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Business ethics!

harryx2

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Ok,

I need your advice!

I am a journalist (foreign, so forgive any mistakes). There is this man, who is a lot older than me and works as a correspodent to a big newspaper. I wont tell you if he is talented or not, if he had this job b/c he sucked up to his boss, etc.

He has this position. Then the management changes and, to my luck, the new editor in chief is a friend of a friend of mine. I ask for the contact and I have it. I send some sample articles and the guy is really enthusiastic about me. And then...he decides to stop working with the former correspodent and make me to be his new.

I never backstabbed the guy or anything, I only used my new contact and gained a collaboration with my writing! He now claims that I stole his job. I am answering back by saying that it is a free market, I never did something without ethic and he has absolutely no saying on who gets to contact his bosses for work!

He actually believes that I should asked for his permission (he would have said no) before I made any contacts! This to me is absurd.

What do you think?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks!
 

lawyerdad

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Originally Posted by harryx2
Ok,

I need your advice!

I am a journalist (foreign, so forgive any mistakes). There is this man, who is a lot older than me and works as a correspodent to a big newspaper. I wont tell you if he is talented or not, if he had this job b/c he sucked up to his boss, etc.

He has this position. Then the management changes and, to my luck, the new editor in chief is a friend of a friend of mine. I ask for the contact and I have it. I send some sample articles and the guy is really enthusiastic about me. And then...he decides to stop working with the former correspodent and make me to be his new.

I never backstabbed the guy or anything, I only used my new contact and gained a collaboration with my writing! He now claims that I stole his job. I am answering back by saying that it is a free market, I never did something without ethic and he has absolutely no saying on who gets to contact his bosses for work!

He actually believes that I should asked for his permission (he would have said no) before I made any contacts! This to me is absurd.

What do you think?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks!

There is nothing unethical about what you did. Perhaps if you had a close relationship with the person you replaced, it might have presented a sticky personal situation -- but that's a separate issue from business ethics. Unless I'm missing something, what you did was completely appropriate.
 

lawyerdad

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I don't think you need to defend yourself. Clearly, he's bitter about losing his job. That's an emotional reaction, not a logical one. As a result, I don't think there is any way to "talk him out of it."
The way I would handle it would be to simply say something like: "I'm sorry you see it that way, but that's not how I see it. I applied for a job based on the strength of my work and my personal reputation. I did not badmouth you or do anything else to cast you in a negative light. I certainly wish you the best of luck in finding your next position. But if you're going to make a personal issue out of this, there's really nothing more for us to talk about."
Obviously, go with something that fits your personality and the dynamics of your relationship, if any, with this guy. But beyond that, I would not worry about how he feels, because that's not something you can control.
 

lawyerdad

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Originally Posted by harryx2
He has contacted everyone we both know saying that I stole his job and that I have no ethic. That is why I need to know what to say. I mean, come on...
Just tell them the truth, in a straightforward, concise pattern. And after that, again, why worry? Unless there's some common understanding in your profession that one person never seeks a job held by another person without their permission, why do you think the people you know in common would even care? But beyond giving a simple explanation to those people, I really don't think there's anything to be gained by getting into an ongoing battle with him. He now has the luxury, being unemployed, to waste his time venting his spleen. You have more important things to do. People will quickly get sick of listening to him whine. Moreover, if you feed into it by continually responding, you'll probably just encourage him. The sooner you start treating it as a non-issue, the sooner it'll be an non-issue.
 

oldseed

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Originally Posted by harryx2
And then...he decides to stop working with the former correspodent and make me to be his new.

I never backstabbed


actually, you did. you went behind his back and spoke with management. management fired him and hired you. that's pretty much the definition of backstab to a T.

don't sweat it though. you obviously wanted to do it and now guilt's eating away at you. with a guy like you, it's also obvious that such guilt will be a temporary sensation.

seed
 

Tokyo Slim

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"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
 

Alter

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Originally Posted by harryx2
Ok,

I need your advice!

I am a journalist (foreign, so forgive any mistakes).


Are there any cultural considerations? I would give different advice for this situation based on American culture than I would if both of you were, for example, Japanese.
 

acidboy

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Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

haha! love that!
 

Aaron

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Originally Posted by oldseed
actually, you did. you went behind his back and spoke with management. management fired him and hired you. that's pretty much the definition of backstab to a T.

don't sweat it though. you obviously wanted to do it and now guilt's eating away at you. with a guy like you, it's also obvious that such guilt will be a temporary sensation.

seed

Huh? Easy with the mudslingin' cowboy. Unless there is a cultural factor that I'm missing, like Alter noted, why would Harryx2 consult with someone whose job he wants? I don't get the impression they were friends before hand. This seems like a case of emotional overreaction on the part of the person who was let go more than anything else.

A
 

DNW

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There's nothing unethical about what you did. You only have backstabbed the guy if you owe him some duty. If there's no duty, there's no obligation to refrain from seeking work for yourself. The guy is just a sore loser. Life goes on.
 

Thomas

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Two things worth mentioning:

First - Management changes nearly always precipitate a change in personnel. People lose their jobs when managers come and go. There was a management change, and this person lost his job to you. Nothing new there.

Second - You used a contact to your advantage. Everyone who has contacts does this. Once again, nothing to write home about.

The new manager is not a friend of yours, no personal appeal was made on your behalf, his decision was likely based on your writing sample and initiative. If the older gent's writing was that good, you wouldn't have gotten the nod. If you hadn't done this, someone else would have.
 

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