Moral Dilemma

As some of you know I work as a computer technician. Part of my job involves setting up ADSL service for customers. Well I got to work today and I found out that I am going to be reinstalling service for a customer…who had to move suddenly after it was disclosed in the National Post
newspaper on Saturday that he was a Serbian paramilitary officer who was convicted in abstentia of torturing and executing Croatian prisoners during the Bosnian war. Unfortunately I have no choice but to do the work. My question is how do I assuage my conscience after helping him out?


I guess maybe I don’t understand all the circumstances here. It seems to me that there are two things you can do:

  1. Can you refuse to supply your services on principle? I don’t think your job really does require you to make this man’s life easier in any way if you feel it’s wrong. Surely your company can send someone else if need be. Talk to your supervisor about it.

  2. Don’t assume that because he has been tried and convicted in absentia that he committed the crimes of which he’s accused. It does seem possible that he’s simply an easy political target since he’s no longer in Croatia (or Serbia, for that matter). War is messy (understatement) and everyone wants to be able to point fingers at the evil people responsible for the suffering. Just because fingers get pointed does not mean they’re aimed at the right people.

If you do need to serve him through your job, you might even ask him about it. See how he reacts. It’s not every day you’ll be able to be face-to-face with an accused war criminal. You have a unique opportunity to make your own judgments, based on personal contact rather than filtered through the media.

If you really are convinced he’s done wrong and want him out, can’t you now disclose his address and phone number to interested parties? You’ve got the information. Fish or cut bait, as they say.

Just do like all other DSL providers and have the service go down, inexpliciably, for 15 days out of the month. Then offer him dail up software as a backup… if that isn’t revenge I don’t know what is.

Your company provides service for Mr. X. Somewhere down the road, you find out that Mr. X is heavily rumoured to have killed his business parter. The police know about it. It is up to the police to investigate Mr. X, this crime, and any possible connection that he may have to it. If the police arrest Mr. X, he is convicted, and sent to prison, you have to stop giving him DSL service. If not, he’s just rumoured to have done something.

I know that this example may reduce things beyond their true scope, but that’s kind of the situation you’re in. This guy may or may not have done these horrible things. He was convicted in absentia so, he couldn’t have defended himself. The Canadian government knows about this guy and it will be their decision to deport him, or not. I would continue to work with him until that decision is made.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. It usually works out, but it can bite you in the end. I liked Beadalin’s #2 point. So, I’d probably keep working with him, IMHO.

Am I the only one that can’t stop thinking of Paulie Walnuts saying “He killed 16 Czechoslovakians. He’s a f*cking interior decorator.”

bore him with a long install process, and when he walks away, share his entire HD.

That is, if you want to be mean. Don’t do anything else- the script kiddies will do the rest. They are so 1337 with their mad Skillz!

The down side is that you will probably have to visit him again.

Is it possible that this is just a guy with the same name?

On the other hand, if he -is- the guy, and he -is- guilty, you probably don’t want to fuck with him. Tell your boss your concerns, he may understand. Then again, your boss may be a bastard. I would certainly be freaked out by your situation.

Well I got lucky…this afternoon he cancelled his install, I guess he realized having his kids broadcasting his location over the Internet might not be a good thing.