Ethical dilemma - the case of the contaminated milk... any ideas? Watch

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Semanort
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Cosider the follwoing theoretical ethical dilemma:

For the last two summers you have been working the breakfast shift at the Back Bay, a fast food restaurant. The Back Bay is one of the 3 restaurants owned by a local entrepreneur. Although the tips are not large, the work is not stressful and the customers are quite nice. Many of them are regulars and occasionally some of your friends drop by for a light breakfast before they go to their summer jobs. Because of your stellar performance you have recently been promoted to assistant manager.



Each day you arrive at the restaurant at 6 a.m., which is not a problem for you since you are an early riser. The cook is often already there, cleaning the kitchen. Your manager normally arrives at 6:30 just as the restaurant opens, and the three table servers arrive shortly thereafter.



This morning, at about 6:20, the delivery truck arrives from Turner Dairies with the regular shipment of milk, eggs and other dairy products. As you begin to unpack and store the various items in the refrigerators, you remember a story in this morning's newspaper about contaminated milk that has been distributed by Turner Dairies. The article said that some people were becoming quite sick as a ersult of drinking the contaminated milk, but that the problem was with only a small portion of the dairy's milk. You recall that the newspaper listed the serial numbers of the possibly contaminated milk containers.



You point out the problem to the cook. "If you think I've got the time to go through every carton of milk to check the serial numbers, you're crazy" he said, "I've got to get busy getting ready for the customers that are going to be coming through that door in the next five minutes. You better get all the tables ready for them, and stop messing around with the milk."



Just then the manager enters. "i think we've got a problem," you say and tell him about the newspaper article. Both of you quickly look at the paper.



"I don't think there is a problem," he says. "The articles sayd right here that the chances are minuscule that anyone has a contaminated carton. Besides, we don't have the time or the staff to check every container. Our customers are already starting to come in." You looked over the counter and see that three of your regulars had just entered the restaurant. You know from experience that these early morning diners are hungry and short on patience.



"Also, I've got to get over to the Back Street Store, because 2 of the table servers phoned in sick and we're short-staffed there." As he heads towards the door, you make one last protest.



No, he says. "Be reasonable. We don't have time to check all of the containers, and if we did decided to destroy all the milk we received this morning then we'd have to buy replacement milk at retail prices. Do you know how much that would cost us? Anyways, it would take us about half an hour to get out, buy the milk, and get back. We can't afford that. We don't have the time or the money to worry about such minor details. Just get back to work and forget about the milk."



You are not sure that doing nothing is the right thing to do, nor are you sure that this is a minor problem. As you walk back towards the kitchen you overhear one of the regulars say to the table server, "Can I have a large glass of milk with that order too?"



What should you do?
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Hash
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(Original post by Semanort)
You are not sure that doing nothing is the right thing to do, nor are you sure that this is a minor problem. As you walk back towards the kitchen you overhear one of the regulars say to the table server, "Can I have a large glass of milk with that order too?"



What should you do?
Tell the customer that your restaurant buys its milk from turner diaries. Warn him that there is a miniscule chance of his milk being contaminated, and would he still like the glass of milk?
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sleepyeba
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(Original post by Hash)
Tell the customer that your restaurant buys its milk from turner diaries. Warn him that there is a miniscule chance of his milk being contaminated, and would he still like the glass of milk?

:withstupi i agree.

Semanort! woo Canada!!!
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InterCity125
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Report them to the authorities for failing to take reasonable steps to ensure they sell food fit for human consumption.
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thefish_uk
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(Original post by Hash)
Tell the customer that your restaurant buys its milk from turner diaries. Warn him that there is a miniscule chance of his milk being contaminated, and would he still like the glass of milk?
I don't think that'd work, wouldn't you have to get him to sign a legal disclaimer?

Anyway... couldn't you just check the numbers of the cartons as you use them rather than all at once?
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jpowell
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Go insane, kill your boss, the cook, and all the patrons of the restaurant. Then morph into a superhero vigilante and go around killing any other restaurant staff that dare to serve contaminated milk.
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Semanort
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(Original post by Hash)
Tell the customer that your restaurant buys its milk from turner diaries. Warn him that there is a miniscule chance of his milk being contaminated, and would he still like the glass of milk?
Yea... but consider the loss to the entrepreneur if most ppl decide not to get the milk... do you think that is significant?
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Semanort
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(Original post by AntiMagicMan)
Go insane, kill your boss, the cook, and all the patrons of the restaurant. Then morph into a superhero vigilante and go around killing any other restaurant staff that dare to serve contaminated milk.
superheroine
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Semanort
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(Original post by sleepyeba)
:withstupi i agree.

Semanort! woo Canada!!!
yay, go Canada
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magiccarpet
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(Original post by Hash)
Tell the customer that your restaurant buys its milk from turner diaries. Warn him that there is a miniscule chance of his milk being contaminated, and would he still like the glass of milk?
yes. get the customers to sign a disclaimer stating they are taking this risk. that way, if they get sick, its contributary negligence on their part for taking the risk.

or alternatively, just look at the cans before you open each one. or play safe and just dont serve milk until u have time to check it out
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Semanort
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(Original post by thefish_uk)
I don't think that'd work, wouldn't you have to get him to sign a legal disclaimer?

Anyway... couldn't you just check the numbers of the cartons as you use them rather than all at once?
That's what I thought too at one point, but then this was presented to me as a dilemma, so surely there must be something more to it... I have no idea what types of milk cartons they would use... would they be big ones (how big though?)
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magiccarpet
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i dono but as you open each one by hand, just glance at the carton
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Semanort
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ok... let's put it this way, assume there is a 1% chance the milk was contaminated, and a 95% chance of the person getting sick if they drank the milk... if the situation were turned around, so that there is now a 25% chance of the milk being contaminated...
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Semanort
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(Original post by magiccarpet)
yes. get the customers to sign a disclaimer stating they are taking this risk. that way, if they get sick, its contributary negligence on their part for taking the risk.

or alternatively, just look at the cans before you open each one. or play safe and just dont serve milk until u have time to check it out
but wouldn't that anger your manager, who might then find a good excuse to fire you?
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