I must have been brought up wrong. I was misled. I believed working hard and doing my best was the key to success. For decades, it was true. Then the world changed — and I learned otherwise.

Many (most?) companies no longer tolerate excellence, much less encourage it. Excellence upsets the balance of office relationships. It makes less talented workers uneasy. They take your excellence as a personal affront. It makes bosses nervous, too, because they are often less competent and knowledgeable than the people they supervise.


Out in the marketplace, it’s dog-eat-dog. To be a contender today, you should drink the company Kool-Aid. Fit in with the company culture. Be careful how well you do the job because excellence stands out, and that’s dangerous. People who stand out get laid off first (or never hired at all).

Don’t complain. Turn out volumes of work and keep your head down. Worry about quantity, not quality.

Smile. You’re sure to make it to the top.

Categories: Daily Prompt, Humor, Work

Tags: , , , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:

    From one year ago … and just as true now as it was then!


  2. Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your content insightful, refreshing, and apt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I work part time for Home Depot for 12 bucks an hour (less than minimum wage in most Provinces here in Canada). The Assistant Manager just discovered that I was working 20 hours a week. I’ve been doing this since I started – a year and a half ago. But says this violates company policy whereby I can only work 16 hours a week as a part time employee. He therefore cut my hours yesterday – by 16 hours a month.

    WHY? Who cared? God? Anybody? His dog?

    And what did he achieve? A badge?

    Nothing. It just screws me out of $192.00 a month.

    in most large companies/corporations, there is a massive disconnect between the guy (employees) on the ground and the Gods in the penthouse. And you can ALWAYS judge a company by who they permit (or seek) to ascend to positions of authority (power). If these positions are peopled by what I call Company Men – the greatest insult I could ever bestow on a co-worker (robotic idiots with no people skills), get out fast. You are certain to be screwed at some point.


    • Work is scarce. That’s the problem. It’s a buyer’s market, so job seekers and employees are in no position to bargain. It’s an old sad story … and makes me even more glad I don’t have to fight that battle anymore. I fought for so long. And I lost. We all lost. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I ‘voluntarily’ retired from my position of Executive Vice President of Human Resources. Need I say more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That happened to me in Austria. I was working for McDonalds. I had expressed a wish to progress up the ladder. I got sacked instead, while on holiday. Then when I tried to find another job they would say that I got sacked for stealing from the till. I found a lawyer – got compensation. Then a year later they wanted their money back. I was pregnant. I didn’t hear back from them. I can’t bear to eat their burgers now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I retired form my last, and longest, employ due to a combination of “it’s time” and “personal harassment”. the last “boss” I had describe me to those in charge as “Ben has done some pretty good recordings using marginal equipment” and then he began the campaign to move me out. Truth be said at the time of my “pretty good recordings” we didn’t have the budget for more than “marginal equipment”. Never the less this backhanded compliment turned out to be just that. And so here I am happily retired.., sort of. I do only projects I want to and don’t punch a time clock. In addition I

    Liked by 1 person

    • managed to acquire superior gear over the years due to not being restricted to purchasing only “new” (State University Policy). So I guess the “silver lining” thing can apply to being under appreciated by forcing you into where you should have been a long time ago.., independent.

      (Sorry, somehow hit the wrong button and had to continue through “reply”)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I got laid off from my last job (very last) because ostensibly I couldn’t read engineering blueprints (I couldn’t, but they knew that when they hired me). Actually, it was because the boss’s son wanted my job. But it’s not legal to fire you for being in the way of nepotism.


      • What “Bossy Poo” didn’t realize is that I often used some of my own superior quality gear, from used sources, to obtain better recordings for the station.., and didn’t charge them a dime either.


    • Ben, I remember the suit looking at me, sincerity in his eyes and saying “Garry, you’re the face of this station. You’re a household name. You’re a legend. We appreciate all you’ve done for us. Sorry, we’re going in a different direction……”.


  7. You and Garry (Garry and you, to be grammatically correct) are both someones in my book. For whatever that’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are very important someones’s in our own books and each others’s. Is that grammar or what (I think maybe it’s “or what”). Both of us got dumped for costing too much and working too slow for the new “do it fast and dirty” corporate mantra. He couldn’t figure out what important facts to omit when they gave him 45 seconds to sum up 40 years of history. I couldn’t write a book without checking it for accuracy. Go figure, right? By the end of our careers, we had become liabilities. How quickly they forget.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember the transition from the old work ethic to to modern template for success. Individuality died during Japan’s takeover of the marketplace. Their manufacturing work ethic was conceived under W. Edwards Deming, an American genius who couldn’t sell his push pull methods of manufacturing to the United States but was embraced openly in Japan. It was all about teamwork in Japan while individual hard work was rewarded in the United States. Once Japan proved profitability came through the teamwork process the United States had to change or lose its dominance in manufacturing.

    With the emphasis on teamwork the individual initiative was squashed, deemed obsolete, even though Deming’s philosophy never addressed the loss of worker initiative. Now it’s he who squeaks the loudest that gets up the corporate ladder, whether they’re a good worker or now. We’re rearing a generation of ass kissers, not hard workers IMHO!


  9. A great piece and sadly very accurate. I openly encourage my four adult daughters to stop the world and jump off because it isn’t the world I signed them up for!


  10. We don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now we can be our best and if they like us that’s great, if not, so what. Let them struggle to catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The alternative is to be your own boss. It has its advantages but doesn’t necessarily mean success.


  12. You know you really have something there. It is better to sometimes just let the others get on with it and say nothing. Let the boss think he found the solution, although you knew it all the time. I realised something when I was laid off, although not really laid off, I was treated fair after 30 years. Business was generally not good, a recession and the company had acually bitten off more than they could chew. So who did they keep – the ones earning less, the yes people, the noddies, it was clear to see. I was lucky, almost retirement age, but I felt sorry for the younger people. Life is sometimes really not fair. If you are good, you can go.


  13. Hey, I used to be somebody!


Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context


I use the best, I use the rest

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns



The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More



Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: