Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Slaughterhouse Ethics

In a village, there was a slaughterhouse, its owner, butchers and many goats. As time passed the number of goats increased in the slaughterhouse but number of butchers was same.

The owner thought instead of looking for new butchers, lets make one of the goat a butcher. He had a doubt in his mind that a goat might not fit into butchers role, but then he thought "Lets take a chance and see how it goes. If this experiment succeeds I can make other goats a butcher."

The owner picked one wise goat and told him, "I want to make you a butcher, are you ready for this?".
Wise goat thought this is a good opportunity and said, "Yes."

Next day the Wise goat came dressed like a butcher. As per rotation policy, it was turn of a goat who was the best friend of the wise goat to get slaughtered. The wise goat grabbed his best friend with a knife in hand.

All other goats cried, "Wise goat, you are one of us, how can you do this. Don't you have any ethics?"

"I am a butcher now, and to slaughter goats is my role. When I have a role to play I don't care about ethics and emotions.", wise goat replied and slaughtered his friend.

I believe if you are a faint hearted goat, don't become a butcher. Once you become butcher be ready to slaughter any goat.

If you were in place of the wise goat what would have you done?


Paresh said...

Survival of the fittest!
Always aim to become a buthche or somehow get out of slaughterhouse.

I find this analogy a little too harsh with employees and managers. Although not a rule, ethics and fairness are followed by management. The fact is that most lower level employees fail to understand the vision of the company and complain about low wages, heavy work hours and so on. I also agree to the fact that in many companies, the power politics play a great role and some BIG companies also have such power structure. But one can not help it.

The bottomline is: If you are a goat, you are born to get slaughtered; one day or the other.

Shailesh said...

Just to clarify, this analogy is NOT only for manager - employee relationships,
It is just one of the way of looking at it.
The story is about conflict between ethics and demands of role.

We can interpret this analogy in different way, it can be a Judge giving sentence to his brother,
or an Income tax officer caughts his own friend in tax fraud.

This story is about taking tough decisions, no matter what it takes, and if someone can't
then move out from the hot seat.

Aishwarya Rao said...

Reminds me of a 11std lesson - 'The Electric Chair!'

Pharaoh said...

I find this analogy harsh too.

The most beautiful analogy I have seen is in Illusion's by Richard Bach. The author meets a harmless looking friendly vampire, who desperately begs blood from him. And the solution suggested by Bach is the one I like I most; do what you feel is right!

Anonymous said...

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ravi said...

my ethics may tamper with me to reach a decision rite now.. and may be i wud be more biased towards not being a butcher ...but surely wen i wud b in the situation and have 2 react , then perhaps it wud be wisest 2 b a butcher...

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