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Thursday, April 12, 2012

WHAT, EXACTLY, IS INTEGRITY?

WonderWife is looking for a job. Again. So, here we go on the roller-coaster of the employment search. So far, 5 replies, 4 phone interviews – and, HOPEFULLY, a new job quick. With the skill set that she’s got now (she passed her Certified Weld Inspector testing a couple of months ago), she shouldn’t be out of work for very long.

Why is she unemployed? That’s an interesting story, actually, and it begins and ends with her personal ethicality and her personal integrity. The dictionary definition of integrity according to Webster’s Dictionary is interesting as well (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/integrity). To wit:


1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility

2: an unimpaired condition: soundness

3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness

Last Friday, she was ordered to sign off on something that wasn’t right. Structurally, it passed a cursory examination, and probably wouldn’t have split or caused problems. It wasn’t QUITE up to specs, but it was close enough. Trouble was, it was a piece of drill stem with a marginal weld that was going out to an offshore oilfield to be placed in a deep-water/deep-drilled well (anybody out there remember the Deep Water HORIZON?). She refused to sign off on the piece of pipe; when she was told “do it OR ELSE”, she quit. Walked away from a very well-paying job with benefits on a point of principle. No, she didn’t ask me if it was OK if she did this. She didn’t need to. She knew that I’d back her decision even if it means we were going to be having a bit of a hard time until she found another job. Y’see, my wife has personal ethics and personal integrity.

She had the integrity to refuse to compromise on matters of principle as it related to her job. She has always had this. Has it made her life hard? Yes, it has. There aren’t very many people out there that would do something like this. That’s why I love her so much. She cares now and has always cared, throughout her life, to do what’s right, even if it costs her, sometimes, more than she can afford to lose. Kinda reminds me, in a lot of ways, of the speech that the fake President made at the end of DAVE. You remember, the line where he says that he ought to care more about doing what’s right than doing what’s popular, and that he should be willing give it all up if he doesn’t do that. If he isn’t, then maybe he doesn’t deserve the job in the first place.

I have been following the Republican electoral process with a great deal of interest, because of three men that were in the race (and who now are not, for various reasons). These three men were all men of principle and personal ethics. They weren’t liars or prevaricators. They were honest and honourable men. Even if I found some of their positions to be, well, extreme and Eisenhowerian (Rick Santorum) or fairly chuckle-headed in some ways (John Huntsman), or just plain incomprehensible in this day and age (Gary Johnson), still, they all had the integrity to state their positions and stand by them. Unfortunately, their principles and honesty didn’t get them very far.

I hope that whatever company hires WonderWife appreciates her integrity. I’m proud of her.

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