Tutor, representing Tess and Audrey both, is in a bit of an ethical bind. In the back of Momma's closet is a superb flapper costume that she bought for the The Great Gastby Party a few years ago at the Castle. Beaded tube dress with fringed hem; shoes, head band, and racoon coat. Now, if you were to open the racoon coat on its hanger, you would see that a two foot by five foot strip has been cut from the back of it. Does Tutor tell Momma or does he not? For you, as a Trusted Advisor, to make the right decision in this Case Study, and get one Credit Hour for Ethics, you do, of course, need to know the whole story.
Last night at bedtime, Audrey wanted a made up story, not a book story. The made up ones are best. Tutor told her about a girl long long ago, in another era of climate change, when the ice ages came. A girl with - yes - red hair. "But I have red hair!," squeals Audrey, her fists dancing. "Yes you do," says Tutor, "but this little girl has freckles all across the bridge of her nose." "But I have freckles all across the bridge of my nose!," squeals Audrey. "I know you do, but this little girl's name was Audrey!" My name is Audrey!," shrieks Audrey. "Well, then, I should probably tell you a family secret," says Tutor in a stage whisper. Tess who also likes story time, since it puts her to sleep even more quickly than it does Audrey, tenses a bit in her arm chair. ("Tutor," she thinks to herself, "Now what?") "Well, this Audrey in the Ice Age is actually your great, great, great, great, great, great - his voice rises with intensity with each of about 30 greats - until Audrey shouts, "Grandmother!" "Yes," Tutor, your great, great great......" Tess exclaims, "Please, Tutor can we get on with this!" Well, it turns out to be a very good story about the Cavemen and Women whose tribe - the Neanderthals, actually - though Tutor touches on this aspect gently knowing how self conscious Audrey is about her red hair which science has shown comes from the Neanderthals. The tribe is threatened with extinction. The food they gather is dying out. The winters are longer. Outside the cave's mouth, Audrey, her mother, and father can see snow flakes falling. They are hungry. Momma has boiled bones, dry old bones, night after night and there is no nourishment in them. Unless Audrey and Dad can bring down a Mastodon, the family and the tribe will perish.
Audrey, I should tell you, even at 9.5 will in moments of deep bedtime reflection, sometimes insert her thumb, much as you might sneak a cigarette at a party, or in a moment of deep relaxation, even after you had kicked the habit. Audrey is sucking loudly. Tutor, as he always does, pauses to pull her fist away, making a loud wet pop. Her eyes swivel towards his. The thumb goes back in. The story continues.
Dad tells Audrey that he cannot bring a Mastodon down alone, and the tribe's hunters are too weak with hunger. It is down to her and him. (Sucking sounds, serious sounds of sucking.) Dad helps Audrey sharpen a flint spearhead. He shows her how to wet animal sinews until they are elastic, and then wind the spearhead to the shaft, and dry it by the fire, until it is good and tight.
The last image Audrey and Tess see in their mind's eye, as both fall asleep, is a child, with red hair in all directions, in a fur tunic, carrying a spear by her father's side, framed in the cave mouth, against falling snow at sunrise....
So, now you understand probably about the strip of fur missing from that coat.
Ethical Dilemma: Does Tutor tell his Employer about the culprit? Or, does his Fiduciary Responsibility to his charge mean he must keep her secrets? In times of great stress for a species certain regressive genes are sometimes expressed. What had saved the Neanderthals from total extinction, allowing them to interbreed with the other more advanced hominids were certain traits - like courage, stocky legs ("But I have stocky legs!"), and broad flat front teeth, like miniature piano keys. ("But my teeth are like that, see?") The point I am making is that Audrey may save, whether she owns, whether she rules. She carries the gene for survival. Knowing that, and knowing that your professional responsibility is to the one who pays you, and perhaps to the Heir you are paid to prepare, do you have any responsibility to the tribe that kid can save? I don't know how you process all this. But I can tell you what Tutor did.
Momma is in her study, shorting the Bank of Brazil. Audrey in her fur tunic, carrying a large, brown, plastic baseball bat (thin grip, very wide barrel, used for teaching little kids to hit a nerf ball), enters, to present herself. Tutor behind her. "Momma, I am sorry I wrecked your fur coat, but I have to save our Tribe." With that she waved her massive club, as Rex the Rescue Dog, ran back and forth, now a mighty hunting dog. Momma glances up from the iPad. "And did Tutor encourage this?" "No, Momma, he did not know." "Very well," says Momma, "Save the tribe, but please next time, ask me first before you wreck my stuff. And Tutor, stay for a moment."
"She is doing well, isn't she?" "Yes, Madame, much better, I should say. More cheerful." "Just as well she is learning to eat what she kills, because Dammit! the Bank of Brazil just rose by three points while I have been talking to you! I am down by $4 billion. Now, beat it; I have work to do."