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to work for someone I am ethically opposed to.

(32 Posts)
Allinthefold Wed 09-Jan-13 16:16:33

I am freelance and I have been approached about some work for a company.

The company is owned by a man who has made a lot of money out of lap dancing clubs (amongst other things). Although the job has nothing to do with this, it's very much the 'respectable' side of his business.

However, I feel very uncomfortable. DH says I'm being ridiculous.

On the other hand, I need the money and work is thin on the ground.

I suppose I'm asking how much my principles are worth. I always thought they were worth a lot but this could make a big difference to our income at the moment.

It would be for a couple of months but the timescale feels irrelevant.

What would you do?

complexnumber Thu 10-Jan-13 14:14:18

Thinking of that old cliche; "Everyone has their price"

I probably would do it, but then I am an old cynic with thread bare morals.

StuntGirl Thu 10-Jan-13 14:02:37

I like to think I'm quite principled, but I'm also aware I haven't been particularly tested to prove it. I would say no, and redouble my efforts to bring some money in from elsewhere, but then I can absolutely see it's easy for me to say that sitting here.

PessaryPam Thu 10-Jan-13 14:00:06

Must add I can choose my clients too.

PessaryPam Thu 10-Jan-13 13:59:42

I wouldn't do it and I wouldn't work for a tobacco company either.

badguider Thu 10-Jan-13 13:57:20

I'm freelance too and reputation is everything - so i wouldn't work for somebody who would put other future clients off me. (My jobs is in the community sector though so links to lapdancing would be utterly off putting to other clients).

A tiny little bit of home working would be doable in secret if i was desperate for the money but anything with any public profile i wouldn't do.

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 10-Jan-13 13:54:06

Am i the only one that read the title and got slightly enraged by OP being "ethnically opposed" to someone?


Must put glasses on before reading thread title.

Yes, the thing is, it will allow me to not work during school holidays so the kids will be happy and give me enough money to develop an area I do want to move into, which won't pay much at start up

For this alone I would take the contract.

newpencilcase Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:25

tricky one. Need to consider professional reputation more than ethics I think.

Jins Wed 09-Jan-13 17:57:08

You'll spend ages trying to justify it to yourself. It's pretty clear to me you don't want to. Don't do it. Something will turn up to fill the gap

Allinthefold Wed 09-Jan-13 17:54:41

Yes, the thing is, it will allow me to not work during school holidays so the kids will be happy and give me enough money to develop an area I do want to move into, which won't pay much at start up.


NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Wed 09-Jan-13 17:08:37

Everyones ethics have a price, even the people who claim that no amount of money can sway it... So go for it and if you still feel bad then donate some of the money to a worthy cause

FairyChristmas Wed 09-Jan-13 17:05:46

I used to work for a company who have been in the news a lot recently.

When I got the job and told my dad, he said he wasn't going to tell anyone I worked there!

As others have said, I think it depends on your levels of morality (or you could always do what my dad did and not tell anyone grin)

WilsonFrickett Wed 09-Jan-13 17:03:33

I've worked for some dubious companies (financial services, oil production) and I'm a freelancer, but I wouldn't take this job. I believe that lapdancing clubs are the respectable end of a hideous, hideous industry and they're doing a fantastic PR job in making that industry seem socially acceptable too. So no, I wouldn't take it. But as I say, I've worked for companies that aren't exactly fluffy so clearly have flexible morals.

ScarletLady02 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:58:47

Difficult one, I understand your dilemma. My Dad was a partner in a new IT business in the 70s and he left the company as his other two partners wanted to do something that outraged him wasn't illegal, but my Dad really didn't agree with it.

Fast forward 30 odd years, they still run the same company and have huge houses and fleets of Dad on the other hand is skint...

However, he still feels it was worth it....or so he says anyway grin

I would however say that in the current climate, a job is a job....I'd do it because I'm completely broke and it's harder to have morals when you have no money.

Nancy66 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:52:22

if morals can be bought then what's the point of having them?

hellsbellsmelons Wed 09-Jan-13 16:48:05

9 months wages for 2 months work - sorry but it's a no brainer really!
Hope it all works out for you.

Allinthefold Wed 09-Jan-13 16:46:06

Good mix of responses which accurately reflect the dilemma in my head.

Yes I think it's all very easily linked to the seedier side of his business but it would earn me a lot of money (as much as I've earned in the last 9 months) for 8 weeks.

I might have to toss a coin.

M25Meltdown Wed 09-Jan-13 16:31:41

Ethics won't pay the gas bill.

In this climate, if I needed the money I'd take the job. I realise this makes me a hypocrite, but feeding my DC comes first <awaits massive flaming>

Jins Wed 09-Jan-13 16:31:15

I'm a freelancer and I've refused work to do with this sort of thing. I believe that your reputation can be quite closely linked to who you work for but it really does depend what field you're in

In your case if it's to do with the other side of the business then it's a more difficult decision. Are the other business ventures easily linked to the lapdancing venture?

Blu Wed 09-Jan-13 16:27:41

If you job will not contribute to the lap dancing operation then I would take it.

AMumInScotland Wed 09-Jan-13 16:27:25

Would the work you do positively encourage/benefit things you are really opposed to?

Or is it just that this man is "tainted" by that aspect of his business?

I would put up with "tainted" to put food on the table, pay the bills, improve my family's situation.

I would only put up with actively encouraging something I opposed if it was that or my family directly suffering, eg defaulting on the mortgage, children likely ot go hungry, etc.

biff23 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:26:28

Well I don't have a problem with lap dancing clubs so I'd do it, money is money and he's not doing anything illegal. It boils down to how much you value your principles. I couldn't go against mine but I am pretty open minded so doubt I would have this dilemma as long as things are legal and above board I would take the money.

Depends how opposed you are to the sex industry - if it's Stringfellow I'm not sure I could, he is well aware of the prostituted women in his clubs.

SarahWarahWoo Wed 09-Jan-13 16:24:51

Well in the past have you vetted all the business interests of clients before taking in a contract? Probably not, have you unwittingly worked for someone who has a stake in a business that you don't approve of? Maybe?

In this case you do know that he runs lap dancing bars but a gig is a gig, as long as your work wont contribute to stringfellows, sorry I mean the seedier part of his business empire then go for it with a clear conscience....

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