Real-world hypotheticals 101

I’d like to pose a hypothetical situation. It is something that any of us graduating seniors could experience at our future places of employment and, when the times comes, we may not know how to deal with it. Of course, we all know what we would ideally like to do, but each of our personal situations (for example, finances) may get in the way of our ethical decision-making process.

Sally Sue, a recent college grad, works full-time for company XYZ. Prior to applying, she did her research like Toppel told her to and found nothing negative about the company or its policies. After applying and accepting a position with company XYZ, Sally Sue finds out the company is indirectly contributing to events with which she strongly disagrees. Little did company XYZ know, but Sally Sue is a huge hippie that likes to go on marches and participate in sit-ins and stuff.

A petition starts circulating around the Internet to stop company XYZ’s practices and Sally Sue would like to sign, but the petition requires her to enter her full name and address and will be sent directly to the CEO of XYZ. Does Sally Sue stick it to the man and sign the petition while risking the loss of her job, or does she go back to work on Monday and ignore the entire situation?

I’d like to extend a plea to Toppel since its programs have molded me into an interviewing machine: Please tell us all what to do. Eventually this may happen, unfortunately, because many big companies forget about us little people down here in Normalcy Land, trying to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Do we stand up for our beliefs and values or ignore our guts for the sake of our jobs? Will we still feel warm and gooey inside for supporting a cause while we stand in the unemployment line? How do we deal with conflicting personal and company values, especially if problems arise after we accept a job offer?

Ashley Davidson is a senior majoring in journalism and studio art. She may be contacted at