Disgusted Workers Share The Most Unethical Thing They've Seen On The Job.
In a long career, people come across some unethical practices, and sometimes it's just sickening.
Below are 21 stories of the most unethical things people have seen in their job.
1. My husband is a high school football coach. He discovered pretty early on that parents will do almost anything to make sure their son starts. This includes doing yard work, cash bribes, sexual favors, etc.
My husband was offered favors and when he reported it to the athletic director, he was told, "I hear nothing, I see nothing." My husband discovered a few coaches take people up on their offers.
It just seemed very wrong to me. The parents are wrong for offering, but the coaches shouldn't accept. Another coach told my husband that a lot of the dads are cool with their wives offering sexual favors as long as their son starts. It's gross.
2. Back when I was a parking enforcement officer, a fellow meter maid would refuse to ticket Priuses because they were good for the environment but she dropped "too far from the curb" tickets on Hummers because the vehicles are so wide and jut out into the street.
3. I teach third grade. The principal's son is in my class.
Before the year started, the principal finagled all of the class lists so her son's friends would be with him in my class. These kids were not supposed to be together at all.
Then she would show her son the class lists to make sure that he was okay with the list. There was one kid he really wanted in my class with him he was friends with. The principal contacted his mother and told her to request me, so they could be together. Ended up not working out after the second grade teachers said absolutely not.
4. I work for a company that does accident reconstruction simulations using 3D software, specializing in the mining industry, and in a lot of cases the mines change the story of what happened to blame the victims. They are the paying customers so we just do and animate whatever they want us to and they use this in their reports of what happened.
5. I'll never forget this case of a 98 year old patient who had a living will written when he was in his late 80s, stating that he would never want to be artificially kept alive with feeding tubes or a respirator.
Flash forward to present, his dementia has progressed to the point where he is non verbal and barely moves. His daughter has actually... (Continued)
Flash forward to present, his dementia has progressed to the point where he is non verbal and barely moves. His daughter has actually put a feeding tube in him and has insisted he get intubated for his pneumonia/ respiratory failure.
I find his living will and am outraged, trying to advocate for this man who can no longer speak, who once had wishes that he wrote down that are no longer being recognized. The daughter pushes for us to do "everything" because she "knows him better" and thinks his living will is "not what he really wanted". And most doctors thus far had allowed her to drive the ship.
It's a case that still bothers me every time I dwell on it.
6. Being told which percentage of my students should earn As, Bs, etc. Apparently student performance is not a factor in the grade they receive? Also, no student should ever fail. Disagreed. Students earn their grade and if it's an F, so be it.
7. Coworkers who have worked a double, going 16 hours without changing a patient simply because "they're weird" or "they're mean". It doesn't matter. That is subjecting them to infection, discomfort, and humiliation (at the very least) for not being changed into new briefs and clothes when they've soiled themselves!
8. "Can't we just report that we made less so next quarter we can make it up?"
No sir, that's fraud. He was fired a couple weeks later.
9. I'm in college for biology and ran a research group for forensic entomology with intention to publish a paper. We noticed some of our numbers on maggot length were kind of funny in our group Excel, and we double-checked who'd been assigned those maggots to measure.
Asked the guy who did them and he said, "Oh I just... (Continued)
Asked the guy who did them and he said, "Oh I just measured one and guessed on the rest cuz they looked about the same."
Kevin... that's academic fraud.
Had to redo two weeks' worth of work.
10. I have dealt with it all. The worst is when I was told to fudge some numbers for a report that was going to be public. I refused and resigned. I told HR about it in the exit interview. I was in a hard place at work, if I reported it then I was going to catch hell, if I did it then my personal integrity went out the window. I don't want to work for any company that does anything that requires me to jeopardize my integrity or personal reputation.
In my years of experience it's better to find another job, if you blow the whistle and stay at the company there are repercussions no matter how much they assure you that you will be protected.
11. Video game journalist. Because most of us are freelance, we regularly file invoices with the hope that a publication will follow through on our contracts and pay on time.
This does not always happen. One of my favorite publications let go freelancers recently, and I'm still owed $300+ dating as far back as September. My contract states payment must arrive 30 days after filing an invoice, it's been 120 and 90 days between my two invoices.
It's not just wrong to writers, it's breaking our contracts. Seriously messed up priorities there.
12. Right out of college, I got a job as a caseworker for a foster care agency. The regional director (my boss) was literally the last person you would ever want to be in charge of children in foster care. She licensed close to a hundred of the most awful foster parents (people who probably shouldn't have been allowed to care for their own biological children, let alone foster children), which led to a ton of unethical/illegal situations.
A big one that always sticks out in my mind is when one of our teens reported to her caseworker that some shady stuff was going down with her foster mother & the foster mother's friend (who was also one of our licensed foster parents). This girl basically recorded the foster parents stealing goods from stores & then selling them elsewhere, caught them on camera berating one of the foster kids, & taped them doing drugs.
My lovely boss was required by the state to "suspend" the foster parents (that lasted about 2 months), but also refused to move the teen to another foster parent. said she didn't want to risk... (Continued)
My lovely boss was required by the state to "suspend" the foster parents (that lasted about 2 months), but also refused to move the teen to another foster parent. said she didn't want to risk the girl "ruining" any of her other foster parents.
I could go on & on about the unethical nightmare that place was.
13. I had a boss that hired a company to do some development work. The project was around 10 months. Our company was struggling financially and refused to pay them for the work on time. Payment terms were 30 days. We had some bills that were over 6 months late. His response when I told him we were violating our contract and he said "we are not, we're going to pay them eventually, just whenever I feel like it". This was a normal occurrence and why I couldn't keep a development firm around.
14. The last two tours I ever did as a musician, our guitarist was a money grubbing prick. We did 6 weeks in Europe, and when I was told about the gig he expected us each to earn $300/wk - which was quite good for this band honestly. It turned into $500 for the entire tour, plus our 10 euro per diems every day. Oh, and then it turned into I was the only member of the band he couldn't afford to pay. Then he duped me into paying (as usual) out of pocket to fly out to NYC to practice for the next tour, which was 10 days in the U.S. and Canada, and a week in Japan; saying he'd pay me back everything he owed me on the road. Also he had some unspoken beef with me the last 3 weeks in Europe, and avoided communicating with me almost entirely between the end of it and the beginning of the next tour. Turns out he never intended on paying me back at all, as we get to 7 days in, and it starts getting heated. I finally approach him in person to square it away, and he tells me he's not interested in talking to me in person and he'll just email me instead. I tell him either pay me what you owe me in full after the show tonight, or I'm flying home tomorrow. He made the excuse that the band doesn't have any money - so fly home I did, and I've stopped doing music ever since.
15. Can't really say it was a career, but worked for a man who wouldn't hire a young woman because " she's 23, she might have a baby in the next five years, I don't want to deal with maternity leave".
He also wrote his children into the books as cleaners so they would meet work requirements to qualify for government payments. I cleaned that building every day and never qualified for benefits. He drove a BMW.
Also, once he asked me why I had walked down a different street to work ( apparently watching me through the window). I told him I'd visited my boyfriend the night before. He was silent for a moment or two then said "you know you're going to... (Continued)
He was silent for a moment or two then said "you know you're going to hell, right?"
I was too young and dumb to realise just.how unethical it was. If I had my time again I'd report him for fraud. I never got my Damn government benefits.
16. Worked customer service for an online retailer who would send people generic versions of things when the genuine stuff was unavailable.
What's messed up is they still charged the genuine price so customers would call up infuriated and yelling at us reps for dumb stuff corparate was doing.
17. Had a sales guy ask me to lie to a client. When I said no, he asked another tech on the same call to lie to the client instead. Both of us declined and immediately went to our supervisors with the incident.
18. I was given housing on company property as part of my compensation package. When I gave notice of my resignation, they decided that I needed to vacate my apartment immediately, as in, pack up as much of your stuff as possible at 9 p.m., get out now, and come get the rest later. This was totally unexpected because I'd given a lot to this company and--the real kicker--it was a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness.
I got a hotel that night and was hoping to work something out with them until I could find a new place to live, but they wouldn't budge. When I said I would be hiring an attorney, they said they'd start spreading rumors about both me and my SO (who was affiliate with our organization) and they'd make sure that so much damage was done that neither of us would be able to show our faces in the community again.
At that point, I was scheduled to get both my regular paycheck and bi-annual performance bonus the next week. Once my unused PTO was calculated in, I was due over $10,000, which I needed because I had just given up my job without the 30 days I thought I was going to have to find a new job and was made unexpectedly homeless.
They ended up taking four months to pay me, deliberately delaying it for no good reason and not returning my calls. I think they would have delayed it longer, but I started calling their grantmakers one by one and exposing their behavior. It was all I could do: At that point, my savings were all but gone and I could barely meet my basic needs, let alone hire an attorney. (No one would take my case pro bono or collect money upon collection.)
This is just the icing on their unethical cake, too. There was a lot I saw in my time there, but I had my head in the sand.
19. Mercy killings but with a twist. For those who don't know; mercy killings are to end people's suffering.
Early in the wars it was common for soldiers to do mercy killings. It was usually done with compassion and sense of honor. Soldier to soldier if you will.
As the war stretched, media increased and more civilians began to fight, the military really tightened the collar on mercy killings.
I'm not sure what's more unethical; Mercy killings or listening to people cry and scream for hours as the die in the streets knowing you can stop their suffering.
20. I have worked for 8 years in my previous job. I can safely say that they trusted me to listen and participate with their meetings and all even though I am not in any position. My employer asked me once to look for new employees, and I recommended my friend. I didn't tell them that he's a good friend of mine. After passing with flying colours in the interview, my employer pulled me on the side and said "he's more than qualified and I really like him to be part of the team but he's Black." My friend didn't end up getting the job and handed in my resignation letter day after.
21. My boss was addicted to pain pills but knew our company policy was to have random drug testing done. Not wanting to get fired, but not wanting to cheat on his wife, he would have one of the younger more fit guys in the office drive to corporate headquarters over an hour away to sleep with the HR rep in exchange for her reporting that his drug test came back clean. This was the most egregious of offenses but there were plenty more. I have since moved on from that company.