Is it Ethical to use other's resources to further your own agenda?
Ethical? Perhaps not.
Realistic and reasonable? Most likely, yes
This is a difficult subject to explain. But I'll give it a shot. Just understand that in what I am saying, I am not advocating theft or being truly, unethical. I'm also trying to say that in the end, your actions should benefit all involved. The less selfish you are in these situations, the better it is for all.
When you consider how abused we can be as individuals by the machinations of the corporations, government and society at large, we need to use whatever we have at our disposal to better our positions. If you won't do this for yourself, certainly your family deserves it.
In the end now, this actually is good for the company, as well as the individual and society at large, really. But you have to play that with appropriate consideration and in the end you have to live with yourself And not get caught. In the end, we need to do and to use whatever is at our disposal to better our positions. But how far should we go?
Outright stealing is simply wrong and I believe it should always be avoided. But skirting whatever grey areas you can find, is perfectly reasonable.
Companies after all, do this to us all the time. They lay people off, they have no loyalty to individuals, they will drop you sometimes like a hot rock if need be and with little consideration for your situation, your family or your needs... or ethics.
Some companies are better than others surely and they deserve some extra degree of your loyalty as you see it, to be reasonable and rational. But you should be as loyal as a company will be to you and you always have to have that consideration in mind. And you should have loyalty to yourself in your need to advance, and your need to remain true to your own self and ethics. But does that mean you should never make use of any resources, not entirely and specifically your own?
There may be a fine line between stealing and utilizing available resources. Typically you might think this is all referring to supplies, stealing paper, pencils, what have you. But there are other considerations, one should consider. Should you use personal relationships you have developed through the company to better your position? Yes, why not? Some companies however would find that to be disloyal or even illegal. And in some cases they may be right and you should exercise due caution and reason. Should you use off time to find another job while at work. Sure, why not? Could you get fired if caught? Very possibly for some companies.
Would that be illegal? Possibly. I would suggest considering the caveat that you should also try to do this kind of thing as little as possible. Your work, the work that you are paid to do, certainly should not suffer. At that point, you would lose all justification and
Would that matter and could you win a court case over it? Maybe, maybe not, but consider what it would cost you in time, money, energy and emotions? It's always best to err on the side of caution. Because even if what you are doing is perfectly legal, it can be taken in completely the wrong way. And I guarantee in that situation, you would be the one to suffer in the end.
So do your best not to waste the company's money. Use your lunch time when possible. Do not steal office supplies, but if you need to make copies of your resume, if you can't afford to pay for them yourself, within reason, do it. It's a personal thing and you should know if you are being reasonable or not.
If you are not happy at your job, the best thing for the company is for you to move out as soon as possible and if it costs the company a little to get rid of you, don't you both benefit? And yes, this is a slippery slope.
But good people will keep it in check, while questionable types will rip people and companies off.
It will fall on the side of the company if you are doing ANY thing that doesn't benefit the company at all.
When you look the other way around and see the things that companies do to people, to their employees, it simply will not play out as counting the same. You will end up on the bottom. Almost every time.
Why is that? Because there is an imbalance before you even start that sides on the side of the company. We have laws to protect people from companies, but there are always grey areas that companies will use, and sometimes over utilize. But that's, okay. Right? Unethical, but legal?
If you steal from the company you are a criminal. If the company steals from you, many times it is perfectly legal and done under the guise of enhancing the need of the company in some way and they will use many legal rationalizations for this. Remember that the US Government has indicated corporations as individuals. A radical and unethical thing for them to have done that has done nothing but help to break down the protections of the US Citizen-worker.
Corporations have stolen people's retirement funds, laid workers off at the worst possible times, not infrequently at times like Christmas time, during the so called "suicide season", and even at times when they didn't need to; and so on.
You have to take this all into consideration in these ethical arguments, even though it may not directly really come into play in your situation. And remember just because they are unethical, doesn't necessarily mean that you should be.
Or does it, in reality?
So, ethical? No, not usually. But realistically you have to ask yourself sometimes, how much does that really mean? Or, matter? In the end, just as with the corporations and company, YOU need to take care of yourself... and your family. Don't wait for a company or especially a corporation to do it for you. Because you'll be waiting a long time.
The argument that making use of resources will turn you into a criminal, is pretty much the same logic in saying gay marriage leads to pedophilia or bestiality It's just insane. Or, whether pot is a gateway drug. Mother's milk is too, nearly every pot smoker started on mother's milk. It's a non sequitur, right? More so is alcohol being a gateway drug, but no one ever notices that one. Still, I think you get the idea from what I'm saying in that, and if you can pick it apart you are totally miss what I'm saying.
In the end it's a personal decision. Be careful but be aware of what is around you to help you.
It's reminiscent of how I've raised my kids. No, not to be criminals, or unethical. But to be ethical. And to know that sometimes ethics and laws dictate one do unethical or unlawful things to maintain the status quo. The world simply isn't fair, I've told them. Sometimes, you have to do what you know to be right and suffer the consequences. Sometimes, you will do what is right and go to jail, maybe even for saving someone's life. Because to do what is right, might even be generally considered unethical, or in some cases illegal.
So should you not do what is in the end, the right thing to do for you, and your family, and the company? Remember that just because it seems at first to be wrong, or your company might superficially view it is a firing offense, or worse, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
Sometimes, you have to gauge your behavior and do what is right for all involved, regardless of how they would at first judge it. Sometimes, it's just the way it is. But keep your eyes open. Consider the options.
Make the world work for you. But remember that in the end you will need to live with yourself.
I'm sure that in the end, you'll make the right decision.