To quote David:
The property management firm (let’s call them Acme) realized there was a mistake in the paperwork regarding a specific cleanup for the hospital. Basically, the paperwork said that waste was dumped in one particular site when it actually went to another. Both sites were the same type, but a clerical error had been made. No actual harm done because both sites accept the same type of waste—but in these situations paperwork is supposed to be exact.
This was Acme’s mistake, but it would be a costly one to rectify. The team involved knew that they could say nothing and no one would ever know and there would be no actual harm done.
They asked their CEO what to do, and he said: “We will meet with the hospital and take it on the chin. We’ll look like fools—it’s a silly error. The hospital has had a lot of bad press lately and the last thing they need is any kind of environmental error going to the press.”
Up until now, the relationship with the hospital had been a great one (representing a $0.5 million account) and admitting this mistake could become a real thorn in Acme’s side, making them look incompetent. They could lose the account and the word of mouth publicity that would follow would hurt future business in health care circles.
With my limited interaction with most Gen X, Y and Ragnarok employees, it appears that they would rather cover up for the mess and mistakes they created than getting embarrassed. In most cases, they only emulated the behavior of their superiors.