by Virtual Assistant
(July 13, 2012)
Today I am going to share one of my experiences that is closely connected to the ethics of outsourcing. This is a very interesting experience and I am still not sure about my decision, which I took at that time.
Once, I applied for a job on oDesk in which the employer asked me to post some answers on Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo Answers! is a unique and modern way of sharing your information and experiences where you can ask and answer any question and know the perspective of others from all over the world. In recent times this service is very useful for link-building and for promotion of your web-business.
Coming back to the oDesk job. That employer just wrote in his job description that he just needed someone to research and post material against questions related to his niche. It was a straightforward job for me and as I did this kind of job on a regular basis, therefore I applied for it without any hesitation.
The person interviewed me for a long period and then he hired me for this job on oDesk. After awarding me the contract, he simply mailed me an instruction manual in which he provided step-by-step instructions for this work.
Now its time to discuss the serious part of that job.
The employer was running a website which provides alternate medicines. This is a very profitable online business where you can research alternative medicines against your expensive prescribed medicine at a very low price.
My job was to research some of the keywords (these keywords were mostly related to different diseases and some medical terms) and then I had to suggest cheap alternative medicines in my answers.
Here I had a conflict with my conscience, I researched a further and found out that some of the medicines were lifesaving drugs. How can I suggest someone a lifesaving drug, especially when I know nothing about the prescribed medicine…?
So, keeping in view the whole scenario, I simply denied performing his job without logging any hours. The employer tried to retain me, but I apologized him that I am not an expert to suggest this type of advice to others, therefore I cannot continue this job.
Now here I have two questions:
- From an employer’s point of view: Is it ethical that you hire someone for such sensitive jobs which can take someone’s life?
- From a provider’s point of view: Is it ethical that you deny to work after getting selected and hired for a specific job?
I am not sure which argument is true and which false, but perhaps your comment can help me decide the final verdict.
So dive into the discussion and leave me a comment.