Being honest in the work place



It is always good to tell the truth, but why? Simple, God tells us to be honest and truthful in all aspects of our life. Proverbs 12:19 tells us, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tounge is but for a moment.” (NIV) How many times in our life have we seen a lie unfold for the bad and not the good? I myself have seen it so many times as a child growing up. Even in the grown-up world we need be truthful at our job. Sometimes we are told by our higher ups that we need to be a team player and not try to change things that have been working for a long time in the work place. However, when lies start to become the main part of a job, is when we need to step back and ask if this is what God wants. All things we do, including our work, should be for God, so should we be lying? No, we should serve God in all aspects, and that includes letting Christ shine through us at our job too, be it secular or spiritual (like ministry or pastoral). I believe that sometimes that we can be a team player and a “whistleblower”. Those who say that a whistleblower differs from one being a team player is confused, and is the one that is not in a correct mind of thinking. They are the same if one is to go to work being a team player by doing a good job for their employer in all aspects, for God, and for their family. However, this also means that this type of individual is not afraid to blow the whistle when they see something being done wrong or unjust.

I myself have stepped up to those who were my boss, and not for self, but usually for employees that were under me, and usually for reasons that have to do with safety. Since I have talked about my days at the Print Shop, I will talk about my end of working there. I was the Manager of the shop, however I had one boss, and that was the owner of the business. The owner liked to save money, but would only be interested in his own pockets and not the employees or the costumers. He had hired a person on one occasion, while I was out of town on a business trip selling product out of state. He wanted me to meet this individual, and wanted to make him into a sales rep, and see what I thought. Well, this individual was someone that was a client of mine when I worked at the Detention Center. I did not like this, but the kid was now 18, so he was legal, but he did not dress well, and seem that his views had not change to much.

It was very hard for me, when he said to take him out on run and show him some clients, and how to bring in a business. Well, we did that and he did not do to well, when I returned, the owner wanted to instead hire him as a costumer service person that would answer phone calls for me, and watch the front desk, so that way I could just focus on my things and my other employees. I thought that was fast and a odd idea since this was his very first job. Well a week went by, and I called the owner and asked what he felt good with for pay for him. I said minimal wage which was around $7 at that time. He did not want to do this but instead asked me if we could pay him $2 an hour instead for 40 hrs a week. I asked if he was playing a joke on me! He said no, and what the problem was, and all I could say was, “the law”. He told me to find a way around it. Well this bothered me so much, because this was wrong. He then said that he found a loop whole, which I told him he could do this. He wanted to offer him commission with a $2 base pay. The commission was going to be 1% of all sales (including mine and my sales reps). This was also not the only reason for me to quit, the other reason was the health issues which I lived in. I lived in the shop as part as my pay, I lived in the basement. I was very sick most of the time and did not know what was going on, till one day I went to a doctor, and he said I had black mold poisoning, and I also had a lump in my neck… I knew that God was calling me to be somewhere else, and I was getting ready to be married at the time as well to my lovely wife. I decided to confront my boss, and he refused to change things. So, I called OSHA, better business, fire department, and so on. He had over 6 violations that were high violations, and over 40,000 in fines. I tried to talk to him about it, and he said we were fine, but I quit anyways, because I was being called into full time ministry. He is a brother in Christ, but even though we left on “good terms” he tells his new employees lies about me, customers (people I still may talk to time to time), and will not give a good reference (found out from a job I tempted at for a little bit, but got the job anyways). I just pray for him and his business….

What do you think? Was I in the right to turn him in? Why or why not? When does it become “right” to “blow the whistle” in a business?