Thursday, November 7, 2013

The art of being unethical

My friend Slinky got me into an ethics conference this week to see one of my favorite writers for the New Yorker give a speech. When I got there, she mentioned that there was free breakfast, too. BONUS. I'm not one to pass on a free meal.

I sat down at a table and made friends with some Canadian women over our scones and coffee. They asked how I am connected to the conference. Since I wasn't completely clear on exactly what the purpose of the conference was, I felt I had to be honest.

"I'm a teacher," I explained. "I'm sort of crashing the conference. My friend got me in."

"So if you're a teacher, how come you're not at work today?"

"I should be at work," I answered, "but I'm going in a bit late. I told my boss I had a doctor's appointment."

"You lied to your boss so that you could go to an ethics conference, huh?"

I hadn't quite thought of it that way, but when she said it, it did sound kind of funny. A few minutes later, the same woman told me a story about how she had gotten from the airport to the conference. She decided to take public transit, but got confused. A nice man ended up swiping her through using his monthly transit card.

"Oh, how interesting!" I said. "You jumped the turnstile to get to the ethics conference."

I guess we all have our ethical pitfalls.

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