My boss wants me to do shady things.
January 14, 2006 10:46 PM Subscribe
How do you refuse to do something your boss asks of you without jeopardizing your job?
posted by Meredith to Travel & Transportation (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For the first time I find myself working for a company who's ethics and standards on things make me uncomfortable. I work in the accounting department, and my boss often asks me to do her dirty work- nothing illegal like keeping two sets of books, just things I feel are wrong and am not comfortable with.
For example- when a customer has overpaid, or has a credit balance, we don't inform them. We do not send out credit memos, we let the customer "see them on the statement." However, if a customer has a credit balance, we don't send them a statement at all. After a while, if the customer does not order again and the credit balance sits there, my boss asks me to write it off, instead of sending them a refund or at least contacting them. Obviously the problem with this is that if a customer has made a bookkeeping error and is unaware they have sent us too much money, they won't know about it, because we aren't sending them a statement, and in fact go out of our way to hide the fact from them, so we can just keep the money after a few months if they don't ask for it back.
All of my previous jobs, I worked for companies who would immediately contact customers if they had overpaid somehow and offer them a refund, or ask if they wanted to just use it as a credit. And this is only one example of the kind of shady, dishonest things she asks of me.
How do I best go about approaching her with this and letting her know I will not do these kinds of things? Up until now I've just passed these occasional requests on to other co-workers who don't really care, but it's becoming more frequent and I can't keep shifting my workload. I realize that should anyone question it, it would fall on her head and not mine, but I am just not comfortable with this.
I also can't afford to lose my job right now- I have a brand new car payment and an 11 year old greyhound with thyroid cancer undergoing chemotherapy (about a $3k vet bill), and the job market around here is, like most everywhere, not that great right now. I am looking, but I have to have something else lined up before I leave this job. Another point of note: people get arbitrarily fired from this company for no good reason all the time, and SC being an "at-will" work state, there wouldn't be much I could do about it should they let me go.
So is there a good way for me to get around this, approaching my boss or otherwise, or should I just suck it up and do as she asks until I find something else?