It’s a dilemma where integrity over commercial profit is questioned and there are no perfect outcomes or winners.
My peaceful breakfast at an outdoor cafe was punctured this morning by baring witness to this very dilemma. The cafe is famous for their roast pork rolls served from their footpath to throngs of salty and ravenous surfers and parents of young nippers every Sunday. The succulent pig is carefully selected and skewered well before dawn and the rotisserie, also on the path outside, sends teasing wafts of roast pork into the air for hours beckoning crowds from far and wide.
But what do you do when 10mins to roll time, you’re the young cook who frees the juicy pig from his sword and, when turning to place him on the coveted table, you drop the pig straight onto the footpath?
We’ve all dropped the pig, on more than one occasion – but it’s what we then do in the moments following that defines us. One of my favourite quotes defining integrity says “integrity is doing the right thing, even if no one else knows about it”.
Coming to terms with the fact that 1000’s of feet (furry and human) had graced the landing place of porky the pig in the very same moment you see $100’s of dollars flying out the door before your eyes must be agonising. What to do when letting the swelling crowds down and disappointing weary travellers is less than ideal and you don’t have many choices with replacing the pig?
The commercial choice would be to pick piggy up, whisk him inside for a quick rearrange and to brush off the twigs and leaves – and send the junior out to make the oily remnants disappear quick smart.
The responsible and ethical choice would be to buy some roast chooks and explain the reason for late change in tack but that it’s far more desirable than the alternative.
Suffice to say, unfortunately the cafe decided to make a profit over protecting many innocent people who have trusted that the cafe owners made the best choices possible to serve them a clean pork roll.
Integrity lies behind your choices, big and small, and what motivates you most.
What do you do when you drop the pig?