0111 - The Principle - 2019.11.18



I've dealt with a lot of people, over my years of customer service experience, who told me that they weren't upset about the money - no, it was the principle of the matter. It's worth noting that every single one of these principled individuals was someone who felt that a company owed them money for some reason, never a single person calling to admit that they'd been undercharged. Heck of a coincidence, that.

When I wrote The Paladin's Guide To Life (available on Amazon or for as little as $1 on Patreon), one of the challenges I addressed was the perennial dilemma imposed by shitty Dungeon Masters since time immemorial - how does a Lawful Good character act when Law conflicts with Good? To resolve the conflict, I simply pointed out that Law exists to facilitate Good, and that one should therefore consider it Law that Good trumps Law.

This is simplistic, of course, but I feel the concept is sound - if you ever find yourself arguing that some rule necessitates adding suffering to the universe (for any reason other than preventing some other greater suffering), you are in violation of Rule Zero, and principle dictates that you should not be an asshole.

I don't want to be too harsh on Patricia, here, though. They do have very good reasons for being antagonistic towards our protagonist, and certainly Lee may benefit from a tougher form of tough love.


0111 - 2167/07/06/12:48 - Rosenthal College, Orb Twofeather's office
OT: Look, I agree, Caldavera's exploit of our housing system was and is unacceptable, and must be dealt with. I was upset too when I first looked at the situation on paper. Angry, even. But having spoken with them... I honestly don't believe this was an intentional fraud. Lee Caldavera simply doesn't strike me as the sort to manipulate the system for personal gain like that.
PH: Because they're not a selfish person, or because they're not that smart?
OT: No comment.
OT: Besides, we both know the revenue Rosenthal gets from renting out the student housing is negligible. I actually looked up the numbers, we could just give Lee that entire fifty-story building, and only lose one point two percent of our budget.
PH: It's not about the money, it's about the principle.
OT: ... is that a pun? Because I don't think you're technically a principal.
PH: No, it's not a pun, it's an ethical stance. I thought you taught about those.
OT: I do, which is why I'm confused about what principle, exactly, you're talking about. It can't be enforcing the rules; Lee didn't actually break any rules. It can't be fairness to the other students; until yesterday, Lee wasn't a student at all.
PH: The principle is that Lee Caldavera is not supposed to be there. They're not supposed to be living alone in an apartment meant to house three. They're not supposed to use a sex toy to funnel public money to a private corporation. They're not supposed to be taking a single Mickey Mouse course and calling themselves a student. We already agree on this, Orb.
OT: ...we do, although, I expect, for different reasons.