I'm always honoured when people find my work and want to hire me based on what they saw (except for recruiters who don't know their shit, that's just an insult). So naturally I was stoked to be contacted by a company who found my work on Codepen (which was a first for me) and had just the right job for me. They were not messing around and within no-time I had a pleasant but no-BS Skype call with a developer. They had work for a longer period and were also looking for a full-time front-end developer. I wasn't looking for full-time commitments but when I can work on the things I like for a company that made a good first impression, I won't rule anything out. Oh and did I mention that they were totally open to remote work? Sweet.
But then I had the stupid idea to Google some more background info on the company, and unfortunately, what I found didn't make me happy. Bad reviews on the first page... That's never a good sign, is it? Now I won't give you a company name or anything, but I think I can safely tell you that they're ticket brokers. If you don't know why that makes many people unhappy, read this excellent Guardian article on the subject.
Now don't let the holier-than-though post about 'ethics in tech' I posted a few days ago fool you because the thought "So what if dumb people overpay for tickets?" did cross my mind.
There's no single celebrity I worship enough to pay an arm and a leg for to see in concert. And if people are stupid enough to keep on providing these places with business, why should I care?
As it turns out: I do care. They call this empathy I believe. However dumb it is to buy your tickets through a place like this, I still feel sorry for the people who seriously overpay.
I know there's no such thing as a developers Hippocratic oath (because most companies would go out of business if there was) but the least I can do is not actively support evil with my 'powers'. As a front-end developer I want to make sure that sites and apps are accessible, effective and hopefully a joy to look at and experience. In this case I'd literally be helping a company to get money out of peoples pockets in the most fun and accessible way! So I declined, explained why and they understood.
Although I don't agree with the business model I try not to judge other developers. If i'd been strapped for cash and had actual adult responsibilities, I might've cared less about Shirley spending her entire pay-check on a Coldplay concert (in fact I probably won't think too highly off you when you spent money on a Coldplay concert, regardless). I'd like to think that wouldn't be the case but you never know in what kind of situation you'll find yourself in.
"When you look at the dark side, careful you must be ... for the dark side looks back." - Yoda, in some obscure movie
Most of the times the line between dark and light is non-existent. It's a grey world out there and everyone needs to find out what they're okay with for themselves. But I do feel that we should constantly ask ourselves if we're okay with the actual product that the companies we work for offer. The company you work at/for can be great for its employees and freelancers, but in the end LexCorp isn't less evil because they offer equal pay.
So what kind of mercenary are you? Have you ever declined a job because of ethical reasons? I'd love to read all about it.