To the best of my ability, I will change irrelevant facts to present this situation as anonymously as possible. I will disclose that the other party in this story is female, as trying to write it in a gender-neutral manner is too difficult.
Recently, I was with someone who asked a receptionist for a phone book. This person took the book to a seating area to peruse the listings. Several minutes later, I approached wanting to use that same book.
I noticed that she hadn't written anything down and so I asked if she had found what she was looking for. The response was a nod in the affirmative. Puzzled, I thought for a moment and then asked if they had ripped the page out of the book. The answer, again, was a nod in the affirmative.
I asked where the page was, and then immediately noticed that there was a crumpled up tissue in her hand. I (perhaps strongly) expressed my disapproval and noted that even she knew it was not the correct thing to do since she also made an effort to not only fold the pages into a tiny square, but she also hid her handiwork in a tissue (presumably unused).
She defended her behavior. The book, she said, was from 2006. She added that most people use the internet to find information, anyway. I replied that if this site had a more recent phone book, they certainly would have let her use it and the fact that they only had an old one was even more reason not to rip out pages. And, there was no publicly accessible internet available at this location.
You can hopefully tell how I feel about this. Now it's your turn -
- Do you condone this behavior?
- Are there circumstances under which you could justify this act?
- Does it matter what the subject matter was?