Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Taiwan Boss Woes

A boss I think many of us will recognize:

Not to embark on a tangent, but that last part is possibly the most despicable behavior I have seen at this company, or in all my employment experience. In fact, the plagiarism is not limited to stealing ideas from other companies that produce similar products, or even paraphrasing articles that have been previously published by those companies. As an example, I was once asked to edit an article that had been written by a freelance writer. After reviewing the source material, it became apparent to me that much of the article had been either copied directly or paraphrased from a TIME article. TIME! I promptly edited out the offending material, rewriting much of the article to avoid the plagiarism issues, and handed in my draft with the assumption that my boss would be glad that I had caught such a major problem. Shortly thereafter, I received the draft again, with instructions to put back much of the text I had cut. The manager had really liked that part. (No wonder, since it was written by a TIME writer!) When I explained to the Taiwanese editor who made the request that I had cut the text because of the legal issues involved, she went back to the manager with that information. She returned shortly thereafter to tell me that he still wanted the text, even though it was plagiarized, and told me to take care of it. To her credit, she completely agreed with me, and said she didn't blame me when I refused to do it and told her that I did not want my name to be attached to the story. In the end, the manager told the Taiwanese editor to put the plagiarized text back in herself, and I'm not sure if that particular article has been published yet. I'm tempted to send a copy to TIME if those stolen bits remain in the final copy.

Sad. Welcome to Taiwan bosses....

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