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Professional Workplace Dilemma

In: Business and Management

Submitted By shadiaavila
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Introduction Working at in an educational institution you would think that we have the upmost professional employees, staff and students, causing this paper a hard one to write. Unfortunately that is not the case as I have dealt with many professionals who have acted unprofessional and uneducated. I have been employed for the past seven years to one of the top colleges in the country. The college has eight campuses in different parts of South Florida allowing it to be diverse in cultures both with students as well as with our faculty and staff and creating for ethical issues to arise at all times.
The Experience Working for the Quick Copy Center at one of our campuses I must follow policies and procedures set out not only by the college, but by the state and the federal government. Many professors think that because they have Master’s or Doctorate degrees they have rights in not following procedures that I must enforce. I enforce policies and procedures not only to protect myself, but also to protect my employees, department and the college. On this particular day professor Fried came into the office requesting copies from a book for her class. I asked her to please provide me with a copy of the book and she refused. I immediately told her that I would need to see the book in order to abide by copyright laws that are not only in place at the college, but it was a federal law. She got very angry said I was stupid and was too much trouble for her and the students. She proceeded with breaking up our Quick Copy Form and throwing them at my face. I was furious, but thought quickly and remained calm. I told her I was following department regulations and if she would bring the book allowing me to make the copies That I would be more than happy to do them for her immediately and if they had copyright reserved then she would need a chairperson signature and that I would be more than happy to assist her no matter what she decided. She proceeded by calling me an ignorant uneducated woman, to what I thought was the other way around. As she walked out the door she called me a bit_ _, not knowing that it would really upset me creating more anger and causing me to walk up to her department chairperson’s office.
The Ethical Dilemma As I walked up the stairs I thought I would just blow up into Dr. Johnson’s office and tell him how rude this woman had been, but the long walk up to the third floor made me calm and realize that talking to him and having her understand me was probably going to make her listen to me and not just hear my point and why I was doing what I was doing. Professor Fried thought that because she had been here for so many years and that she had made copies before from the book that I was just making a big deal. She thought that her degree made her my boss and that she can overrule policies and procedures because she had a higher position than I did. She had insulted me not only by cursing at me, but by thinking that her position was higher than mine she was unethical from the beginning creating for her moral values to be degraded no matter what education she had received. I thought while sitting in his office waiting for her to be called in, that all I wanted was for her to understand why I did what I did and why it was uncalled for her to treat me the way she did as we were in an educational institution giving an education to others.
The Outcome As I explained to Dr. Johnson what had happened and he waited for her to come and join us I thought to myself that I was only doing my job and why could someone so professional not understand my position and I was having to lecture her on how things worked. She walked in and shook her head and she immediately told Dr. Johnson that she knew why she was there and that she did not understand why I was so difficult. I turned to her and said well I will explain that there are copyright laws set by our federal government and apart from those laws the college had their own policies and procedures that followed the federal and state laws. I explained to her that I was protecting my job that if an inspector came in and caught me doing the copies that the college would be fined and then I would be fired. I explained that writing to the publisher of the book was an easy way as I had helped other professors do it and receive and e-mail allowing me to make copies. I explained that I was there to serve not only her, but our staff and most of all our students. Making her understand that she was not above me, because of her education and that I felt that her education was not what made her educated that her actions towards me were very uneducated. She quickly realized that I had poised myself with dignity and honored my job and the college; she apologized and explained she only wanted copies for the students in order to save them money and I understood as I am a student and know how expensive it is. I told her to take me to her office so that we could write to the publisher. They got back to her in 24 hours with an approval to make copies out of that book and she was grateful for my help. She understands now why I did what I did and Professor Fried now comes to my office for advice and help with regarding copies. I would not change how I handled myself as I think that I did the best I could in explaining myself and communicating to her our policies and procedures and also made her understand that I was here to help and not to cause any headaches for her as I did follow the college motto “One College, One Goal”.
Conclusion
Working in such a diverse organization can sometimes become difficult, but learning how to act intelligently and maintaining a hostile free attitude creates a hassle free working environment. I think in the end it was an educational experience for all the parties involved as to showing a professor that no matter how high of a degree you have learning from someone else can benefit all involved to get the goal accomplished.

References
Miami Dade College (2010). About Us. Retrieved April 17, 2010 from http://www.mdc.ed…...

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