THE QUESTION: You are writing an article on a website which takes advantage of improper sensual advertisements. While you are working on the article, two friends stop by your office. They immediately say, “Oh, sorry Emma. We know you are busy. Just wanted to say hi.” Then they turn and walk away. You get the impression that they glimpsed at your screen, saw the website’s advertisements, and got the wrong impression about what you were doing.
WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?
A. You have a lighthearted laugh about the incident and forget about it. It’s not that important, and you need to focus on your work.
B. You call them back and ask their opinion about the website. This will help them understand what you were doing.
C. You stop your friends and quickly explain your article to them.
D. You send them a copy of your final article with a personal note about your recent work. They will read it and understand.
WHAT’S MY ANSWER?
I picked A. You have a lighthearted laugh about the incident and forget about it. It’s not that important, and you need to focus on your work.
The most important thing I noticed about this dilemma is that it specifies these are my friends, close enough to stop by and say hey for no other reason. I don’t feel the need to explain myself to friends; they know me well enough to know I wouldn’t be looking at an “improper sensual advertisement.” I would expect them to joke around about it after work though!
However, if it was a boss or coworker I wasn’t close with I would feel the need to call them back in and ask them about the website (pretending to not notice the ads) so they will know what I am actually doing.
Well, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below.
Click here to read an evaluation of this Dilemma from Fulvio Di Blasi, a world-renown scholar in the field of applied philosophy and business ethics.