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Thread: business is business personal is personal

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    business is business personal is personal

    I have a cousin that was fired from a job twenty years ago. The man that fired him ended up marrying a second cousin of the man he fired on his mom's side I am kin to him on his dad's side. this cousin of mine that got fired has gone on and done well and the man who fired him asked his wife to ask my cousin to loan them a thousand dollars. My cousin told him no through her and folks got all mad. Half the family thinks he was wrong to hold a grudge over getting fired though admit he is legally within his rights to do so. The other half think it is a you reap what you sow type situation.

    I get the man fired my cousin because he was viewed as unproductive or a drag on his business. What I dont get is the man is basically asking to be a drag on the man he fired and expecting that to be okay. Seems to me if a business owner wont keep you on to help you out then you have no obligation to do it for him out of your own pocket years later if asked to do so.

    I do know the world is irrational. I just dont understand why someone woukd think it is okay to really duck up someone's life by taking their job and then expecting that person to roll over backwards for you later.

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    Well, getting fired is a very personal thing and everybody likes the idea of getting some comeuppance at one of their old bosses, so more power to this dude. He's living the dream.

    I still won't rent from Enterprise Rant a Car because they didn't give me a callback for an interview that I had with them for a summer job when I was a teenager. The fact that I gave a terrible interview and they were right not to hire me doesn't factor into my vengeful disdain when I obstinately give my money to one of their competitors (and it is always deliberately obstinate).

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    If he asked for the $1000 as a gift, it would be personal. Asking for a loan makes it business.

    If these two people haven't developed the kind of relationship in the past 20 years, where a gift or loan would not be a problem, it's a little late to worry about it now.

    One last point. Anyone who thinks the loan should have been made, is free to extend the loan from their own pocket.

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    Everything in business is personal and has moral relevance. "Business is Business" is mostly a rationalization for immoral greed and treating people like people shouldn't be treated.
    IOW, it's a favorite expression of corporate CEOs and economic conservatives.

    However, firing a person can be immoral but is not inherently so. And taking advantage of an employer and not producing what you've promised can also be immoral.

    If the boss had legit grounds to fire the guy, then the guy holding a grudge is being a childish dick who hasn't evolved much self awareness in 20 years. OTOH, if the firing was not warranted and was an act of greed by the boss, then the guy should refuse the request (unless that former boss has since apologized and shown he's not that same person anymore).

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    Mr. Burgundy, on the surface what you say makes sense. I do not know where you live and what the labor laws are like there. I live in the U.S. state of Texas whose leaders we are blessed with have always saw to it most people were employed at will and can be fired for no reason at all. I do not know the particulars of my cousins situation but I do know that many or most people equate what is legal is moral and would rationalize the cousin would always be at fault and there could be no moral blame of his employer because of at will employment law.

    I tend to stay out of stuff like this. Me personally I think if the man who hired my cousin thought he was a drag on his business then he had the right to get rid of him. However, I think my cousin has the right to think of his former employer the same way. If forking over the money hurts him or he doesn't think the guy worth the sacrifice and subsidy then he shouldcrefuse it. He is just looking at the former employer the way the former employer looked at him which is "is this person worth keeping/ helping out"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BH View Post
    Mr. Burgundy, on the surface what you say makes sense. I do not know where you live and what the labor laws are like there. I live in the U.S. state of Texas whose leaders we are blessed with have always saw to it most people were employed at will and can be fired for no reason at all. I do not know the particulars of my cousins situation but I do know that many or most people equate what is legal is moral and would rationalize the cousin would always be at fault and there could be no moral blame of his employer because of at will employment law.

    I tend to stay out of stuff like this. Me personally I think if the man who hired my cousin thought he was a drag on his business then he had the right to get rid of him. However, I think my cousin has the right to think of his former employer the same way. If forking over the money hurts him or he doesn't think the guy worth the sacrifice and subsidy then he shouldcrefuse it. He is just looking at the former employer the way the former employer looked at him which is "is this person worth keeping/ helping out"
    I live in the US as well, and I question whether anyone honestly equates legality with morality, except when it's convenient for them to rationalize away immoral actions. There are countless ways one can cause deliberate and knowing harm to others without breaking the law. Deliberate harm is generally the criteria for an act being immoral, unless it is a byproduct of protecting oneself from harm.
    And protection of one's property or financial interests has limits on how much harm it can justify. For example, most sane people would think that shooting someone to prevent them from stealing your bicycle is immoral, even if states like Texas make it legal. The harm caused is too great relative to the amount of harm prevented to oneself. Likewise, firing a good, hard-working employee just because you find someone who will take 2% less pay is arguably unjustifiable harm and thus immoral, especially if the company is profitable either way and it's just an act of greed to make a wealthy owner slightly wealthier while causing potentially life ruining economic harm to another.

    Basically, the same ethics apply to business actions as any other other context. If an action would seem ethically bad if you did it to your mother, then it is probably immoral to do to an employee or a customer. Having the right to do something is neccessary but never sufficient grounds for it being the right thing to do.

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