Unprofessional attitude toward work
topic : Unprofessional attitude toward work
Chapter 17 example for guidance:
Case Study 17.1Tough Love
Jay Barros was a delinquent. He would even admit it freely. He’d done just about everything and had been on probation and in and out of institutions for years. The psychologists had long ago classified him as a typical sociopath: no conscience, never learning from the past, impulsive, and manipulative.
Harold “Red” Chapman was a probation officer. He was also an ex-cop. He didn’t counsel his charges; he supervised them with an iron hand. He had one rule: any misconduct and you get violated. No questions, no excuses. It was odd, though; he didn’t violate that many kids. Most of his probationers led pretty straight lives when they were on Red’s caseload.
Jay knew he had messed up. He had been cutting classes, had been caught drinking, and didn’t come home for three straight days. Jay’s mother had called Red to report on Jay’s behavior, and Red had called Jay into his office for a conference. Jay figured that it was back to the state’s boys’ school again as he walked into Red’s office.
“Sit down and shut up,” Red said in a stern voice. “We’re gonna talk. As I see it, you’ve got two choices. Your first choice is a quick trip to the detention center and an even quicker trip out to the boys’ school. But that’s a lot of paperwork on my end.”
“Yeah, and what’s my second choice?” Jay asked, beginning to think if he played his cards right, he might just get out of this. Red reached into his lower drawer and brought out a piece of leather 2.5 inches wide and 3 feet long.
“This is a strop. Barbers use them to sharpen razors. I use this one to adjust attitudes. That’s your second choice. Ten with the strop and you walk out of here. It’s your choice.” Jay stood up and grabbed his ankles.
While this was happening, Mary, another probation officer, walked past Red’s door, overheard the whole incident, and saw Jay bend over to receive his punishment while Red was holding the strop.
Is Mary faced with an ethical dilemma?
Mary is faced with the dilemma of whether to intervene and stop the corporal punishment and do nothing further, or to allow the incident to occur but report it immediately to her supervisor.
The option of doing nothing is not an ethical option, because it would conflict with Mary’s duty as a probation officer to protect juvenile probationers from harm and abuse.
What are the facts and circumstances of the incident?
Mary needs to review in her mind the facts and circumstances.
What are the facts relevant to the decision she has to make? What are her own values about the issue, and what are the values of her workplace about such an issue?
The relevant facts are as follows:
Red has an unprofessional attitude toward his work as a probation officer.
He believes in tough love in the form of corporal punishment rather than following the rules relating to violations of probation.
He adopts a tough-love stance because it saves him work, not because of any genuine belief in its efficacy.
Jay, the probationer, is prepared to accept corporal punishment to avoid being reincarcerated, but this will inevitably affect his relationship with Red because he will know that Red is prepared to bend the rules to suit his own convenience.
Mary is a professional probation officer who believes in upholding the rules and standards of probation, including the protection of juveniles.
The values and culture within probation generally support the notion that a probation officer should back up his or her coworkers. However, where juvenile probation officers are concerned, workplace values do not support actions that harm the probationer and flout the rules.
Unprofessional attitude toward work questions
What ethical theories does she call to mind to assist her in resolving the dilemma?
In this case, Mary will apply the ethic of care to the dilemma.
What are Mary’s available courses of action?
Mary may intervene and stop the assault on Jay and do nothing further, or she may allow the assault to take place and immediately report it to her supervisor. She does not have the option of doing nothing at all about the assault, because that would be unethical in light of her duty to protect the well-being of juvenile probationers.
Mary will make her decision after applying, in this case, the ethic of care approach to each option. She will choose the option that is the most ethically appropriate for her under the ethic of care.
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