"The Ethicist" is Randy Cohen's long-running advice column in the New York Times. Each week, Gabriel Delahaye's "The Unethicist" will answer the same questions as "The Ethicist," with obvious differences.
This week, a medical resident finds that it's hard out there for a mule, and someone planning an outing shuns the possibility that no one cares about your stupid outing.
At the private hospital where I am a medical resident, security guards routinely ask to check employees' bags when we leave. After working a 24-hour shift, I just want to get home. Do employers have the right to search our bags without any probable cause? — Name withheld, New York
What do you mean, "without any probable cause"? Do you know how much organs go for on the black market? They go for a lot on the black market. (Especially at a private hospital because most of the organs are probably from white people.) So do drugs. Drugs are very popular.
But actually, I think you already know this. After working a 24-hour shift (which, seriously, when you're done congratulating yourself, you might want to admit that they're only 18-hours), you should be too tired and delirious to really care about someone poking through your purse right quick. All this complaining smacks of suspicious behavior.
So, here's an easy fix for you, Resident Full of Grace: stop taking a bag to work. Just put the contraband in balloons, cover those balloons in Vaseline, and shove those greasy balloons full of morphine and kidneys up your butt. They don't routinely search your butt when you leave, do they? YOU'RE WELCOME.
I am booking a bus to take a group of friends to a political event. The bus holds 47 people. I'm thinking of confirming, say, 55 people, on the almost certain assumption that some won't show up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning as they promised. Is that ethical? — name withheld, Illinois
This is the second most common problem facing anyone planning a party bus. The most common problem of course being "traditional stripper pole" or "lucite stripper pole laced with Christmas lights"?
Of course, the problem runs much deeper than simply figuring out how many people to over invite to make sure that absolutely NO SEAT goes empty on what sounds like a REALLY EXCITING Saturday. Who doesn't love riding in a crowded bus to a "political event" (in that seat of democracy...Illinois?) starting at the crack of fucking dawn with a maniacal micro-manager who wants to make sure that everything goes according to detailed, known-months-in-advance plan. You probably have a speech prepared for the very beginning of the trip, as the sun crests the hills and the driver rolls his eyes in the rearview mirror because you're like "all those lazybones who couldn't roll out of bed this morning don't know what they're missing." Except that, what you can't face in the darkness of the night, lying awake in bed, is that they do know what they're missing, and that breaks your sad, lonely heart.
Just invite 54 people, and kill yourself.
Previously: Lo Means No