There are two main conceptual elements that overlap one another in this dilemma. One is Ann’s right to receive a proper apology and compensation for the damage to her dress (Justice). The other is the higher importance of the business reception compared to the “private” issue between Ann and Patricia (Circumspection). Each dedicated employee should focus initially on the clients and the success of the event, and focus secondarily on other things, including a spoiled dress and Patricia’s responsibility (Loyalty).
Moreover, Patricia’s “carelessness and cavalier attitude” is a more serious issue for the Company’s work environment than for the occasional damage caused to Ann’s dress. From this viewpoint too, Ann should think beyond herself, react with Leadership, and consider getting someone else involved who will be able to encourage Patricia to improve (Respect for Authority). Ann needs to control her Anger in order to be able to make a prudent decision (Meekness). She may decide to let it go and forget about the whole thing, even if it’s not required (Generosity).
In any case, she should remember that a prudential rule is to not talk to someone when angry or when the circumstances are likely to cause a scene or annoy people around us (Good Deliberation and Precipitation). Given the circumstances, Ann should strive to react in a way that will leave everyone around her optimistic and upbeat (Refinement).
Special Circumstances to Consider:
- If Patricia were already under scrutiny for her cavalier behavior within the Company.
- If your Supervisor or CEO witnessed the entire episode.
Read Fulvio Di Blasi’s full bio here.