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Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lori - Marriage] #598785
05/06/10 04:45 AM
05/06/10 04:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,053
Memphis, TN
BellaDeb Offline
Zebra
BellaDeb  Offline
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Memphis, TN
Oh, I totally didn't mean that personally, Chi--I was talking in general about what Lisa's class was discussing, and based on things I've seen people do. The typical behavior is sneaking things in because they're cheaper at Walmart than the theater. And, most people do think of it as sneaking stuff in --that's what they call it.

I don't think most managers or business owners have any issue with someone bringing in something for a special diet -- people do that often and as long as it's not crazy, most won't mind. I did have someone bring Taco Bell into my restaurant one night & I asked them to take the food out of there. It wasn't for dietary restrictions and Taco Bell food smells pretty strongly, plus it wasn't the atmosphere for paper bags & to-go cups.

If someone is for instance diabetic & has to eat at certain times, there's not much for them at a movie theatre that's healthy, so I think movie managers should be okay with them bringing in something. Again, reasonable -- hot wings would be stretching it! smile

I think the overpricing at many venues actually encourages the sneaking in, so I'm not all gung-ho on their policies, either. I think they should sell things at the going market price or at least reasonably close to it. So, I think they bear some of the burden for the situation they've helped create.

These are just my opinions on these situations based on my own experience and values. I think overall, these are fairly minor things but that we have set up an environment that encourages people to be dishonest and the behavior snowballs until we have stuff like the mortgage crisis on our hands that does real harm and the same justifications are used. Mortgage brokers who "knew" better weren't all technically breaking the law but they were certainly behaving unethically. That's a huge leap from taking your own Snickers to the movies, I know, but I think it's the same sort of thinking taken to another level.

Again, nothing at all was personally directed to you or anyone else. I was talking about the situations in general that Lisa mentioned.

Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lori - Marriage] #598795
05/06/10 05:29 AM
05/06/10 05:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,169
Portland, OR, USA
Julie - Computer Careers Offline
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Julie - Computer Careers  Offline
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Posts: 1,169
Portland, OR, USA
I do tip (and on the mid to high side) in sit down restaurants if I get good service. If the server provides bad service (or one of my big pet peeves - returns the credit card with MY clearly female name on it to the man I'm with), I tip less or not at all. Once or twice I've specifically tipped the buss boy or other employee and not my server when I've gotten good service from them but not my server. I do think that if you go to a restaurant, you should expect to pay a tip just like you would expect to pay tax (except in Oregon where we don't have sales tax.)

On the other hand, I think tipping is getting out of control. I don't think there should be a tip jar at the deli where I pick my pre-made food out of a case and pour my own coffee - no one expects you to tip at the grocery store or the clothing store (and in Oregon restaurant workers make state minimum wage just like retail employees.) I don't like feeling like I need to tip at Starbucks or other places where I walk up, order and they hand me my food. I often lunch at food carts and I tip occasionally if I get excellent service, but again, I don't feel like it's a given.

One thing about movie theaters - I'm not certain it's still the same way, but when I worked in the business, the door went to the company distributing the movie and concessions payed to run the theater. However, if you have special dietary needs, I believe it is completely acceptable to bring whatever you need with you to a theater or restaurant or wherever. But do so openly. Generally, if you have to sneak, you are probably doing the wrong thing!

Julie

Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lori - Marriage] #598831
05/06/10 08:07 AM
05/06/10 08:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 22,738
Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
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Lisa LowCarb  Offline OP
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Here was my post, in my class, on the topic:

It is an interesting question in general, if sneaking in alcohol or food to somewhere that specifically makes this forbidden qualifies as "stealing". Let me try to think of a similar example.

You go to a school fundraiser at a restaurant where they feature food and a band. The rules of this fundraiser's attendance involves a $10 entry fee plus you pay per-plate at a buffet of items. The signs say "no external food or drink".

You attend with your group but all of you sneak in your own food and eat that instead. You enjoy the band and the social networking.

That $10 fee didn't cover the school's rental costs of the location, on a per-person basis. The budgeting for the event assumed that every person would eat X items and it was the overall "total price" that would cause the event to make money for the school. By violating their rules, you are causing a money loss for them with your presence. After all, your being there adds to the trash collection, and toilet cleaning, and other duties.

To me that is stealing in the same way that deliberately holding back the truth is lying by omission.

(tangent: When you lie by omission, some people say it's not lying because you are not actively saying that is untrue. But you are choosing to be silent and therefore deliberately create the impression of a lie. Your choice is still resulting in a lie being conveyed.)

So to me, normally it is stealing when you actively remove something of value from someone else's inventory. It would also be stealing if you were in a contract with someone to acquire all goods / services through them and you DO acquire a good or service but not through them. You knew the rules up front, when you made the original contract. You agreed to the terms of the contract. Then you deliberately broke those terms. The company loses money as a result - money they had planned into all their budgets and salary choices and so on. They assumed X number of people means Y number of sales and therefore they can pay their staff $Z an hour. Now they do not have that income, because one of their ticket buyers broke their rules.

For all we know, a local movie theater's basic ticket price barely covers the high cost of leasing the movie from the film makers, electricity to run the systems, heat, and so on. A movie theater could go out of business if zero people bought any concessions, i.e. that is a required part of their income flow for each person to "pay their share" of what it costs to stay afloat. The company has made an ethical bargain with each ticket holder to provide X services under Y rules. The company has held to their end very fairly. The food-bringing consumer has not.

Movies, cruise ships, and sports events are all luxury items. None of these situations involve stealing bread to feed a starving child. They all involve very optional activities. So where I could understand a contract-breaking choice in order to save a life, I see less reason for it when the activity itself falls completely into the luxury column. As someone here mentioned, there are many other cheaper options for family entertainment as alternatives that would involve no rule breaking at all.

So to summarize my feelings - when we make a contract with an organization to use their services, if we want to negotiate the terms of the contract, we should do so before we seal the deal. It does seem unethical to me to sign off on a contract that has known terms and then to deliberately violate those terms because we felt all along that the contract was unfair.

I understand that other people feel differently, and that is quite fine! This is solely my opinion.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #598832
05/06/10 08:13 AM
05/06/10 08:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 22,738
Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
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Julie - thank you for that information. I never got the sense from the little theaters around me that they were "rolling in dough" even given their high drink prices. They always seemed like they were barely getting by. I wanted to do my part to keep them in business, it would never occur to me to sneak food in past their "no food allowed" signs.


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #598835
05/06/10 08:22 AM
05/06/10 08:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 14,392
Verde Valley, AZ
Jilly Offline
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This is an interesting topic and I think i will bow out now. I consider these extremely minor issues in a great big world of woe.

Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Jilly] #598893
05/06/10 03:56 PM
05/06/10 03:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,691
Orange, CA USA
L
Lori - Marriage Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Lori - Marriage  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
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Orange, CA USA
Oh, no prob, BellaDeb! I guess I get insecure about everything.

Thanks all for a great discussion. It really made me reflect. smile


Lori Phillips
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Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lori - Marriage] #598963
05/06/10 07:00 PM
05/06/10 07:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,053
Memphis, TN
BellaDeb Offline
Zebra
BellaDeb  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,053
Memphis, TN
Julie, I don't think it's necessary to tip for counter service, either. Unless you order your coffee like Niles Crain, in which case you should tip about 200% as a Pain in the Butt fee.

And, there are several delis around here where you order from the counter but someone brings your food to the table. You get your own drink from a drink station, etc. So, there's not much service going on there. It's not customary to tip there, they don't have a tip jar, either. Their prices are however higher than "fast food" places and their workers do make more than minimum wage.

At anyplace if someone goes above & beyond or if you have out-of-the-ordinary requests, then I think tipping is okay. But, at sit-down restaurants, I think it should be considered part of the deal.

And, I think most servers don't sweat the occasional non-tipper--it's part of the job, after all, and good servers will make way above the standard 15%.

But the thing I think people don't realize is that servers have to report & pay taxes on a percentage of their food sales. I think it has to be around 10%, but I'm not sure about the exact number. If you report 5%, the IRS will not only probably audit you, they will also make your employer deduct more taxes from your check because they figure you are underreporting. Or, they will make your employer increase your wages--you have to report making enough tips to raise your pay to minimum wage or they make them pay you more.

Anyway, my point is that when people don't tip, it can actually cost the server money to wait on you. He or she will have to pay income tax on what you didn't tip, and if you tip nothing, you have just used someone's services and made them pay for the privelege! That is just wrong!

If service really sucks and it's the server's fault, then I think it's okay to undertip or even not tip. Having said that, I have undertipped before for that reason, but as a former server, I just can't not tip.

Plus, if you don't tip, servers assume you probably forgot or thought someone else was getting the tip & they forgot or whatever. Or that you're ____ (fill in the blank). A reduced tip says essentially, you did not do a good job.

Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: BellaDeb] #599080
05/07/10 03:57 AM
05/07/10 03:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,169
Portland, OR, USA
Julie - Computer Careers Offline
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Julie - Computer Careers  Offline
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Lisa - I think that's a really good post for your class. I really liked the comparison to the fundraiser and contracts.

Julie

Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Julie - Computer Careers] #599203
05/08/10 12:55 AM
05/08/10 12:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 22,738
Lisa LowCarb Offline OP
BellaOnline Editor
Lisa LowCarb  Offline OP
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Deb I definitely agree that there are different situations that call for different tipping rules and it can get confusing! I think it should never be this confusing about "what is a proper payment for services I want to acquire". They should have it stated at the door. I realize that might be a bit silly, but as we become a global economy and different cultures have different rules, they should make it straightforward. If the waitress needs a 15% tip or her coworkers are going to penalize her, we should all know that and be able to plan appropriately!


Lisa Shea, Low Carb and Video Games Editor
Low Carb Forum
Re: Ethics Questions in Class [Re: Lisa LowCarb] #599378
05/10/10 01:03 AM
05/10/10 01:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 169
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Elizabeth-Distance Learn Offline
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Regarding tipping: I like the restaurants that include the tip on the bill. It solves the problem of stinginess, forgetfulness, and the waiter/waitress will easily be able to include the tips on her/his income tax returns. As well it is easy to leave an extra tip on those occasions that you receive exceptionally good service from your server.

Regarding taking food into establishments where it is prohibited: I also happen to believe that one should not be taking in their own food. However, I do make an exception to the rule for water. I don't think anyone has the right ever, to tell me or anyone else that they cannot bring water to drink wherever they are. I was happy to see Chi mention that by law they cannot prohibit someone from bringing in water. I happen to feel that most corporations are unethical organizations and will rip people off as much as they can to make more money so rather than sneaking things into their establishments, I would rather just boycott them. In most of those cases I believe I'll be better off in more ways than one by finding something more beneficial to do with my time. If it is a smaller business just trying to do the best they can and I can't afford it, then I choose other options or save for those special occasions. Too many people today cannot differentiate between needs and wants which is why there is so much "sneaking in" of food to see movies or other activities. Integrity is sadly lacking too often in society today which is especially sad because as some already mentioned, parents are teaching those poor ethics to their children too.


Elizabeth Stuttard
Distance Learning
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