I’ve been listening to Jerry Springer being interviewed on 5Live this morning (ah, the joys of working from home…) I was mentally tuning in and out of the interview as my attention was caught on other things, but what came through was his apparent disdain for the output of his own show. He’d rather be back in politics or hosting a sports show “but that’s not what I’m hired for” (sorry Jerry, I may be paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it)
Now, my opinion of the Jerry Springer show and its counterpart, Jeremy Kyle, can wait for another day when I feel in need of something to vent some rage on (there’s a clue in the link…). What snagged my attention today was the idea that doing something you seem to despise is OK if it’s how you earn a living. This whole issue has been bubbling round in my head for a while and has cropped up in some unexpected places recently – the mighty Seth touched on it in his blog just a few days ago. I’m particularly exercised by it now because I’m currently working for an organisation which has done some things I’ve disagreed with pretty vehemently in the past (I’m OK with the project I’m on at the moment, though).
I can’t be alone in wondering about the ethics of communicating on behalf of organisations I disagree with. When I was temping years ago I told the agency I was working for that I didn’t want to be considered for a job they had with BAT; and there are other organisations you can think of that you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole – anybody fancy being press officer for the BNP? So how bad do organisations have to be before we feel the obligation to walk away? And in these recessionary times, with alternative jobs pretty thin on the ground, would the building society accept my righteous glow as part-payment on the mortgage?