Here’s the scenario:
A rule is established in the workplace that I choose to violate but my colleague does not. Violation of the rule does not impact my colleague or anyone else in any adverse way. The only possible repercussion from my indiscretion is disciplinary action by my boss.
In this instance, should my colleague care if I choose to violate the rule?
I think not, but apparently I am in the minority.
I have always felt that as long as a person’s actions do not harm me or anyone else, I do not care what a person chooses to do. This means that if I choose to adhere to a policy while a colleague chooses to ignore the same policy, I don’t give it a second thought unless someone is being adversely impacted in the process.
I have been told that it is an issue of fairness. It’s a “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” situation.
But if my actions do not impact my colleague or anyone else in any way, why should anyone care?
Some, or even most, might say something like, “It’s not fair that I am following this rule and you are not.”
Or “Why should you be able to ignore the rule while the rest of us have to follow it.”
My response is always something like this:
“You don’t have to follow the rule. You can do the same thing that I am doing and risk the repercussions. But why do you even care since my actions have no bearing on you or anyone else?”
And the reverse is true as well. As long as I am not being harmed, and no one else is being harmed, you are free to violate whatever policy or rule that you’d like and I will not care in the slightest. I won’t even hope that you get caught. As long as the only risk is to yourself, go right ahead. Break every rule imaginable. Fairness be damned.
I can’t imagine thinking otherwise.
Then again, I graduated from kindergarten a long time ago. “But that’s not fair!” is a refrain I stopped using many, many years ago.