Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Ethical Dilemma

(This is kind of an oldie, but I decided to resurrect it for your consideration)

Scene from a library: Here am I, scanning and posting my umpteenth resume for the umpteenth freakin’ time, growing dejected, disillusioned, dismayed, demoralized, deflated, and every other bad thing that starts with “D”. My angst grows with each ruthless tick of the clock. The window is closing. My horizon is dimming. Time is running out. Nobody ever calls except Citibank. Walt Disney lied to me.

Suddenly, an obnoxiously LOUD cell phone rings, and an obese lady with a broken leg leaps up with a start to answer it. As she does so, her chair rolls out from underneath her. One of her crutches bangs into the computer, and she falls to the floor with an enormous leaden thud, like a giant bowling ball being dropped in wet cement - THWUMP. The floor vibrates as if a small earthquake just occurred, and everyone in the place is jolted from their digital stupors long enough to look around to see what the fuck caused that noise.

A man instinctively rushes over to assist her, but surprisingly she refuses his help. “No,” she insists, politely but firmly, her face beat red. “I’m fine, I’m fine.” This is odd, because the woman is obviously too fat and too wounded to get up on her own. What gives?

So the man returns to his computer, and the woman just stays o the floor, gasping and heaving like a harpooned walrus, and talks on her phone for a good minute or two.

And then, after she finishes her call, she motions for the same guy to come over and help her back into her chair and he does!

Question: Is this a positive or a negative of statement about human nature? What would have been the proper thing for her or him to do in that situation? Was it right for her to push him away order to take a phone call, and then lay claim to his compassion minutes later at her convenience? And was he right to oblige her in this way?

(And no, I didn’t get the job.)

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