Professionally Compromised

Professionally Compromised

Talk about first-world problems..

Let me start this one with a quick explanation. The last job I had in Ohio, was working for a company that did catalog sales, geared primarily at older customers. They'd send out catalogs in the mail, and then you could call in, and order whatever you wanted. They had a website (I worked in the IT Infrastructure Department), but most of their sales came from old folks, using their phones, and calling in their orders. During these calls, our trained parasites would explain that they would be given a free month of supplemental medical insurance coverage. so, help with prescriptions, or something similar. The problem was, the month would run out, these old folks would forget all about it, and then the company would quietly begin charging them month after month, after month.


I could have retired from that job. I came in there with more experience in IT than anyone in the company, and the work was easy. I felt like a Magician there, and led many initiatives to modernize their technology footprint, as well as re-architect how they did some business as it pertained to payment card transactions.

But I quit.

When I found out that they were basically taking advantage of old people, and using this 'free supplemental medical insurance' it made me feel sick to my stomach. Directly, or indirectly, I was participating in this scam. I used the excuse of wanting to move away, go someplace new, and hit my own internal reset button as the bigger focus, but I hated to go to work every day.

I have plenty of issues, but being morally bankrupt isn't one of them.

Some years later, I worked for a huge company that had a very large customer whose name rhymes with 'Tony" and they had been outspoken about wanting to censor, and control the internet because they were 'losing billions to piracy'. As you can imagine, they became the target for a large number of faceless, nameless people that wanted to demonstrate to this company what losing money actually looked like. They were attacked night and day, and all of this company's relevant resources were exhausted, either figuratively, or literally. They asked our company for help, and I was voluntold.

Again, this put me in another situation where it felt disgusting to help the company, I'm very much NOT in favor of censoring or otherwise controlling the internet, and so at the end of the day, I provided no assistance to this company. I was ready for any backlash, including losing my job. At the end of the day, I have to live with myself.

As I said, first-world problems, right?

So I've found that when something professionally compromises me, I either give up pretty quickly and move on or find an excuse to find another job. I've wondered about this many times over the years. Do I need to be morally aligned with the company I work for? Well, I'd like to be. But I know that at the end of the day most companies would sell their souls to make a profit.

Can I afford to position myself in such a holier-than-though way? I'm sure it's not smart. But I know I feel better not working for a place that's taking advantage of old folks. I know I feel better not working for a company that's okay with customers that want to censor/control the internet.

I worked for a company I loved, they put together groups of peop[le and loaded trucks with supplies during natural disasters on the gulf coast when there was pretty bad flooding not so long ago. Plenty of people volunteered, and plenty of people donated. Why is that the exception, and not the rule?

I'm approaching the last years of work before retiring, and I want the last place I work for to be one that I'll have been proud to be employed by. It shouldn't be difficult, I'll have to let you folks know how that eventually pans out.