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Ask HN: What were your lapses of professional ethics?
2 points by BJBBB 42 days ago | hide | past | favorite
What were your lapses of professional ethics?

mine - recent client asked for bid. Not favorite client but they paid on time. Had scheduling issues; to remain in client's good graces, proposal designed to be complete, but too expensive.

Saw tech forum questions - obvious that these people were also bidding on same project. I replied to one question with a general/vague response. Was ambiguous per physics/safety/EMC compliance reasons.

Client indicated my bid was too much, but retained to evaluate other proposals. Paid two days time to evaluate bottom half of bids. Did 2 hours ranking/evaluating.

Client awarded project to group rated low. Saw questions on same tech forums. Responded by providing only generic references (physics/EEtexts/standards/official regulatory sites) - no directly usable answers. Nothing specific to answer questions, but did provide enough information a competent engineer could discern a focus.

Client contacted 45 days hence with request to provide progress review, but too busy - provided a quick checklist for evaluation guidance. The checklist designed to help evaluate issues and directed focus of client to perceived weaknesses of contractor.

130 days hence, former client contacts with offer per terms of my proposal, but declined to accept another job. Noted as synchronicity when forum queries for motor-drive algorithms. Another spectral analysis question. Another plea for IEC61010-1 conformity design issues. Generic responses were provided, some perhaps misleading. Was disingenuous to my former client and abusive to contractor.

Ethical lapse is being asked because I have been asked to give one or more lectures on engineering ethics to non-secular school. I have become amoral and am increasingly Machiavellian. So want comparison to see if too far into 'dark side'. So what have you done in the work place that could be considered less than ethical?

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