Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Doubting Reality

There comes a point after you've filled out dozens of applications, sent out hundreds of resumes, joined forums and networked your sweet ass off only to turn up with bupkiss that you start to wonder if there isn't some sadistic asshat out there who just makes up job descriptions and posts them on job boards to see how many desperate suckers he can get to apply for the nonexistent job. That point came for me tonight after I filled out application number six for a "company confidential" posting. The only response I've gotten at all this week was from a guy who, honestly, sounds like what he wants is a "fence". The "job" would entail making purchases and then "using his personal UPS account" shipping said purchases to him.

First, I am not fronting money for "purchases" for someone I work for (with one exception and that's because I've worked with him long enough to know I can trust him). Because when I've done that in the past, even if I had a receipt there was always some "technicality" that kept me from being reimbursed or they did the bullshit thing of adding it to my paycheck so I had to pay taxes on the money when I'd already PAID taxes on the money, plus sales tax when I purchased the item and so ended up taking a loss. Not cool. (For me... very cool for the employer who gets his "stuff" plus manages to stiff me even if he does "reimburse" me for the purchase).

Second, I am not going to jail for the ethical failings of an employer. I've been in a position where I worked for someone who was shadier than the underside of a boulder and got fed the bullshit line that when you're on the clock you have to do whatever your employer tells you to do whether it is moral or ethical because s/he signs your paycheck. For chrissakes, there are people who work check-out at Target who won't lay a finger on a pork product, which is probably in at least a third of the orders that they ring up so don't tell me that because I'm on the clock I've gotta be doing things that I am morally opposed to (and these are things that I think any REASONABLE person would find offensive).

And maybe that's the problem. I now have ethical standards and don't tolerate bullshit. There are things I will turn a blind eye to now and then because I know that there are gray areas (like letting the co-worker who is occasionally 5 minutes late because she's got one vehicle, three kids in three different schools, a daycare kid and a husband to drop off in the morning...) slide under the boss's radar by saying I thought I saw her when the boss checks in with me in the morning. Strictly speaking, she owes the employer that 5 minutes. Realistically, she works through lunch 3 days a week and doesn't put in for overtime so nobody is getting hurt by that five minutes in the morning.

I'm not trying to espouse that I am morally perfect, either. I'm not. I do try to behave ethically. I make judgment calls about what's ok and what isn't. We all do. Which has nothing to do with whether there is a sadist out there making up and posting job descriptions for his/her amusement. I've gotta believe that 99% of all Craigslist job ads are phishing schemes. And the fact that I'm now making damn little sense tells me that I had best be off to bed to ponder the big questions later on.

Goodnight for now.

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