Thinking Out Loud

June 28, 2010

Ethics: When to Make Something Issue and When Not To

I am a complainer by nature.   I’m the guy who makes the phone call, writes the letter to the editor, or is vocal about the thing that’s “not right.”

In the area where I live, the minimum wage increased on March 31st.  As a business owner, it didn’t hit us hard, since our employees receive regular increases every 12 weeks, plus merit increases for outstanding work.   They were already ahead of the minimum — some just barely — but we were covered.   It just rendered the increases they had earned a little less meaningful; especially when future staff will arrive on the scene starting at the new higher pay levels.

However, where my youngest son works, I guess his boss didn’t get the memo.   He’s still working at the old rate.  Because it’s my son, every instinct inside of me says to mention it.   Nobody wants to see their child ripped-off.

But I know this woman; I know how much their business is struggling; I consider her a friend.   I’m grateful that she hired my son at all.  The little feedback I get is that he is doing good work, so I don’t think it’s that.

I’m just trying to practice grace on a level that is quite uncommon to me.

She hires a number of other students, and I keep hoping that one of the others will (a) notice, and (b) decide to keep her better informed.  But now it’s been three months.

What would you do?


  1. Dear Brother,

    Re: your son’s salary, first pray and ask GOD how to handle it. I wouldn’t talk to his boss about it because that might embarrass your son unless you first ask your son if he would like you to do that for him. GOD might be trying to teach you all something through this situation, i.e. patience, humility (only GOD knows). Also, have you thought of hiring your son to work for you-then you could be sure he would get a decent wage. Otherwise, you have to leave it in GOD’s hands.


    Tom and Carol

    Comment by carol coker — July 6, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    • Thanks for giving us more to think about on this. He’s away for a few weeks so we have time to step back from the issue. We’ve talked about having him work for us at some point in the future, but we’re not sure how long we’re keeping our business right now.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 6, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

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