The Web Page Job Interview

I had an interesting night out last Wednesday evening. I met a potential client to discuss a potential web page project. It started off a little rough with me heading to the wrong Boston Pizza (there are two on the South side but it wasn’t specified which one) anyway when I figured out where I was supposed to be I had an interesting time chatting with a couple of guys from the prospective client company.

I don’t want to get into too many of the details of the conversation but there were a couple of things that hit me the wrong way. They asked me what if I was LDS to which I responded in the affirmative. Technically this is true. They laughed and said something along the lines of, “Good, you’ll fit in perfectly at work—we’re all LDS. We even start each work day with a prayer”.

Fit in perfectly? Somehow I doubted that but I nevertheless nodded and smiled. I thought he was joking about the prayer but as the conversation continued I realized he was completely serious.

The product they are pushing is some kind of natural health supplement. They raved about its amazing ability to cure various mental illnesses including bi-polar and ADD/ADHD. My main contact explained that he believed the primary cause of mental illness was purely not getting the right natural nutrients into the body. He mentioned his strong belief in following the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon doctrine of healthy eating and living) and how their supplement was designed in the spirit of that doctrine. Even as he was extolling the virtues of healthy eating a giant platter of chicken wings materialized on our table. Then another one; then a third one. For someone like me — I don’t eat a lot of meat — it seemed like a rather unhealthy choice for dinner. I suppose ignoring the rule “eat meat sparingly” might not seem at the surface to be extremely unhealthy but it certainly is hypocritical.

I had lots of questions for them about their product and what they wanted me to do as far as their webpage was concerned. I got a fairly bad taste in my mouth when I heard that they had about 50 different sites all designed to help increase the search results of their main page. The image went from bad to worse when they started discussing how there were people out there whom they believed to be connected with the pharmaceutical industry that were trying to give them a bad name. This in itself wasn’t so bad because it made sense that when a company selling a natural supplement encourages someone to go off their prescription medication and take their “natural” product instead, you’re going to upset the pharmaceutical fruit-basket. Not to mention potentially putting someone in serious risk—a thought that caused me to raise an eye-brow.

But what really bothered me was how they reacted to the supposed slander — they fought back with a fax and internet smear campaign painting their accusers as child molesters!

Woah! Hold the phone just a minute guys. Maybe you guys need those morning prayers after all. I honestly don’t know the truth behind any of the libel directed against you, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. However I can’t see how you can feel justified in accusing someone of abusing children when you don’t know straight up about where those stories started. Frankly the whole story sickens me.

I’ve now found myself in somewhat of a moral dilemma. I could really use the money right now, what with being short on roommates and having student loans to pay back but I certainly don’t want to be associated with this hypocritically religious company. The question in my mind now is do I stand up for my integrity or do I help promote a company which operates in such a sleazy manner just for the cold hard cash?

Ironically it’s the Mormon in me that says stick to your virtues and gratefully decline their offer. It’s the greedy bastard in me that says, well just charge a little bit more and if they take the offer then it will be worth it, but if they don’t then I can tell myself that I didn’t really want the job anyway.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Will I be joining them in the hand-basket? I think not.

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