Sunday, October 2, 2016

The ethics of accepting gifts

One of the training aspects of my recent library job was viewing a very dull video about ethics. It was created by some branch of the state of Louisiana and was required viewing by all state employees. It presented unclear examples of what could be accepted and not accepted. One thing I remember is that one could accept a gift of food only if one ate it in the presence of the giver.

As for the library an employee could accept nothing, not one thing, not even a single dime. I had been working at the library for two and one half months when a situation arose which nearly cost me my job. The branch where I worked is downtown with downtown parking woes. I had three choices for parking: six blocks in a free lot and walk to the library, in an expensive lot, or on the street next to the library with a feed-the-meter syndrome. One day I neglected to bring enough change for the meter and was asking to borrow from fellow employees (a fact that spoke little of my responsibility to be prepared). A patron overheard me and placed some quarters on the counter. I took one. Although it was not anyone's duty to touch me on the shoulder to say no or advise me not to take it, I would have done so in their place. Anyway, I told my supervisor what I had done. She had an apoplectic fit. I volunteered to quit, but she ignored me and continued to chew me out, and said I would be written up in no uncertain terms. I had already been written up for something else. She asked if I had ethics training as a teacher. I said yes, but we were allowed to accept gifts. She didn't believe me. I have since researched ethical training for teachers. Yes, teachers are allowed to accept gifts under $25.  

I returned to my desk and restrained myself. The supervisor said things that totally surprised me. She was displeased, blah, blah, blah. The desire to get up and go home was overpowering, but I stayed. I quit three days later and by some miracle found a teaching job in a high school where I know the rules.

Just a last note. I worked closing at the library one night a week. The doors closed at 7 pm. All library workers were out by 7:05 pm. The first time that happened I didn't understand what was going on. Does a teacher leave the building five minutes after the last bell? Ha! And I had to sign in exactly on time and sign out exactly on time.  

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

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Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

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A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.