Career Advice Career Doctor

In a compromising situation


The other day I overheard my boss telling a client that our products were the highest quality in our industry, with multiple prestigious certifications. And this bothered me, because only last week I got into trouble with her for refusing to forge two of the non-essential certifications one of our products failed to get. In the end I didn’t do it, but the fact that she was now telling a client that the same product had these certifications means she’s lying, and that one of my other colleagues agreed to forge certificates to fool clients who check.

As a purchasing manager, I’m also very aware of our production costs and the corners I had been pressured to cut. In fact, my brief for the year was to reduce the quality of the components by as much as I could whilst still meeting the legal requirements for our labelling and product registration. These didn’t result in hugely obvious visible quality drops, but do shorten the longevity and durability of the products for sure. So my boss’ claim that our products were the highest quality in the industry were also a lie.

The fact that I knew my company was being misleading in its sales and advertising bothered me, but for a while I could ignore it as I never had to interact with any clients in my role. But now I’m being promoted to the position of Operations Manager, which will give me more contact with our B2B clients. I don’t know if I can bring myself to mislead our clients, but I also know that exposing my company could lead to my dismissal. Is there a compromise that won’t compromise my values?