I suppose most of us believe they have the angels on our side, assuming we have some level of moral compass. Most people have some grinding, singular and very personal issue that outrages them and causes them to feel the need to take a stand. That said, there are some really awkward things that can creep in when you believe your are the ONLY one that has it figured out. Once you start justifying extreme behavior, you’ve lost your moral compass. Once you start denying people the ability to disagree, you’ve turned into a monotheist.
(Comedian Paul Gilmartin coined a term for this: ‘Smugnorant’)

It’s truly awkward when companies jump on the smugnorant bandwagon.

Much has been made lately about Facebook and Google willfully controlling what news and information people see (not to mention the complete lack of privacy). For those unaware, Google’s motto is (or WAS):

Don’t Be Evil

Google users trust our systems to help them with important decisions: medical, financial and many others. Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating. We also display advertising, which we work hard to make relevant, and we label it clearly. This is similar to a well-run newspaper, where the advertisements are clear and the articles are not influenced by the advertisers’ payments. We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.

Anybody see a problem here?

You know…it was always very clear to me that my job was just a job, and the business I worked for was not my friend. I wasn’t part of a “family” by joining a company. I know lots of corporations use the “family” thing as part of their recruiting, but I’d never ask anyone in my family to do some of the things my employer has asked me to do. My boss would never help me move (although the WORST BOSS I’ve ever had told me to help his stepson move on a Saturday).

(I don’t know this person, but I agree with the sentiment)

To my way of thinking, business relationships should be 2 things:

  1. Honest.
  2. Mutually beneficial

When I feel like either of those are below my threshold, I leave. As an employee, this can really suck. As an employee you become much more leveraged, just by the nature of the relationship. As goes the company, so goes you. You’re an asset until you’re not, and then you become expendable. This is basic capitalism, people. Needless to say, if your moral compass (ethics is probably a better way to say it) is pointed in a greedy, self-serving or dishonest direction, you company will acquire those same values.

Don’t be evil, indeed.