Unconscious Unethical

The Johari window is well known in teaching and learning circles and can be a useful way to illustrate various cognitive limitations in thinking. Most frequently, it is used to show what attributes you and other may know about you (see Figure 1.)

Figure 1

Figure 1

An individual interested in personal growth would presumably work to shrink the size of their blind spot and the degree to which they are driven by unconscious behavior detrimental to their person – mental and physical. Over time, such an individual’s Johari window might look something like that shown in Figure 2.

Johari Window 2

Figure 2

So, what might one infer about one Mr. Brenden Buhl who sent me (and many others, it turns out) the email shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3 (Click for larger image)

Figure 3 (Click for larger image)

Mr. Buhl’s communication demonstrates a profound, even frightening, level of unconsciousness in a number of key ways.

By way of background, I contacted Mr. Buhl’s previous employer regarding this message as it was clear that Mr. Buhl had, against his previous employer’s policy, procured a personal copy of company data in the form of email addresses and names. I know this because I use a unique personal email address for virtually every vendor with whom I do business. (One of the many advantages of operating my own email server.) For example, if my domain were “myemaildomain.com”, I can set up an email account for “yourbusinessname@myemaildoamin.com” and route all our communication through that account. Stupid simple. Using this method allows me to quickly identify when something is amiss, like when a company has sold their email list (as was the case with the now nonexistent Aloha Airlines) or someone has stolen, hacked, or otherwise compromised the company’s data.

This would be the case with Mr. Buhl. His previous employer assures me that the only thing he had access to was email addresses and first names. I have no option but to trust this less than consoling claim. They also claim to have since sent a cease and desist order to Mr. Buhl and his current employer. Given the size of his previous employer, I’m confident this claim is true.

So, just how ethically unconscious does one have to be to…

  1. Boost the client email list of a major company before leaving.
  2. Use the now previous employer’s client list at the new employer.
  3. Acknowledge that you have done this in an email announcing your new career.
  4. Offer a confidential insurance review after having demonstrated a clear disregard for confidential information!

I’m imaging a Johari window something like that in Figure 4.


Figure 4

Figure 4

Is this the level of ethics the future holds? Was Mr. Buhl driven by a sense of entitlement? How many Brendan Buhl’s are out there poised to “manage” our soon-to-be government controlled heath records? It is difficult to remain optimistic about the future when a surveillance-addicted society is raft with ethically and morally cadaverous people like this. Is social or cultural implosion the only way to reset this?

Leave a Reply