Home The Playground Career and Workplace

Being told to do something that isn't allowed..


POST A REPLY
 
Thread Tools
Jun 26, 2012, 3:28am   #1
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Hi everyone,

I'm having a bit of a moral-dillema at work. A colleague of mine was supposed to fly to a large city within Germany on business tomorrow. He can't fly and now my boss will go to the appointment for him instead. My colleague had already booked a plane ticket which is non-refundable and non-transferable.

My boss does not want me to cancel the ticket and book one for him, even though this is what our travel agency and Lufthansa says needs to be done.

He wants to fly with my colleague's ticket and say "Hi, my name is [colleagues name]".

He will do online check in and says that nobody will ask him for his ID, which I cannot imagine.

I did exactly what he told me to, but I do not have a good feeling about doing this since it is most likely not allowed.

I mean... if everybody could fly on someone else's ticket then an Osama Bin Laden would most certainly not fly under his own name!
Jun 26, 2012, 4:16am   #2
d
zzz
I understand your feelings, but i don't think you should go against your boss. You work for HIM, not the travel agency. If It's not allowed, they'll tell him at the airport.
Jun 26, 2012, 4:48am   #3
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by doreenjoy
I understand your feelings, but i don't think you should go against your boss. You work for HIM, not the travel agency. If It's not allowed, they'll tell him at the airport.
I just don't want to get yelled at tomorrow morning when he's standing at security and they tell him that he can't board.

Sometimes I wonder about "bosses". Have they lost touch to the way the real world actually works?
Jun 26, 2012, 8:12am   #4
apey_grapey's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by Sternchen
Hi everyone,

I'm having a bit of a moral-dillema at work. A colleague of mine was supposed to fly to a large city within Germany on business tomorrow. He can't fly and now my boss will go to the appointment for him instead. My colleague had already booked a plane ticket which is non-refundable and non-transferable.

My boss does not want me to cancel the ticket and book one for him, even though this is what our travel agency and Lufthansa says needs to be done.

He wants to fly with my colleague's ticket and say "Hi, my name is [colleagues name]".

He will do online check in and says that nobody will ask him for his ID, which I cannot imagine.

I did exactly what he told me to, but I do not have a good feeling about doing this since it is most likely not allowed.

I mean... if everybody could fly on someone else's ticket then an Osama Bin Laden would most certainly not fly under his own name!

i don't see this as a moral dilemma - more an ethical one. it's ethically wrong but not morally wrong. i think your boss is just hoping to save money and is taking his chances: if he goes through, great; if not, he would probably just buy a ticket at the counter. he'll find out if there are consequences to his choices soon enough.

anyway, if domestic terminal security is anything like international terminal security i'd be surprised if your boss would be allowed to impersonate someone (i usually sail through security but always get scrutinized at german airports - granted this is for international flights).
Jun 26, 2012, 8:31am   #5
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by apey_grapey
i don't see this as a moral dilemma - more an ethical one. it's ethically wrong but not morally wrong. i think your boss is just hoping to save money and is taking his chances: if he goes through, great; if not, he would probably just buy a ticket at the counter. he'll find out if there are consequences to his choices soon enough.

anyway, if domestic terminal security is anything like international terminal security i'd be surprised if your boss would be allowed to impersonate someone (i usually sail through security but always get scrutinized at german airports - granted this is for international flights).
Mixed up my words there, sorry

I just have a problem with things like this in general. It's not just the flight, it's a bunch of things that are similar in nature and that I am often asked to do. I can't explain in detail, but there are many days when I come home feeling bad about what I did just because my boss tells me to.

I'm not sure if it's the banking world, the broker world or whatever... but this is starting to take a toll on my concience. Maybe I take things too seriously, but I was always one who always went by the rules... and in this case I am constantly breaking them. Or rather I am constantly forced to break them.

heck, I won't even deviate from the recipe when I'm cooking!
Jun 26, 2012, 9:23am   #6
V
Traveler
Remind him he's the one who made the "adult' decision to use someone elses name. Not you. Don't allow these clowns to not accept responsibility. Time for him to grow up.

If he pulled this in the US, I shudder to think what might happen to him. It would not be just a slap on the wrist & go off on his merry way. Gotta feeling he'd end up on the list none of us want to be on if we like to travel.

You gotta let us know what happens. I think its both morally & ethically wrong but we all have our own codes.
Jun 26, 2012, 9:41am   #7
Z
Member
Originally Posted by Sternchen

Sometimes I wonder about "bosses". Have they lost touch to the way the real world actually works?
TOTALLY know what you mean.
Jun 26, 2012, 12:01pm   #8
apey_grapey's Avatar
Member
Originally Posted by Sternchen
Mixed up my words there, sorry

I just have a problem with things like this in general. It's not just the flight, it's a bunch of things that are similar in nature and that I am often asked to do. I can't explain in detail, but there are many days when I come home feeling bad about what I did just because my boss tells me to.

I'm not sure if it's the banking world, the broker world or whatever... but this is starting to take a toll on my concience. Maybe I take things too seriously, but I was always one who always went by the rules... and in this case I am constantly breaking them. Or rather I am constantly forced to break them.

heck, I won't even deviate from the recipe when I'm cooking!
this is actually worth thinking about so let me play devil's advocate here for a little:

you say that Lufthansa and the travel agency requires that you buy a new ticket for your boss. but why is that? it is simply policy to protect the airlines' revenue. a ticket has been already been purchased by your company so why shouldn't the company be able to use it albeit by another employee? (airlines are the only industry where even though i paid for a seat, i am not guaranteed to receive one)

as for your boss impersonating someone, it is of course in violation of airlines' policy and, in light of today's security situation, is definitely unwise and likely unlawful. however, you don't have much control over your boss' actions outside of registering your objections and doing your best to convert him to your point of view. i suppose you can report him to germany's equivalent to u.s. homeland security or you might just rely on airport security to catch him (the giving-him-enough-rope-to-hang-himself way). but your boss' actions seem harmless (who does it disadvantage?) and if this is indeed the case, there isn't another party who has a claim on you to stop him.

i am only looking at this event. however if, as you say, you are constantly operating within the ethical/moral gray zone and it is bothering you (rightly so), you need to change jobs or department. and if in the midst of your worrying you realize that your boss'/company's practices actually hurt people, you should think of reporting it to the authorities.
Jun 26, 2012, 12:15pm   #9
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by apey_grapey
this is actually worth thinking about so let me play devil's advocate here for a little:

you say that Lufthansa and the travel agency requires that you buy a new ticket for your boss. but why is that? it is simply policy to protect the airlines' revenue. a ticket has been already been purchased by your company so why shouldn't the company be able to use it albeit by another employee? (airlines are the only industry where even though i paid for a seat, i am not guaranteed to receive one)

as for your boss impersonating someone, it is of course in violation of airlines' policy and, in light of today's security situation, is definitely unwise and likely unlawful. however, you don't have much control over your boss' actions outside of registering your objections and doing your best to convert him to your point of view. i suppose you can report him to germany's equivalent to u.s. homeland security or you might just rely on airport security to catch him (the giving-him-enough-rope-to-hang-himself way). but your boss' actions seem harmless (who does it disadvantage?) and if this is indeed the case, there isn't another party who has a claim on you to stop him.

i am only looking at this event. however if, as you say, you are constantly operating within the ethical/moral gray zone and it is bothering you (rightly so), you need to change jobs or department. and if in the midst of your worrying you realize that your boss'/company's practices actually hurt people, you should think of reporting it to the authorities.
Thanks for taking the time to respond The reason why the fare couldn't be changed / adjusted is because it was a restricted fare. Whoever booked the ticket booked the cheapest available option.

He can do whatever he wants, I don't care. The problem is that if something goes wrong it is suddenly my fault. I guess I will find out tomorrow morning if it worked or not.

The other things I have problems with are borderline bribery. I work for a pretty large bank in Germany and you can imagine the amounts of money that are traded each day and what is sometimes done to ensure that the money keeps getting traded.

I need to get out of this job ASAP. Not only is the moral / ethical thing bothering me, but so is my commute. Maybe it's just the whole branch that I can't deal with. It basically goes against everything tthat I am
Jun 26, 2012, 5:48pm   #10
k
Member
I can definitely understand why you find this difficult. However, there are times when senior people tell us to do things that we don't agree with (whether it's on a moral or even just a practical level) and we have to make the best of a bad situation.

My advice would be to make it clear that you have some doubts about this plan - NOT on moral grounds, because your boss clearly isn't going to respond to that, and may even take offence - but rather because you fear that practically speaking, it won't work out, and may even cause him more hassle, perhaps make him miss the flight altogether, etc. You could put this in an email if that will make you feel more confident that you've expressed your (quite correct!) opinion on this.

It seems to me as though your boss will probably go ahead with this silly plan regardless of what you say. Your decision here is whether you feel it is worth raising the point above to perhaps deflect the situation, and try to cover yourself in the event that you're blamed. More broadly speaking, I think you're probably right to start thinking about a new job if this one is putting you in situations in which you feel uncomfortable.

Good luck!
Jun 26, 2012, 6:48pm   #11
lulilu's Avatar
Member
You are right -- you need to get out of this job. I don't know what other things he has directed you to do, but in the US you are liable for what you do even if it is something your boss told you to do. (I am not saying it's this serious, just making a point that you do what you want to do.)
Jun 26, 2012, 9:40pm   #12
bnjj's Avatar
♪ Jovi Junkie ♪
You cannot get on a plane here in Canada without showing ID. I can't imagine Germany is that different.

You've warned him and if he still wants to do this then it's completely his responsibility if they deny him boarding.
Jun 27, 2012, 1:48am   #13
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by lulilu
You are right -- you need to get out of this job. I don't know what other things he has directed you to do, but in the US you are liable for what you do even if it is something your boss told you to do. (I am not saying it's this serious, just making a point that you do what you want to do.)
Yes, it's the same way here - and that's why I'm glad my name is in no way associated with the other activities. I just know of them!
Jun 27, 2012, 7:22am   #14
V
Traveler
Do you have a 'whistle blowers' law in Germany?
We have that in the US & if you report the company you work for & they are found to be doing illegal stuff, you make money! Maybe enough to retire.

Oh like banks should be doing anything questionable now. They already have issues.
Jun 27, 2012, 8:53am   #15
Sternchen's Avatar
Thread Starter
Member
Originally Posted by Vegas Long Legs
Do you have a 'whistle blowers' law in Germany?
We have that in the US & if you report the company you work for & they are found to be doing illegal stuff, you make money! Maybe enough to retire.

Oh like banks should be doing anything questionable now. They already have issues.
Yes we do and I've already filled out a few "anonymous" forms with our compliancy office.
POST A REPLY
  HOME The Playground Career and Workplace  
TOP

Thread Tools