A group of intelligent, articulate and highly-talented students are just finishing their degree course in event management and are talking in the pub about jobs available to them in the events sector.

JIM “I’ve been offered a key management position at £28,000 a year plus expenses and car with AEG Europe at the O2 in London” .

LAURA “Lucky bugger. I’ve been trying to find a financial firm I can actually feel proud to work for. The collective greed and stupidity of the banks and bankers nearly collapsed the UK economy a few years back and some of the culprits had to be bailed out with billions of our money. Since then Barclays have been caught fiddling the Libor rate, whatever that is, others have been fined millions for mis-selling their customers and CEO’s at Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax have been stripped of their honours. Seems you can’t trust any of them and I really don’t feel it would look good on the CV to be associated with companies and individuals so obviously lacking in ethics”.

NOEL “Have you tried Wonga yet”.

LAURA “Oh ho ho”.

CAROL “Laura’s right. I’ve thought about working at exhibition venues but checked on the net and found that the sector is one of just a handful in the UK that has actually had to have laws passed to stop some of them abusing their monopoly position to grossly overcharge exhibiting companies. Lord Sterling, chairman of P&O which owned Earls Court and Olympia at the time, tried to stop the laws with a judicial review so he could go on shafting his customers, but this failed and he was then barred by our government from taking the case further. Not exactly a shining business role model for us youth, was he? Disrespectful exhibitors and others dubbed him “Lord Stealing” after that little number”.

JO “So when do you start at the O2, Jim?”

JIM “I’ve turned AEG down on ethical grounds. I was watching the BBC Rip Off Britain programme last Monday and the management of the O2 got a well-deserved kicking for ordering their security guards to search incoming visitor’s bags on the excuse of “security” and confiscate any food found. This was so that visitors who wanted to eat had to buy from one or more of the 30 appointed outlets inside paying a commission to the O2 management. The Rip Off Britain researchers found that the grubby O2 practice is rife at around a third of the country’s large event arenas so I’m giving the whole sector a miss until they can grow up. I really don’t want to work with, and associate myself with people who are happy to treat their customers so badly to make a profit. Might as well work for Wonga, eh?”

Note for readers. The possibility, mooted above, that potential employees might start considering an organisation’s ethics as a criterion for selection is pure speculation, and arguably unrealistically idealistic.

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