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"Milking it "
What is the best way to handle this situation? I was interviewed and hired for a 2-year contract with a non-profit organisation, with funding for the position provided by the government. After moving 4000 miles to accept the position (at my own cost), the organisation told me that the position had changed and rather than heading the staff, I would be working on a specific project. They then promoted the administrator to the senior position, and she has done nothing but make my life difficult. They have advised me in writing to source no additional funding to cover my operating costs, although the government has the expectation that we will do so. They have cut my contract back by 6 months. I am currently working on an industry-wide strategy, with a focus on training and development. The organisation, through various surveys and reports, is perceived as the industry leader. They do not want to play a leadership role in this strategy but have told me that I should write in the strategic plan that they will do so and then they will advise the government at a later date that they changed their mind. Either they are lying to me about their future plans or they want me to lie to the government about their position. After having written the business plan, 5-year financial forecast, bylaws, incorporation documents and strategy all within the past 12 months, and having met with various community and government bodies to secure support for the project, they have now advised me that they want me to, within the next 6 months, develop the educational curriculum, promote the project to the public, develop contracts, and handle media relations, failing which they will have to reevaluate my effectiveness in this role. I am looking for a new position. Should I simply leave quietly or should I advise the government department about what has been taking place? The same government department that is funding my position provides funding to this organisation on an annual basis to cover approximately 50% of their expenses.
Dear "Unpleasantly Surprised",
I must confess a conflict of interest in my reply to your letter. I am a taxpayer and as such I don't like to see government money going to an organization that is acting as improperly as this one. Submitting a plan to the government, which they have no intention of trying to deliver on sounds a lot like fraud.
You are wise to leave. As a taxpayer I would like to see you report your concerns to the government, or to the police.
Brian Wexler who teaches business ethics at the University of British Columbia has recently published a book on corporate whistle blowers, which is what you are considering becoming. You might like to have a look at it as you consider how to proceed.
The most important, and under-rated, means of analysing the ethics of an organization is what I call "the smell test." If something smells bad to you, it probably is. Don't ignore your sense that this organization stinks.
Get out and get on with your life.
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