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An ethical dillema


blue 3
Hey guys, I miss you, again :(. First off I realized I got to 4k posts...woot!

Second off, I'm sitting here at 2:30 in the morning, when I have to be at work at 7 and I can't sleep. I've been mulling this "ethical dillema" over in my head for quite sometime. Well, I really don't know what to call it, so I'll give you the story as concise as possible.

I work at a job. I'm an assistant manager at said job. I am underpaid, I do most of the work. I have a General Manager. The General Manager likes me, and over all, he does a good job. I am gunning for his job, he knows it, I want money.

However, said General Manager is sending dirty text messages to other employees. These said employees then come to me and talk to me about it. I give them the usual advice "go to the district manager, save the texts..etc..etc" however, the girls never go. In the past year there have been five seperate girls that have come and talked to me about this. Most are scared to lose their jobs (and most have kids and can't afford to lose them.)

I am at my wits end with this. It is extremely unethical and violates so many rules in my back. I can't condone these text messages and I can't understand why nothing has happened.

My store is owned by a man who owns one other store. THere is one other person above my general manager. She is in charge of both stores and works personally with the owners (We all do). Is it my place to bring this to her attention or the owners' attention? Is it unethical, especially since, everyone knows I want his job?

I'm kinda worried too, I can't afford to lose my job.

Over all I keep going back and forth and I'm out of ideas.


Lion Rampant
Yes, the unsolicited texts are an abuse of his position as an employee. If you're worried about how it looks on you, you could always say something like, "I don't want you to think that I have anything against him. We have no problems between us. It just didn't seem right for me to keep silent after the x number of reports that I got." I can't see anybody frowning on you for that. And we are talking about protection of the innocent, after all. This is going to stay in your mind until it's resolved. True?


blue 3
That's true. I don't quite know how to go about it. I know usually for this to be official there needs to be writing and proof, but the girls won't give it because they are scared so I've got this catch 22 limbo phase I'm in.

Sure I can call attention to it, but with no proof I look like I"m gunning for the job. It just is really starting to bug me... a lot.


Lion Rampant
Well, you're not presenting anything as proof, nor demanding that something be done. It would be up to management to decide what to do with your information. I don't envy you the task of writing it out, though. Maybe GF can help you, if you want, with suggestions on putting together an email to your boss's boss.


blue 3
Yeah maybe, I might go that route. I mean essentially, the District Manager and the owner are the only two people who are above him, so I'd probably be going to the District Manager, her and I see eye to eye on a lot of issues pertaining to the store.

I just don't want to get caught in the cross-fire so to speak, especially if no action is taken on him, but my name is dragged through the mud you know?


rainbow 11!
See if any of the girls are willing to save the texts, and willing to have their name given to the DM. His behavior is completely deplorable and I am disgusted! If they are, go to the DM and say blah blah, blah, and blah have received multiple inappropriate text messages from the GM. Then SHE can approach the girls.

Have you read the text messages? Maybe before dropping names you should express that they are scared of losing their jobs, thouggh as long as they didn't encourage the behavior, I can't see why they would. Honestly, think of it like this... How much worse would it be if one girl decides to go to the DM and she finds out that you have known for a while and never said anything? That would be worse than being the first to go to her.

I would also see if there is a way for the girls to have the texts printed through their provider, or at least their bill where it shows how often his number texted them.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
What about confronting the General Manager? Tell him you've been getting feedback that employees are getting uncomfortable with his texts. Ask him to stop. Document this. He will either react badly or stop texting them if he knew someone is ballsy enough to confront him. If it costs them or you, your job, or he makes it difficult for any of you after this, then you have it on record as abuse of power. Then you can go above him and report this. No one will ever think you ever just want his job (even if you do) because you won't be just talking about him to others to make him look bad....you've been decent enough to try to keep this within (if he actually changed his behavior after feedback) except you had no other choice but to go elsewhere if he ignored or punished you.
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Registered Member
The girls that have been coming to you, showing you these texts, they obviously trust you, otherwise they wouldn't come to you. Tell them you will go with them to the higher up. Tell them you will stand beside them. Show the girls they have no reason to fear, because there is power in numbers, and the more of you that go and report- or show up in person- the more the GM has to believe.
And like others have mentioned, if this has been happening for some time now, and you have kept quiet, then nobody can blurt out "You only want so&so's job!". It's apparent you care more about what these girls have been going thru or else you would have immediately went to higher authority without thinking about anyone else or any other consequences. But you are worrying about it, so you do care.
Now it's time to get all of you together, and face the General Manager. What your boss is doing, is very wrong. And it's not like you planned all this, this stuff just happened, and you have been nice enough to listen to the girls and all the while, this crap is eating you up inside. Stop that now. Go speak to the GM, or hell, I would go to the owners if need be. But in the end, not only will the GM feel better that it was brought to his/her attention, but you will feel better too. Don't look at it about you getting his job. Look at it that you are doing the right thing, and helping others who are being abused and taken advantage of. The guy might get worse, sending dirty texts now, but what if it escalates, and he starts going further?? Best of luck, to all of you!


still nobody's bitch
I concur with ysabel. Also, what Dabs said - these girls are coming to you because they feel powerless and they trust you, they need you to do something. You know what the right thing to do is, Bryan. I know you can't afford to lose your job, but surely your GM must know that the company can't afford to fire someone over this.

good luck.


Registered Member
You have clear evidence (although I'm curious what is deemed "dirty" because these days the workplace is so PC that people have become stuffy) that policies are being broken. It is your responsibility to be a spokesperson for the girls. To not do so because of your own agenda could possibly reflect on your whole career. If there are job loss threats, then sue them. Have a lawyer business card handy. In the end, why would you want yourself or anyone to work in that climate??