I grew up in a cold war environment directly involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons. As a teenager and young man, my peers and I would often have conversations about the morality of such work and whether or not we would partake in the industry when we entered the workforce. It was a unique and special circumstance, by sheer luck, to have such an educational upbringing in a whole philosophy of what constitutes moral work. Likewise, we were exposed to lots of outsider arguments over the supposed morality or amorality of such work. And while the entire subject of nuclear security, and the employment therein is worthy of several PhD dissertations, I use this brief intro as a long-winded introduction to a more pedestrian endeavor. Because of my upbringing I am often more attuned to the various jobs people do and ones that I find amoral, (perhaps I find them amoral out of a heightened sensitivity to imagined hypocrisy – I can see the person in the asshole job thinking, “People ought to not work on A-bombs, because that’s amoral.” Well it may or may not be amoral but it is certainly well debated).
Anyway, reading today’s news brings me across the inaugural job that belongs in the asshole job category (probably I need to rename this the Amoral job category): The Company Spokesperson, aka syphilitic whore, (though I may be accused of not putting a fine enough point on it).
The news article is here, and concerns a court settlement for outrageous business practices conducted by DIRECTV (gawd I wish the courts would turn a baleful eye towards cell phone contracts, but that’s another matter). Here is the company spokesman, speaksmanning away like a leprous crow pecking at a maggoty roadkill. Not to put too fine a point on it.
In an email to msnbc.com, company spokesperson Darris Gringeri downplayed the significance of these settlements.
“The fact is, we were implementing the majority of these improvements long before the AGs even brought this to our attention,” she writes. “When our customers let us know there are issues, we decide on our own to fix them, we don’t wait for the AGs to come to us. So while some AGs are grandstanding, we’d rather focus on the customer and move forward with giving them the best service possible.”
That’s right Gringeri, it’s consumer advocates grandstanding that is the problem. Not poor, do-gooder companies just trying to give the people what they want for no profit. Your head spins like a possessed Linda Blair.
So, dear reader, please let me know what asshole jobs make you grit your teeth by their sheer amoralness. It’ll be rollicking good fun. And if you want to argue about nuclear weapons, well that’s okay too.