Monday, January 31, 2011

Sleeping with the enemy.

First, I have to clarify....I sleep with my husband, and he is not the enemy. So when I say "sleeping with the enemy" it is just a saying. Not something I am actually doing. I'm not sleeping with anyone, honey, but you. I swear.

Except for that one time. Okay, twice. Maybe three times. But not with the same girl. Different girls. Once there were 4 of us in the room. But we didn't even fool around, we Just Slept. We are Just Friends. But still, I did sleep with a girl. Yes, a girl. Yes, two girls. In bed together. Sleeping. And so, in a way, I did sleep with the enemy. But we haven't even gotten to the enemy part yet. The enemy isn't my husband. Or my girlfriend. Wait. Not "girlfriend". "Friend who is a girl". I mean woman. "Friend who is a woman". I should have said "The enemy isn't a woman I have slept with." Or fooled around with. I never fooled around with anyone. Except my husband. He's not a girl. Or a woman. Or the enemy.

Are you still reading? Okay, moving on. I have a lot of explaining to do.
And also, My husband is a saint.

Something has come up that, frankly, I need to get off my shoulders. I have some (anonymous and unnamed) friends online and in real life - yes, more than one - who work for various very large, very aggressive (also very not named MR. LAWYER) companies and also some very small, very passive-aggressive companies that are engaged in some business practices that I strongly disagree with. (I know, I can't believe I have friends with real grown-up jobs either.)
I will be completely honest: I don't know a whole hell of a lot about these companies. But what I *do* know must be a public relations nightmare for them. I mean, there are movies about how much some of these companies suck. Protests. Petitions. Posters.

There are bumper stickers, for God's sake.

In fact, I have heard almost nothing positive about these particular companies. I say "almost nothing positive" because these companies - small and large alike - make contributions to non-profits and local schools, and do a lot of work in the community in the effort to make people, well, hate them less. Some on a small scale, and some on a massive, front page of the paper variety. They do it up like a John Hughes movie: the friendless loser, who's rich parents throw a big, cool party and invite the whole school, and hire a band, and provide unlimited amounts of food and drink and entertainment. And then people sort of tolerate the jerk, just because he's got so much money and he was the first kid to get a BMW and ohhh shiny.

So I have some friends who work for these ENTIRELY NAMELESS I AM NOT EVEN GOING TO HINT corporations, and I don't like these companies' practices.

At all.

But I love my friends. And so my point of view has always been "Well, these companies can't be all bad, if my friends are working for them. My friends would never do anything wrong, or work for companies that were engaged in the terrible practices I have read about."

Over the years, I've tried to tell myself that it was just as if they practiced a different religion - to each his own. I won't judge you if you won't judge me. Love your fellow man. Our differences make us beautiful.
And I am really trying to keep that feeling alive in my heart. But it is starting to ring sort of hollow. It's not about the friendships - I still adore my friends, they are amazing, beautiful, brilliant, accomplished, loving, generous, kind, supportive people.

I just wish they would go work for someone - ANYONE - else.
Because rather than seeming beautiful, our differences are making me slightly nauseous. Like I'm a vegan and they are sitting there eating bacon while plucking a chicken.

So I am putting this back to you, gentle reader. Let's examine some scenarios together. I would love your guidance on this one.

Here are some completely random (and as far as I know completely unrelated to my real-life situation) examples of things that would make me uncomfortable. But if you are my friend and you are working for a company that does any of this, I would keep it to yourself because you are hearby informed that shit like this makes me uncomfortable.

How would you feel if your friend worked for a cosmetics company that tested on animals? While I understand that much good has come from animal testing, I believe that it has gone far beyond it's original intention. Developing cures for diseases is not the same as developing a new eyelash growth enhancer or longer-lasting lipstick.

How would you feel if your friend worked for a company that underpaid everyone, paid women less then men, and undermined smaller family owned businesses all over the country? I love my small local shops, and feel guilty every time I shop in a big chain store. Every time.

How would you feel if your friend worked for a company that paid out huge bonuses while repossessing your house? Because I am pretty sure those bonuses are making everyone uncomfortable at this point - even the recipients.

How would you feel if you were in the union fighting for a fair living wage with benefits, standing outside a construction site in the cold holding up a sign, and your friend crossed the picket line to work at a job that was paying less than scale and not providing health insurance?

I could go on, but I am afraid of offending all of my friends. So I'll stop.

But I truly want to know - How would you feel if your friend worked for a company that was doing something that made you mad? That you thought was wrong?

Because giving up the friendship is not an option.
It's forever. It's true love.
I guess I'll just wait for them to retire.
And you don't have to actually comment on this - we can keep it rhetorical.

1 comment:

STATJR said...

I'm gonna comment... I guess just because that is how I roll. LOL

There is an often over used religious idea of hate the sin, love the sinner... well I think that in a way applies here. Hate the companies but love your friends, which sounds like you already do.

My suggestion would be to talk to your friends and see how they feel about it. I live in a small town in a small, rural county. Our county got invaded by a "big box" just a few years ago. It is one of those that you hear about them underpaying, treating people like crap etc... yet I have friends who love working there. Why? Well because they say while corporate sucks rocks, local management tries their best to make it all good. So, they hate corporate but they love their job and the immediate people they work with.

There is also the idea of a job is a job is a job. That is, sometimes people do hate where they work and hate what their companies do but they are stuck. They maybe stuck for many reasons, but as long as they get a check that pays for the house, food, and other necessities, they will keep getting up and going to work.

I guess from your examples one thing that would bug me would be a cosmetic company who does test on animals. I mean, okay, a drug company that may have the cure for cancer or diabetes or whatever... I can take a step back, take a deep breath and deal with the animal testing... but for the next shampoo or lipstick... nope... That would be hard especially if my friend was all good with it.

The other thing that would really piss me off is the exec bonus idea. If I had a friend that was an exec at a big company that was getting a bonus when everyone else was getting screwed... that would be hard to swallow. I mean, I understand the lowly little worker (they job is a job is a job type) who gets the standard 3% raise or even the occasional "atta-worker" gift... but if we are taking the alphabet soup group (CEO, CFO, etc) then nope, no tolerance there.