Won't Engage in Unethical Behavior Nor Will I Be Bought
After presenting a grant proposal written by my boss to the Council of Governments (COG, a County Judge asked me, “So why is it that your proposal is a verbatim copy of Canutillo’s proposal?” I almost died of embarrassment. The only response I could muster was, “I can’t answer your question as I didn’t work on this proposal, I was just asked to present it.”
The other members of the COG had no reaction except one who stated, “As long as we secure funding for our area, that’s all that matters.” The COG employee was quick to add that since our organization was working with the same partners as Canutillo, it would only be logical that the proposal would be similar.
To top it off I was walking out the door with the representative from Canutillo who had witnessed the entire embarrassing episode. She was kind enough not to bring the issue up as she made small talk with me. As soon as I got into my car, I called one of the higher ups and left him a message about the episode. He never returned my call.
While in the office, my boss called me asking me how it went. I shared the episode with her and she simply exclaimed “What business is it of hers to ask you that? It’s not like she’s funding the proposal!” No apology, no nothing. At that moment I knew that I had to resign for I would be guilty by association and my name would be trashed. I submitted my resignation the following day.
Immediately after, the Associate Superintendent called me to her office offering me an upgrade to my position if I didn’t quit. I told her my resignation had to do with standing by my values and ethics and not money…something she didn’t understand.
The two weeks that I was there, my boss harassed me trying to get me to change the date of my resignation letter in an attempt mark me as “do not hire” candidate for not giving a two week notice. I ignored her so she engaged H.R. in her attempt. My knowledge of the employee handbook surprised them as I challenged their attacks. Putting the head of H.R. in her place cost me $5K, but it was worth every penny to walk out of there unbroken and with my values and ethics standing strong.