Will Lie for Work

42-19343672As jobs disappear like eyebrows in Whoopi Goldberg’s bathroom, we are digging ourselves deeper and deeper into the fear-driven society that has reigned in the U.S. for the last eight years (don’t get it twisted, it’s still here). Depressing, I know, but remember that we have a choice as to how we handle it. Unfortunately, many of us are choosing to lose our minds—especially these companies that are making preemptive layoffs in fear anticipation of going into the red later this year.
That’s why a new survey from Harris Interactive is so interesting, if not surprising. It seems that 40% of working folks ages 18 to 34 polled said they would act dishonestly to save their jobs—and that’s just the people who admitted that they’d act monkeys for work. It seems a ton of us are willing to lie on coworkers, take credit for the work of others, or even flirt with our boss if it means payroll will keep making it rain with bi-weekly checks.
So where do we draw the line? I mean, these are blatant violations of ethics, but what about the tiny things we do to get ahead? Ever told your boss you loved to play tennis, too, when you knew you hadn’t picked up a racket since that day in high school gym class? (Yeah, no.) Or said you knew how to do something you didn’t know how to do, then ran to the Internet or called your girl for a quick tutorial? (Yup. It was Microsoft Excel on the first day of my first internship—I was 17 and I went home and learned it that night!) Or asked a coworker for help on a project, then conveniently forgot to mention it during the presentation? (Naw, I always think I can do everything myself.)

How many shades of gray separate the cat who presented his cubemate’s overheard idea in the staff meeting and the one who rushed to give himself a $3 million bonus before the wheels fell off? (Cough, AIG.) Are we slowly sliding down a slippery slope, or just adapting to the market?

What would you be willing to do to keep your job?


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