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Why Blindly Following Orders Can Be Dangerous

Blindly Following OrdersClerks at a particular grocery store routinely use a permanent marker to deface bills larger than $20. When informed by a customer on various occasions this is a federal offense, all of them gave the same reply. “I was told to do it.”

Basically, their employer made repeated commission of a crime a condition of employment. Granted, this isn’t the kind of crime that keeps law enforcement officials up at night. But this situation illustrates how fear can motivate people to make wrong choices. It might be fear of job loss or fear of the supervisor’s disapproval.

If the employee refused to illegally deface the bills and were fired in response, that employee would have no recourse. Thus in this scenario, the sensible choice is to just mark up the bill.

But what if your boss told you to commit an unsafe act? Would you do it to avoid conflict with the boss? What if that act is only a little unsafe and probably won’t result in an injury? What if your boss said, “Do it, or you’re fired.”

Something to consider is that if you commit an unsafe act, you may lose your job anyhow. Dead employees generally aren’t kept on the payroll very long. The same is true for employees so badly injured they cannot work. So if job loss is your concern, don’t commit the unsafe act.

Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection