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Re: Ethic's Question

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>Good luck to you, Steve.  To Paul, Christopher, and Ray, I hope I
>haven't volunteered your time inappropriately.
No problem, since I wouldn't dream of second-guessing another engineer
sub rosa, even if I did do buildings.

I suspect most engineers who've been in the biz longer than 15 years have
been through this. I can't help but think that conflicting egos is the
real basis of the problem. And I know the feeling, having had some pretty
accurate (if I do say so myself) judgements over-ruled for what seemed at
the time to be poor judgement. Stressing out over this is a serious
occupational hazard in corporate practice. If the basis of the conflict
is bad personal chemistry, finding another job is a pretty good solution.

There are two ethical issues: In Minnesota and Florida if there's an
immediate, provable danger to public safety, there's an obligation to
report such conduct to the board. In fact not reporting such conduct is
itself a violation of the standards of professional conduct. I suspect
the wording differs from state to state, but the meaning is the same.

OTOH, if immediate danger isn't provable, it becomes a matter of
judgement. If the architect is acting within his discretion and has a
reasonable track record, Steve could be putting himself in the position
of making a false or defamatory statement affecting someone's reputation.
This too is an ethical violation.

Steve isn't going to end up a hero either way. Management doesn't like
whistle-blowers, no matter how correct they are, and in this particular
case my guts tell me it's a potential pissing match, not an ethical
conflict. If Steve can't find a clearly provable immediate public danger,
he should back off because he has nothing at stake and nothing to gain by
bickering over the matter. If the two are still on speaking terms, a
short chat should at least clarify the areas of technical disagreement
and patch this over. If this has become an irreconcilable personal issue,
Steve needs to consider whether hanging around this particular office is
doing anyone any good.



Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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