Dilemma of Whether to Lie or Not To HR

Posted: January 20th, 2023

Directions: Read the following scenario and answer the questions below. Explain your answers.
As Kyle Wood navigated the icy streets in his car, he glanced at the dashboard clock. 9:50 a.m. He couldn’t imagine arriving on time for his 10 a.m. job interview. Kyle, a newly minted graduate really wanted this job, which seemed like a perfect match for him. The company was highly recommended by Kyle’s best friend, Lou, who had worked there for almost three years.
As he continued driving, Kyle thought about calling Ms. Littleton, the human resources director, on his cell phone to inform her that he would be late. He hesitated, recalling his friend’s warning that Ms. Littleton was a stickler about punctuality who didn’t believe in excuses for being late. However, he knew that he would never get to her office in ten minutes, so he decided to call her.
As he waited to be connected to human resources, Kyle began to wonder whether he should tell the truth about the slippery roads or simply make up an entirely different excuse, such as a sick sister or mother. He even considered saying that his mother had just been rushed to the hospital, so he needed to reschedule the appointment. Then, as quickly as he thought about that scenario, Kyle thought about how hard it was for him to lie to another person. He just couldn’t do it. In fact, when his best friend, Bud, had cheated on a midterm exam last year, Kyle had been angry at him for a week. Kyle had chastised Bud about how low his friend’s ethics had sunk. Kyle remembered Bud’s shaky voice and fidgety body movements when Kyle confronted him. Would Kyle have the same reaction as he lied to Ms. Littleton over the phone? Would he be able to tell he was lying by his voice? What would be his physical reaction during his rescheduled interview, if he was ever given another chance? Would he be able to finish the deceptive story when he was face to face with the human resources director? Ms. Littleton was now on the phone, and Kyle had to make a decision.
As you reflect on Kyle Wood’s situation, consider the dilemma he faces. He wants to be interviewed for the job so badly that he is considering lying.

Of the three motives you learned about in Chapter 10, identify and explain which motive Kyle would fulfill if he lied.


Of the five functions of lying you learned about in Chapter 10, identify and explain which function of lying would be served if Kyle lied.


Should Kyle tell the truth to Ms. Littleton who has a reputation as someone who really, deeply cares about punctuality? If yes, explain why. If not, what would you advise him to do?


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