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Integrity in the Workplace

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Essay title: Integrity in the Workplace

Integrity in the Workplace

There was a note in my mail slot at work instructing me to come to the Mr. Miller’s office. Mr. Miller is the owner of the company so this is kind of like being summoned to the principal’s office. It almost always means admonishment. I am a finish carpenter employed to run the installation department for a custom door and window company. I pulled myself together and advanced toward his office. My mind was searching through everything that I had done in the last few days trying to determine what I might have done wrong. Times are hard right now so I just knew that this could not be a pat on the back or an increase in pay. As I approached Mr. Miller’s office I took a deep breath before knocking firmly on his solid oak door. “Come on in” he called to me. He was sitting at his desk with that fatherly look on his face as if I had just done something and now it was time to come clean. Even more concerned now I quickly found a seat. “Michael, how long have you been working for me now?” he asked. I said about three years next month. Mr. Miller said that he should just get right to the point and he did. The other crews are completing their work sooner than mine, which means he has to pay each man on my crew more money for the same job. Since each crew has three or more men he explained that I needed to pick up the pace to get the job done quicker. Mr. Miller even suggested that I learn to cut corners. This made me shutter just thinking about such a request. He continued to tell me that if he was going to stay in business he needed to pay close attention to his employee’s time management. My mind was on the defensive now trying to determine the best response to his comments about my work ethic. He paused and asked me if I had anything to say. I started slowly at first with a quiet voice, and explained that I was a perfectionist. It was important that my workmanship not cause the company additional dollars or the need to send a service technician to repair my work. I pointed out that his customers are spending an average of thirteen thousand dollars per job. These custom doors and windows are more like a fine piece of furniture than anything else. He was nodding his head because he had to agree with me on this fact.

I knew then what I must do. I am going to challenge him. My voice strengthened before I asked Mr. Miller to check his records for as far back as he would like, and tally the number of callbacks for each of the six crews. Callbacks are when the company has to send a crew back to the customer’s house to fix something that was not completed to their satisfaction. I knew that the company was not compensated for this work. He asked me what I was trying to prove with this challenge. I knew that my work had few, if any, callbacks and that the other crews constantly had to redo their work to satisfy the customers. I did not know then what the percentage might be, but I knew in my heart that I was doing everything necessary to satisfy the customers. We agreed to continue this discussion after Mr. Miller examined the recent work logs.

I left Mr. Miller’s office reflecting on our conversation. Am I capable of bending my perception of excellent craftsmanship to fit his standards? I could not cut corners. Would his clientele be content

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