Thursday, January 21, 2010

Employers, Deployers, and Ethics

WARNING: I'm about to ask a question out loud, and then answer it myself.

Is it unethical for a Guardsman or Reservist to take a civilian employment position but not mention during interviews the possibility of an upcoming deployment?

In a word, and emphatically -- NO.

Obviously, there's reason to consider it. It's expensive to recruit new people, to hire them, and to train them. From a firm's point of view, it's probably only *worth it* if they can expect some standard of continuity.

So on the one hand, it seems like being out loud and up front about the way you might see the next few calendar turns unfolding is the right way to go.

However, it's not, and for this very simple reason -- You're never really sure yourself.

You might *think* something's coming. You might plan for it. You might train for it. Shoot, you might even be foolhardy enough to make a calculated bet by *investing time in yourself* while doing some rosy scenario accounting that would make even Jeffrey Skilling or Andrew Fastow blush.

But things can change, and they can change suddenly. It might be best not to count on a C-17 going "wheels up" until the people and vehicles on the tarmac start looking really small.

See my point? If the individual Guardsman or Reservist can't even be sure where they're headed, and when, there's no reasonable expectation that every employer or prospective employer thereof should be privy to every rumor about what might happen.

Besides, you never know if an earthquake might hit in the Caribbean, a tsunami might wash over in the Pacific, or a butterfly might flap its wings in Tokyo. Or when tanks might roll over aspirant NATO members in the Russian "near abroad."

That said, speaking is best done in the conditional future, as opposed to the future perfect.

1 comment:

C R Krieger said...

But, given the benefits the company should provide if one is mobilized, saying that one is in the Guard or Reserve seems reasonable.

Regards  —  Cliff