THE QUESTION: You get a call from Nancy, a dear friend from college, and as you’re catching up she says, “Karen, my company is sending me to a conference being held in the NYC area next week.” You and your husband, Jeff, live right outside the city, so you insist that she stay with you and say, “We have an extra car that you are welcome to use during the day, and we can visit in the evenings!” She accepts and all goes well. A few weeks after she has left, you receive several parking tickets in the mail that match the license plate of the car s
WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?
A. You send the parking tickets to Nancy and remind her that they need to be paid by the due dates, and ask her to please send you a copy of each receipt.
B. You pay the parking tickets, but you don’t let your husband know because you don’t want him to think poorly of your dear friend, Nancy.
C. You send Nancy the parking tickets, write that you are surprised to receive them, and ask if the charges are accurate. You also note the payment due date and wait for her response.
D. You call Nancy and tell her about the parking tickets, assuming that she has overlooked them, and ask if her company will pay them as a business expense.
WHAT’S MY ANSWER?
I picked D: You call Nancy and tell her about the parking tickets, assuming that she has overlooked them, and ask if her company will pay them as a business expense.
I think it is good to give my friend the benefit of the doubt. New York City is really difficult to drive in, and I would imagine parking to be confusing. It is clear that she doesn’t live there, so maybe she wasn’t aware of the rules. And, if the parking tickets were delivered by mail maybe she really didn’t see them.
I feel answer A is too cold, missing compassion for your friend’s situation. Answer B seems too non-confrontational. And Answer C seems too over dramatic and also passive aggressive. By simply giving her a call you can open up communication and move from there.
Well what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below. And don’t forget to answer more dilemmas here!
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.