When deciding which companies to apply to, it can make a huge difference to your future employment happiness to preemptively investigate their business practices and past policy decisions. These are telling indictors of their underlying motives and the way they treat their people. Take the recent ‘storm’ of controversy over JC Penney’s Mother’s Day ad, which showed a same sex couple shopping with their kids.
One Million Moms, the fundamentalist Christian internet pressure group (ironically consisting of a board of eleven men (oh, to be a fly on the wall during that meeting. Please tell me they get dressed up in drag) and totaling only 40,000 followers on Facebook) launched a hate campaign against the ad. Of course, they cited a predictable paucity of evidence, but churchloads of invented invective about Adams and Steves, dog owners marrying their pets, and other such weird and wonderful nonsense I can’t help but marvel at.
OMM instructed their members (who currently make up an encouragingly pathetic 0.00012% of the US population: about twelve people per million) to boycott the store. JC Penney, I’m sure with a wry chuckle, hit back with an ad showing a male same sex couple the following Father’s Day.
Good for them. There’s nothing quite like the twisting of a truly moral knife in the evil backward heart of the aggressively self-righteous to make me feel all warm and gooey inside.
Yes, people like this still fall through the cracks in our education system. As entertaining as they are, there is real danger behind their hubris: they actually believe what they’re saying. This isn’t a Saturday Night Live sketch; this kind of uncompromising conviction quite easily leads to people getting hurt.
Running a company often means one has to cater to the lowest common denominator of consumer in order to maximize the bottom line. It’s a treat to see JC Penney raising the bar high enough so the people weighed down by unacceptable opinions start voicing them. It makes them easier to spot. And you know you’re forcing change in all the right places when the laziest thinkers complain about the pace.
If I was intending to work in retail, JC Penney just leapt to the top of the heap.
A psychologist, historian, and keen amateur anthropologist, Stefan Abrutat’s humble beginnings working construction in frigid Canadian winters and sweltering Texas summers rewarded him with an insight often lacking in academia: hands-on experience.