Some years ago, I remember a discussion that happened at my office. The payroll departmet executive informed me that he had noticed an employee of the organisation buying toiletries and other items from a chemist shop. The employee had requested the chemist to prepare a bill for medicines instead of for toiletries. The employee had justified saying that medical reimbursement was his entitlement and it was okay if he submitted the requisite bills even though he had bought things other than medicines.
An employee was entitled to cab fare while on official duty. He travelled by train incurring twenty five rupees but claimed taxi fare by submitting a bill for three hundred rupees. When it came to his manager’s notice, the employee stated that he had the right to claim the amount as taxi fare was his entitlement.
In the Benson and Hedges cricket match, when New Zealand required six runs off the last ball to draw the cricket match, Trevor Chappel from Australia bowled an under arm ball along the ground. By no stretch of imagination could this ball be belted for a six and Australia won. When questioned, the Australian captain stated that it was very much within the rules to do that as long as the bowler swung his arm.
I have always been intrigued at this curious display of righteousness exhibited by these people. Potter Stewart once said” There’s a huge difference between that which you have a right to do and that which is the right thing to do.” I have always been of the opinion that the ‘right thing to do’ goes far beyond the ‘legal right to do’, and lived my life accordingly. But ultimately this treads on the personal standards set by individuals for themselves, and the ethical dilemma, I presume, will continue.
What have you to say?