Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ethical dilemmas of said new job...

It wasn't until after the training that I started to reflect on the nature of what I was being paid to, obviously to promote the product with the intention of getting more people to buy it...

It made me think a whole lot, how much am I just totally supporting the whole consumer culture around us, telling us we need the latest toy, the coolest gadget, just to stay up with the times. As cool as it is, the reality is that nobody really 'needs' this radar gun, so should I be promoting it???

You could argue that somebody will be getting the money, so it may as well be me, but you can use that argument to justify a whole lot of crazy crap. 'Well they're gonna get their crack from somewhere' 'somebody was gonna buy those 16 year olds booze, why shouldn't I take the profits' and so on...

In a world where 2 billion people don't have clean drinking water, how can I really justify encouraging kids and parents to spend their money on this toy? When many parents are struggling just to make ends meet, is it right that I encourage their kids to want, and consequently pester their parents for, this toy?

I'm signed up for this job now, but I think I'll think a little harder about it in the future...

8 comments:

mase said...

great thoughts digs.
i often wonder/struggle with working in a shop - we are meant to promote products and sales, but when people ask me 'what's this product like?' i can't lie and say 'oh, it's fantastic!'...usually it's 'i dunno, i've never tried it! I'll ask someone who has!'. Also, we go to 'product trainings', but they often leave me feeling like 'man, i can't believe this person [as in, the person who delivers the training] puts so much of their time and energy into promoting/teaching others about this brand of shampoo!'. It seems kinda ridiculous in the big scheme of things! It's a definite dilemma i reckon, and definitely an idea that employed Christians should consider. It probably majorly cuts out many an employment option potentially, but maybe this leaves the needed time for different kingdom-building activities? Just using ur blog as my own, again! :P

Esky said...

Tottally off track but kind of relevant I think. I was thinking about beauty pagents and such and how the 'world peace' statement flies in.
Was thinking about if a person applied the statement to their lives how much crap they would actually get, but if everyone applied it to their live, the world would be a lot better to live in.

Ok total random statement there.

I think that with things like this there's always a few choices.
One is leave the job for someone else to do.
Two is take the job and sell crap, uneeded stuff.
or
three take the job and sell it for what it is, have fun, impact lives.

I believe one man can change the world (eg. the light bulb) maybe this is just a chance to change something in a materialistic world?

But don't take my advise i'll most likely get you fired. muahahaha!

urbanmonk said...

hi...

mind if I poke my nose in? Thanks.
I.ve worked in aSupermarket the last seven years. And that really gives you apicture of the sell/buy/consume mentality we live in. High volume retail is the coal face of consumerism, I believe.. its fast paced to say the least.

Ive hated it, but its served me well, and Ive learnt about how insidious the consumer thing really is.

good stuff here.. Might return some time.

Digger said...

Yeah I guess when somebody's livelihood depends on them selling enough of that certain shampoo, then you can maybe ubderstand them getting excited about it?

Not an ideal situation, but the reality of life for some hey!

Digger said...

Yeah your third option intrigues me Esky, I like the idea, and will give some further thought to what that might look like.

Digger said...

Thanks for dropping by U.M. Have there been any things which you've been able to do to swim against that current of consumerism, or do you just have to go with it and make the most of it while there?

Jarrod said...

I share similar concerns about perpetuating/ facilitation/ encouraging our consumeristic culture in my work place, but I also what the world would be like if we all stopped consuming? It is such a vital part of our economy. What would the world look like? Who would benefit from such a paradigm shift and who would suffer?

Digger said...

Yeah I dunno Jarrod, I don't think the whole point of this is that we shouldn't 'consume' stuff, in the broadest sense of the word, but I guess it's just about the focus of that ethic within our society, its about challenging people's ideas that they need 'stuff' to make them happy.

Of course, if people stopped buying so mnay toys/clothes/jewellery/iPods etc that would affect those industries in a massive way, but who knows what that would do to society as a whole? Way too hypothetical.

I know long term the earth would be more sustainable, but not sure about now, or about how many of it would take to chamge our lifestyles for it to have a significant effect on the world...

Who knows hey?