KEEPING YOUR INTEGRITY INTACT – A lot of people lose their jobs for being dishonest. I was one of them and I regret it to this day. Not because I got caught for being dishonest, but for abusing the trust that was given to me by people who believed in me the most. Here’s a quick story on how I resigned from one the jobs I loved the most.
Earlier in my days working for a global company (I won’t mention the company and the year it happened), I was hired for a managerial position for a huge account that I had a great client-vendor relationship with. I was hired because of my experience working for the project in my earlier years as a supervisor. I was doing great with the account, impressing our client for constantly improving our process every month and quarter. 2 years in, I was handling the entire account of over 4,000 employees and 6 Operations Managers with my boss based in the US. My working hours were from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM during weekdays and the way my daily attendance was monitored was through my work laptop by connecting to our online time keeping system.
But for certain days that I knew I was going to be late for work, I would log in to work from my laptop at home using a VPN to “pretend” that I was at work earlier. But in fact, I was going to be an hour or two late for work. Whatever my selfish reasons were, it didn’t matter. I would do this 1 to 2 times a week and it became a habit of mine. I knew it was wrong, but I kept doing it. Finally, after about 8 months of doing it, a network specialist from the client side saw an unusual log in pattern from my home during my work hours, and had it compared to my physical log in using my company ID records. It didn’t match at all. This got reported to my boss who was based in the US.
I got caught red handed for being dishonest about my working hours. It didn’t matter that I was doing a great job at work running the entire project. I had disappointed my team, my company and my boss who had given me so much freedom plus the highest level of trust which I wasted. Instead of getting reprimanded for it by our HR department, I tendered my resignation immediately, leaving the job that given me so much growth and freedom to operate.
To this day, I still keep in touch with my former boss through social media, but we never discussed about it again. I was in my 20’s during that time and learned a valuable lesson in keeping your integrity intact always.
I’m one of the many examples of people whose success was built on sand to say the least. It’s so easy and very tempting to just cut corners to pursue various reasons of selfishness. Doing what I did thinking I could not get caught became a habit when I did it for the 2nd, 3rd 4th time and so on. I was never made accountable for something that was never seen by anybody. This is one of the reasons why I dislike being late for anything nowadays. What I learned before was such a painful reminder for me to keep my integrity intact. What I was doing was stealing company paid time, which I was paid for on time always.
There’s many ways people act without integrity:
1. Selling a car and pretending that it’s running smoothly but really, it’s not.
2. Selling a house without disclosing the issues with the neighbors next door.
3. Claiming to have a particular qualification to get a better paying position at another company.
4. Not telling the truth to banks, clients, investors, family members or suppliers to get a loan, to sell a faulty product or to just delay paying for something you owe.
5. Creating fake sales figures, financial accruals and other numbers to ensure that you earn your full year-end bonus, get a salary increase or that coveted job promotion.
It’s so easy to cut corners, but it’s so hard to keep an intact integrity when there are plenty of temptations to do so. Just remember that all you’ve got is your reputation.
KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN ALWAYS. Here’s why.
Be careful and be observant to not allow yourself to be caught up in any form of deception. Always be on the lookout for any lapses in integrity and ethics. They come in many forms. From your boss encouraging you to boost up your sales numbers artificially at year-end, to someone offering you great investing tips that you think could be insider trading.
Any time you face situations like these, just say no. Be ready to decline and just step away. If need be, speak up and report it to the relevant authorities.
It’s also our job to keep other people honest by reminded and giving them the courage to act with integrity. This is how we can guide other people to do the right thing.
I have nobody else to blame for me letting go of the job I loved the most at that time. I did it all to myself, and we all learn our greatest lessons the hard way.
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