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0 Comments A Lesson in Ethics

Article written by Boris Bozic on the 21 Feb 2014 in Personal,Travel

I believe, maybe naively, that the vast majority of people conduct their personal and work lives in an ethical manner. Adherence to ethical standards is a byproduct of life experiences, and our ethical standards shape who we are. But even ethical people sometime make decisions that one could construe as being unethical.  So can you be ethical on a selective basis? I don’t know the answer to that question but I came across a demonstration of ethics that made me ask myself if I would have done the same thing.

After the noise died down, he quietly said to the dealer, “you just paid me on a hand that I didn’t win.”

It happened last weekend, in of all places, Sin City, Las Vegas.  We went to Vegas to catch a few shows and maybe place a wager or two. I’m not a big gambler but if I’m going to Vegas, I’m not going there to visit a museum.  My game of choice is blackjack.  I find poker to be far too cerebral, and you can spend a lot of time at a poker table not doing much.  Craps is fun game, a little difficult to learn at first but if you hear cheering in a casino you usually have to look no further than the crap’s table.  But a close second for fun can be a blackjack table.  Get a good group of people that know how to play, and want to have some fun, throw in a dealer that doesn’t act like he’s playing with his personal money, it can be a very entertaining evening.

That’s exactly the scenario we found ourselves in last Saturday night.  Everyone at the table was having fun, and for the most part winning some money.  It the middle of all the fun one of the players at the table did not collect his winning after a hand. The players that won were laughing and fist bumping each other, but this one player didn’t move.  After the noise died down, he quietly said to the dealer, “you just paid me on a hand that I didn’t win.”  He pushed with the dealer, meaning the player and the dealer both had a 20, and yet the dealer paid him a winning bet of $100. He indicated he couldn’t take the money knowing cameras record every hand. He didn’t want the dealer to suffer the consequences. Well, to say that we were all a little surprised by the player’s insistence that he could not accept the $100 would be a gross understatement.  My thoughts were clouded by the fact that I had just lost five hands in a row. So my first thought was, “buddy, the casino does well enough and it doesn’t need your help.”

A funny thing happened after everyone’s initial reaction; we all started pulling for the guy to win.  Everyone started to ask him questions, I guess to test his authenticity.  We found out he was from Schomberg, Ontario. The Yanks at the table asked me if all us Canadians were that honest. Ah…yeah…sure!  Thanks to copious amounts of Jack Daniels, they serenaded us with a rendition of Oh Canada.   It wasn’t bad, they got most of the words right. I’ll never know for certain if our playing companion from Schomberg is the real deal. Would he return a $10 bill if found it in the back seat of a cab? Would he submit a receipt to CRA as a business expense, when in fact it was for personal use? Did he ever cheat on a test or exam?  I’ll never know for sure. One thing I do know is that he left the table up money. A lot of money.  Maybe there’s a connection.

Until next time



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    "I work in a world of numbers, process, execution, risk mitigation and all kinds of other sexy stuff. To share my thoughts, opinions and personal tidbits does have some creative appeal for me. It will also push me to do something that I am not totally comfortable with, writing. Get me in front of a room full of people to do a presentation and I'm on. Writing a story that others may actually be interested in reading sounds like a challenge to me. The reality is that I enjoy a good challenge and if it ends up that mom is the only reader of my blog so be it."

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