Dear Aunty Em: Knob job

“Would you judge a guy based on his work? I was chatting to someone online and turns out he works in the gaming industry selling slot/gaming machines. It’s been his career for ages and I think he does well out if it. It’s such a turn-off for me – is that wrong? Am I being too judgemental?” – Knob job

Dear Knob job,

This is a tough one as I don’t know how he came to be in this line of work.

Was he shivering in the snow, begging for potato scraps, when a poker machine company welcomed him inside with a warm contract?

Or is he a glittery-eyed gambling demon, intent on emptying the pockets of any poor fool who crosses his path?

For anyone lucky enough to have employment choices, the work we choose is a clear statement of ethics.

So let’s assume this guy chose his job and that means that he thinks gambling is OK.

While he’s certainly not alone in this – Australians are some of the biggest gamblers in the world – gambling causes harm on a sliding scale that goes from wasting a bit of play money to jumping-off-a-bridge bankruptcy.

So the real question becomes should we facilitate behaviour that causes harm?

And if the answer is yes, the implications a wide ranging. Alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise), cigarettes, contact sport, feed lot farming, the dairy industry, cage hens, fast fashion, pesticides and herbicides, unethical investment choices and dirty energy all cause harm.

Where do you draw the line?

The reality is that a lot of us are engaged in dirty industries, directly or indirectly through our employment, spending and investment choices.

But back┬áto your original question – are you being too judgemental? I don’t think so. In the dating world, it’s all about finding a Bowerbird whose decorating skills appeal to you.

It turns out you don’t like a nest full of pokies, and that’s OK.

What do you guys think? Does a person’s job matter to you?





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