Are you an honorable employee?

October 12, 2016

We are always talking about rights of employees, and duties of employers. Let us do some introspection today. Let us see how we ourselves pass the Honor Test an employee needs to pass before we start talking about what our employers owe us. Us? Yes, us.

In these blogs we always include ourselves in those being addressed. We need to ‘pass’, ‘scrape through’, or ‘fail’ in the same manner as anyone else who dares to take the test.

 Okay, no more bak-bak, get down to it (if you dare). Are you an honorable employee? Find out:

DO YOU GET TO WORK ON TIME EACH DAY?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(If you are unfailingly punctual, yes, you are an honorable employee. ‘Most of the time’ means you are on the way there – but still have some character-building to do. Fifty-fifty means you have angels and demons at war within you and are a schizophrenic employee. Rarely? O dear, sorry to say this – but you do not deserve your job and one day it may run away from you.)

DO YOU LEAVE WORK ON TIME EACH DAY?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(If you are unfailingly punctual, and leave on time each day, you are not only honorable, but wise. You will have an after-office life and become a balanced human being of great worth to your organization. If you leave on time when you have not come on time, that is not fair or honorable. If you come late because you work late, that is stupid – unless you have an arrangement about this because it suits the management. However, the basic principle is, put in your hours when you are supposed to and that will suit you, your management, and your family.)

DO YOU TAKE PERSONAL PHONE CALLS AT WORK?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely, and if I do it is only to tell the caller that I will call him from home later
(If you have long personal telephone or FB/WA conversations while you are at work, that’s not right. Your company is paying you for undisturbed attention at work, and how good will your work be if you are constantly, or even occasionally, interrupted by chatty calls? This does not apply to emergency calls. But it does to birthday, how-are-you-doing, I-just-called-to-say-I-love-you and other such calls. Thus who allow and entertain such calls are simply not honorable people. )

DO YOU USE THE LUNCH BREAK TO HAVE ENJOYABLE MEALS WITH GOOD FRIENDS?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(Let us face it, sometimes the only time we get to meet friends is in the lunch break. Is it wrong? Not if you go to a Café, grab a sandwich and coffee, or a vegetable salad, and get back on time. However, if you go to an exotic place and have a heavy meal, even if you get back to office on time, you are going to feel drowsy and spend a large part of the post-meal hours, dozing. That’s cheating! Your organization is not paying you to warm your chair and generally feel sleepy. Even the food you bring from home should be a light lunch to keep the acids away, not heavy stuff that dulls the brain.)

DO YOU LET FRIENDS, RELATIVES, AND VISITORS DROP IN TO SEE YOU AT THE WORKPLACE?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(The sensible organizations will have policy against this; but the kinder ones will leave it to your integrity. Once in a blue moon, to have somebody unexpectedly dropping in to see you, is acceptable, but for it to be a norm, no-no it is simply not done. Think of it this way – if it were your organization, would you like to see your employees wiling away time on non-professional visitors while there is work? Don’t do it! How can you call yourself honorable if you do?)

DO YOU CHECK FACEBOOK/TWITTER/LINKBOOK FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND RESPOND TO MSGS WHEN AT THE WORKPLACE?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(‘What’s the harm?’ – is that what you are saying as you read this? It is not possible to read about latest event, happenings, and gossip, and not give mind space to it. Sometimes or most of the time, your fingers itch to like/comment on a message – take this test: check the various spots of time you slide in and out of Facebook and co. and then add the spots. You will be shocked. It can sometimes cross an hour or two. That time belongs to the work your employer is paying you to do. He or she cannot constantly peep over your shoulder to check on you. Which leaves the moral responsibility more strongly on your shoulders. What do you feel? Do you behave honorably?)

DO YOU LIKE AND RESPECT YOUR EMPLOYER?
□ Yes, unfailingly
□ Most of the time
□ 50-50
□ Rarely
(If you secretly despise your employer/ boss/ team leader, that is the worst kind of dishonor, remember that. If you talk about him or her behind the back that is – there is no other word for it – namak-harami. Do not be a hypocrite, garlanding your leader with sweet words of praise on the face and then slice the person into fine mince when he or she is not around. What goes around comes back to you – a day will come when you may have your own outfit or start-up, and you will find others doing that to you.)

This may all sound like outdated principles. However, ethics never get dated – they were there from the foundations of the world and will remain until the end of time. Do they work? You bet they do. I’ve been a mainstream media practitioner, have edited several publications, had dozens of journalists working under me – and these were the values we often discussed, in small orientation sessions or coffee breaks. In due time, many if not most of them became editors or spectacular journalists themselves, brightening up whichever corner of the world they are occupying.

by Ingrid Albuquerque Solomon

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *