshaled and convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter.  Punishment:  Fined $1.00 and given a carton of cigarettes.  Also recommended for the Silver Star.   Legally the SFC acted (during combat) in self-defense of himself and the people under his command.  Were his actions ethical and moral?  To me they were. Why did the court convict him of involuntary manslaughter?  Don't ask me.  i gave up trying to figure out courts a long time ago.

The UW Sailors stepped from one legal system where they had a chance of protection by "Higher Authority" to a legal system where "Legal Maneuvering" didn't exist and "Higher Authority" could not protect them.  Belter Law was administered and carried out.  To the Belter's, justice served.  To the UW.....

Anyone see any parallels to how we're NOT handling our prisoners at  GITMO?

Rocketman on January 04, 2010, 11:17:30 am
I can't figure that out either Dough.  The E-4 was in the process of disobeying a direct order from a superior and was threatening him.  There's no manslaughter involved.  The Sargent had a perfect right to shoot him.   ???

quadibloc on January 06, 2010, 08:23:34 am
I am doubly baffled. A conviction of involuntary manslaughter, or criminal negligence causing death, would seem inappropriate even if some blame somehow did attach to the Sergeant's actions, since there was nothing involuntary about them.

dough560 on January 06, 2010, 12:08:57 pm
I didn't say the case made sense.  But is was part of our case studies.  Placed in the same situation, I'd have done the same.  I do have to wonder if the E-4 was politically connected.  Still doesn't justify the verdict.

Rocketman.  Common occurrence in the military:  Call goes out for replacements.  The losing unit does NOT send their best and brightest.  They send the person or unit they can best do without.  They send the person or unit detrimental to their mission.  They can't "fire" them, so they send the problem to someone else.  Sometimes the problem corrects.  But don't bet on it.  As a squad leader or Platoon Sgt. I usually ended up with the problem children.  Some I could fix.  Some I couldn't.  Those I couldn't were eventually passed  on to someone else.  Generally when I changed jobs.

 

anything