Call to Order

Disclaimer: This is my personal blog, not my professional face. You’re responsible for seeking out my opinions here. That said, all of my written thoughts are – as always – expressed as honestly as I can make them.

Call to Order

“99% of everything done in the world, good or bad, is done to pay a mortgage. Perhaps the world would be a better place if everyone rented.” ~Thank You for Smoking

Let’s see if I can get all this straight.
I have quit job after job after job. My primary motive, almost every time: Ethical disagreements. I saw my company trapping healthy adults in a cage, and they refused to speak. I saw my company refusing to take care of its customers. I saw my company lying to people. I saw my company underpaying employees. I saw my company profiting off overfed ignorance. These aren’t isolated issues. They’re an epidemic. Over and over again, I feel enraged, I suffer, my work suffers, they try to get me to behave, and … I quit.
It’s a shitty, shitty pattern to get into, but there are really only two options:
1) Give up on any company I work for ever living up to my ethical standards.
2) Be picky.
Being a freelancer should, hypothetically, open up option two for me. Should. Hypothetically. But there’s also the little matter of paying bills. How picky should I be, really, on what I consider ethical?
It’s not just, say, murdering babies that I’m upset by. I think it’s unethical that a company will repeatedly cut the wages of workers, even if the set of workers being impacted doesn’t include me directly. I think it’s unethical for a company to repeatedly pay its employees late. I think it’s unethical for a company to expect more than its wage makes legitimate, even if it’s not from me.
I think it’s unethical for a company to sell a product whose object is to pump low-quality traffic to a low-quality site to expose visitors to low-quality advertisements. I think it’s unethical for a company to pay people to do nothing more than regurgitate the unqualified, non-expert opinions that have been circulated in dozens of formats. I think it’s unethical for any company to rely on tricks, gimmicks, content-milling, or loop-holes to get attention and income. I think it’s unethical to game the search engines. I think it’s unethical to fill the information channels of the world with trash. 
I think it’s unethical for a real writer to accept that their copy can be used for all these rubbish purposes. I think it’s unethical for a real writer to churn out content that isn’t worth reading. I think it’s unethical for a real writer to use money – whether that money is needed for rent, school, debt – as an excuse to settle for less from themselves and their clients.
What I must confess, then, is that either I’m not a real writer or I’m not ethical.
I demand a change, but the scope of my control is limited; my reach falls short of my grasp. But I don’t have an alternative. If I stay here – keep doing work that is short of who I am – no one wins.
If life is my mistress, than how should I woo her? By giving her something worthy of herself. What I’ve given so far has not been. I can do better. I will do better. When my clients don’t provide room for it, I’ll make room or find new clients. When I recall my “freelance” job title, perhaps the first syllable deserves more attention. And what good is freedom, anyway, if we don’t use it for something worthwhile?
The words are still chaos on a page. But I’m starting to make order out of everything. This is just the beginning, the initial call that strikes for change.
A better world can start.
It will.
It must.

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