The Comptroller of our company and I just had a conversation about an out-of-state employee who is generally contentious and whether, despite the lack of grounds, he may decide to litigate. Nothing like litigious employees to screw up a Friday morning.
I used to believe (and maybe I still do, to some extent) that people are essentially good. They will, more often than not, do the right thing. The ethical thing. Make the morally positive choice. During the past 20 years, I've certainly seen quite a few people to whom that did not apply. At all. I stubbornly hang onto the belief that, given the opportunity, people will do whatever I perceive to be the correct alternative, nonetheless.
Some people don't care whether they do the wrong thing, even when it's abundantly clear that it's the wrong thing. Why is that? I'm 53, grew up in some very dubious circumstances and I still don't get it. I recognize that there's some seriously evil stuff going on in the world. (Well, actually the word "evil" gives me a problem. It's too Manichean for me; I'm morally neutral on the nature of the universe.) Clearly, choosing things that benefit the common good over things that benefit me personally to the detriment of the common good is one of those things that would keep me up at night.
Apparently it doesn't keep everyone up at night, though. On the other hand, I choose to believe that we are all doing the very best we can at all moments. If we could do something better, we would. There are, however, lots of reasons why we might make a less than desirable choice. The intersection of nature and nurture sometimes create moral blinders. I guess most people would say that idea is amoral or just plain stupid. Maybe that's so, but it just seems pragmatic to me. My therapist and I discuss this on a regular basis and she completely disagrees.
Maybe the employee is going to try to sue us, but if he does, it will be because he doesn't know how to do otherwise. I could argue the case some more, but it's time for...you guessed it: therapy. I guess I'll just have to take it up there.