Ethics Question

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Cass, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Nov 12, 2005
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    Ohio
    The plumber had followed all the rules set by his employer in regards to selling work.

    He had done all the work the lady agreed to.

    The water heater sale was lost as far as the company's guidelines were considered. They would not put it in for any less.

    It (the water heater) was not what he was dispatched out for.

    He had collected the $$$$ and was on his way out.


    Why was offering to do it privately on his time at that point unethical.
     
  2. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

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    industrial service plumbing foreman
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    exurban Chicago
    In Illinois, only registered plumbing contractors or their employees can perform plumbing for payment. No moonlighters or siders for money. If you work for ABC Plumbing, the check the homeowner makes out better be to ABC Plumbing. So in Illinois, the above described scenario is illegal.
     
  3. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Licensed Grump

    Thats interesting, in MA as long as your licensed you can pull your own permits, regardless who you work for or when you do the work.
     
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

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    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
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    The "absolutes" were made known long ago, and there is actually no need for any man or men to make any new law at all.

    Thereby proving man cannot live rightly merely by his own conscience.

    Do you assume those "otherwise good and honest people" to which you elude are not already following a given conscience rather than mere laws?

    The argument some folks make here is that man can/does naturally develop a moral/ethical conscience that is ultimately "good", yet history does not even come close to documenting any such ability or inclination.
     
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

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    With all matters of license, permits and the like set aside, it was not.
     
  6. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
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    This thread has me drinking vodka right now. Please, continue.
     
  7. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

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    Tampa
    I believe that everybody, deep down inside, whether they are good, bad, or indifferent, actually knows right from wrong.

    If you were this guy's boss and you found out what he just did, it would probably piss you off. Cuz you know it ain't right.......

    If you were the guy that made the offer to the homeowner, and you just found out that the boss knows all about it, and wants to talk to you in the morning........you'd probably be really worried about it. Cuz you know it ain't right.
     
  8. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Ouch!
    I know people can be egocentric, selfish, self centered...the list goes on.
    Nobody gets up in the morning intending to be any of that, the trouble starts when we percieve our negative actions as "justified", then either conveniently or angrily look past our wrongs to only see the wrongs of others.
    A distortion of perception...in this case some of us see what appears to be an attempt at this type distortion, but there was a written contract signed that defines the intended perception.
    This contract states the man work for 30% without reimbursement of gas, travel, tools...or time spent pitching a job at the companies price even when rejected. He's labelled "employee" with no unemployment insurance, health or disability. (I'm assuming...Cass, correct me if wrong)
    The written contract makes no stipulation for the hypothetical "employee" to refuse any request for his personal services.
    Legal...well it looks that way, barring unveiled detail (Cass?)...but unethical?
    On a superficial level, almost.
    In terms of the larger picture -
    He made the choice to work for the outfit based on a written contract...despite it's borderline ethics - that was HIS choice.
    (I say it's illegal, but I'm not a legal expert)
    They made the choice to omit this detail in the contract they had him sign -
    That was THEIR choice.
    I'm wondering if the low percentage has to do with the fact that they know he'll likely get business of his own from the referrals and maybe thats the reason they worded the contract as they did.
    Cass...fill in any blanks you see.
    For what it's worth...this topic has become VERY interesting and it's a pleasure to see we can disagree without personal insult.
     
  9. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

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    As I had posted earlier on ...

     
  10. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

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    ... or outright depravity?!

    Must be "quality conscience", or something like that!

    Or, maybe some folks are just following somebody's rules ...
     
  11. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

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    This sort of thing happens in every profession there is, moonlighting at the expense of your company.

    I don't think it will ever stop.

    I don't think I could stop it if I had employees. The more you control your workers the more likely a boomerang effect can take place. Paying them more to stop it will not solve the problem.

    We all know that no matter how much they make, it's never enough.
     
  12. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    RUGGED, one guy I worked for came up with the PERFECT solution...he passed on the smaller jobs on to us!
    He'd ask some of us on the side if we had time to handle a boiler this weekend or a faucet replace...etc.
    I actually did a boiler with his son...referred to us by him.
    He payed better than anyone else around, excellent bennies...would show up at the job and was just one of the boys.
    He'd rag the guys "Geesh, your mom dress you this morning??"...and we'd make comebacks like "No, yours did".
    I have never seen anyone run a company like him, nor have I ever seen anyone make as much money.
    He realized there was no need to "defend his territory"...that, like you said, the guys will always do side work...so he took it to the next level, we appreciated it and worked that much harder for him, and had that much more loyalty to him.
     
  13. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Oh, yes...rules, laws even.
     
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Ohio
    The final chapter will be posted toinght so please post your replys to this question.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

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    The problem with rules and laws is that they can never cover every possible situation. When it tries to do that, you get something akin to our own legal system. Our legal system is so complex, it is all tied up in knots and often stumbles around, getting in its own way.

    By definition, a conscience is a "moral compass." My point is that we get into trouble when we stop listening to it. Usually, when we stop listening to it we are trying to rationalize or justify our behaviour, rather than going by our gut feeling (conscience).
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2007
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

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    Yes, understood. And, that is one reason "by the book" cannot always guarantee a right or best outcome.

    Agreed, as long as there is a healthy and working conscience actually present.
     
  17. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Amidst all the deep thoughts, I just caught that...RUGGED...
    THANK YOU I needed that.



    Cass...great thread, awaiting the results tonight
     
  18. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

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    ditto
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    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Equity is a set of principles, supplementing strict rules (i.e. law) where their application would operate harshly. See this thread Sidework? https://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12199 for a discussion of this as it applies to doing work on the side in the area or field in which you are professionally active. The last post to date, from lovetohelpya, explains how the situation described in Cass' first post is similar.

    Years ago, employees were expected not to moonlight, and that was clearly expressed in society at large everywhere. It is less clearly expressed today. The principle has not changed, just the degree of repression. Equity is equitable treatment. Equity has fuzzy boundaries.

    david
     
  19. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

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    Good reference thread...one thing I caught was this:
    I don't charge family, friends get a lower rate.
    My mother in law has the "house of eternal plumbing troubles", I know her cellar better than she does.
    I'd feel like a creep eating Thanksgiving meals there if I charged for labor.
    For CLOSE friends I charge what I'd make per hour working for a shop...provided it's a small job, BUT being grumpy keeps the list of friends down.
    (that was a joke...really...it was!, it was!)
    Most shops I ever worked for would openly discourage side work, ESPECIALLY for apprentices, but the known rule is that is your time and this is a free country. (IF you're useless the next day after side work, day after day...you're boss is also free to fire you - If your taking clients, you could see legal trouble).
    I'd made a post above regarding one shop I worked for, where the owner actually referred work to us...he knew he couldn't control what we do with our time, so he applied common sense and it worked heavily to his benefit.
     
  20. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    true freinds pay full price.......

    I have no desire to work for freinds anymore...


    bartering with freinds is the absolute worst thing you
    can get yourself into...


    If they were truely your freind, they would offer to
    pay you what it was worth...not ask for the low---low ---buddies discount....


    you dont know how many times I have had calls from
    freinds I had not heard from forever and asked if I could
    do some plumbing for "beer and pizza"....

    no thanks ,
    its cheaper if I buy my own beer and pizza and stay home.

     
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