March 22, 2005

Little bits of television in ethics classes

On a Gilmore Girls episode, Suki, the cook at a small inn, asks the produce man out on a date. She then begins to have second thoughts: is this sexual harassment, since he depends on the inn for business? Is she endangering her employer, since a problem with the relationship might affect the supply of carrots? Her boss finally revokes her talking privileges, and we all applaud, because it so clear that these two brilliant, odd, perfectionistic people are very likely to be alone all their lives unless they connect to each other about more than vegetables. The Gilmore Girls takes romance very seriously.

This little bit of business, maybe 5 minutes long, is a fine introduction to the standard ethical problem about workplace relationships. It asks the question pointedly: if this one is ok, what isn't ok? And it makes it clear what's at stake in answering questions about corporate policy: people with one 70-90 year shot at happiness and fulfillment, trying to muddle their way through.

Posted by shea0017 at March 22, 2005 10:57 AM