Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"Our Values"

I missed a post yesterday because it was Monday. I also spent the whole day (and most of last night) cramming for my ethics class this morning. Most of the stuff you can find about ethics on the internet is pretty questionable, really, though I went over the Ten Commandments, some old Miss Manners articles and a few hundred Dear Abby letters from her extensive online archive. I figure politeness is a pretty good substitute for ethics. It seems to work in the real world, anyway.

The training class was kind of a lot like having someone read the corporate compliance manual aloud in front of a group of people required to be there. Then there was a ten minute break.

This isn't a standard do-the-right-thing kind of ethics class, really, since I would think that would cover charitable works, being kind to animals, and returning items to the lost and found regardless of the level of awesomeness of said found item.

This class had a focus on HIPAA stuff and how to handle personal health information.

Until this class, I'd never considered the enormous potential value of private health information on the various global markets. Unfortunately, I said as much.

I also said that if someone had a list of allergies for a politician, selling the words "peanut dust" to terrorists could be quite a lucrative side job, were one so inclined.

We heard case studies of people who who said dumb things in public or gave a policy holder a diagnosis before their doctor had. These people got canned.

Also, there is a guy on the corporate payroll who is paid with the agreement that if a HIPAA violation is found to merit prison time, this guy serves it on behalf of the company. That's all he does. He gets paid to risk prison. And white-collar prison, too, "for a crime he didn't commit"! And he hasn't needed to go yet, either. In part, no doubt, due to awesome "Our Values" training.

I'm not sure what type of career arc leads to "fall guy", but the mercenary in me is intrigued. I've been meaning to learn to golf anyway, and I understand the key to surviving on the "inside" of one of those Federal prisons is to walk up to the meanest looking accountant you see on the first day and take his Jell-O, then make him write it off on your taxes. After that, no one jacks with you.

However, my mantra of "I can't go to prison -- I'm too pretty" would prevent that kind of occupation anyway. All the good scape goat jobs are probably filled. I hate my high school career councilor so much sometimes!

The last part of the class was spent playing "Compliance Jeopardy" with actual buzzers! While the rules stated that it was all for fun, I insisted that we keep score anyway.

I complained a bit loudly when someone stepped in front of our buzzer and blocked the IR signal.

Also, I picked all the questions on the bottom row of the screen valued at $500 because the difficulty seemed no different and it let our team rack up $3000 plus the "Daily Double" until the trainer insisted we let another team answer something. It was total BS, in my opinion and I said as much.

After the last screen cleared, the slide declared that "Everyone wins!" and I kind of freaked a bit and asked that we determine who was the least winning, or "losing-est" since to do otherwise just encouraged a culture of entitlement.

On the bright side, I got credit for the course. I also don't have to go back for at least a year.

Plus our team totally owned at that Jeopardy thing.

In your face, you bunch of whiners on the Orange Team. You better bring your "A" game next year or don't bother bringing anything. That tired slow buzzer crap is all played out.

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