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Self-interest Vs. Business Relationships

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I've been taking a continuing education course with a few of my co-workers and we all wait for each other to finish working and then walk down to our 6 PM course. The problem is, there's always somebody that's late and the whole group ends up being late as a result. Last time, we were waiting around and I thought to myself, "Screw this," so I told my co-workers that I was going to start walking and then they could take a cab (since there would be 4 of them now). I arrived on time and they (again) arrived 10 minutes late. Of course they called me a "dick" (half-joking, half-serious) but I couldn't disagree with them more. First, I value the class itself and I don't like missing information. Secondly, I don't like walking in late and interrupting a class. Thirdly, I don't need to walk as a group to class. So why would they care? For making them look bad? That's their problem for being late. For not staying with the herd? What value is there for me in that? And this is the crux of the issue.

The problem is, there IS value for me (even if it is artificial) in staying with the herd - and I HATE it. In real estate (specifically sales), your income is directly proportionate to the amount of people you know. Obviously, you have to do your job well, but doing your job well is marketing - reaching the maximum amount of people and developing the maximum amount of relationships. And in order to maximize the amount of relationships you have, you have to be at relatively the same page as everyone else. This means that if you start talking about anything academic (be it philosophy, politics, etc), you are accused of being too academic (because there's so many non-academic types) and then you're taken out of the herd and you have less of a chance of developing relationships with anyone in the herd. And I'm sick of listening to people talk about how drunk they got, the same recycled Chuck Norris jokes, sports and pretending I care as much as they do. Of course, it's not this black and white or as universal, but this mentality exists and I think it's terrible. And I'm sure it's not just in real estate. We don't live in the same world as Howard Roark.

So... I was just wondering if any of you have dealt with / observed the same kind of things and developed ways to combat it? Do you sell out? Do you say, "screw that" and go out on your own?

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I would say "srew that "and move on and I do believe that in the long run success has a lot to do with individual abilities.In a competition what matters finally is quality and it would speak for itself.Although advertising is helpful and may even be necessary,advertising cannot ever stand alone.If one sells out there isn't much left to be advertised in reality.

I suggest sticking to your own standards of efficiency but also letting others be the way they are.You have your choices.

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Be yourself but you can still seek to emphasize areas of common interest among your coworkers and/or clients. When I was young I was a junior analyst working in an office surrounded mostly by stockbrokers. I spent a lot of time with them discussing things of interest, but also walked away from some "bonding" activities like drinking binges and trips to topless bars. If the place you're working at is any good, you should be able to suceed without betraying your own judgement. I don't think leaving to get to class on time should be a big deal. If leads/rewards are distributed based on brown-nosing and friendships, then reconsider the place, or at least consider alternatives.

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  • 2 months later...

You might want to point out to them that you think being on time is important to creating an image of professionalism, and that you are hoping that the class you are attending might yield some new business relationships. If you can show people how it is in their interest to alter their behavoir, they might reconsider calling you a "dick" and follow your example.

This is something I deal with sometimes too. Working in a borderline blue-collar industry and being a woman is an interesting thing because a lot of men expect me to laugh at the crass jokes and drink like the best of them. Unfortunately, I do want to be considered a professional and from time to time my formality can get me labelled as "arrogant" or "bitchy". What I've realized is that it's the customers who will speak loudest of my capability (and they do) so I have decided to continue to impress them and not worry about what my co-workers, colleagues, carriers and vendors think.

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What I've realized is that it's the customers who will speak loudest of my capability (and they do) so I have decided to continue to impress them and not worry about what my co-workers, colleagues, carriers and vendors think.
I agree, Elle. However, to me it seems NewYorkRoark thinks that we live in a time where most people are not the customers you speak of. Or, most people are not on the same level as he is, so in order to be successful he must compromise himself.

I have given this some thought. My conclusion is that no matter what, under no circumstances do I want to live my life compromising my ideals for anyone else. If this means that I have to move to some part of the world's wilderness uninhabited and toil the earth all by myself, so be it. And I'm totally serious. However, I do not believe that there is literally no one that I value out there. I think that there are enough people who exist with whom I can work in order to achieve a great level of success.

So yes, I have dealt with what you're talking about (I think anyone who has ever held a crappy job knows what you're talking about). My initial strategy was to ignore people. At my most recent job, I found it easier just to act like I cared and "sell out." I hate doing that, and my long term plan is to say "screw it" and go out on my own, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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We don't live in the same world as Howard Roark.

I don't agree at all..well, technically I do since he lives in a fictional world, but that being said I don't find his world different from ours in principle. He didn't live his life without struggle, difficulty, and depravation. He had all sorts of troubles living according to his principles in 'his' world. He was pretty much flat broke until he was what? 40? He went out of business his first go around, he had to work in a quarry to feed himself, he had few friends that he saw infrequently, his girl was mostly busy bangin his worst enemies and trying to ruin his life.... Seriously, he had it rough. He tried to fit in for 10 minutes working for keating and francon before giving up because he couldn't stand the feeling of his soul rotting. Living by principle doesn't mean easy...it means right. And it applies in all possible worlds, not just capitalist utopias. If you feel yourself betraying your principles you ought to make some serious changes since the long term consequences will be far worse then any short term inconveniences.

By way of example, I know a young lady, 19 years old, no marketable skills of any kind, that just got a federal job naking $40k/ year salary +all manner of benefits for 35 hrs/week doing what amounts to data entry. Her life will in all probability be "easy". But she will never have charactar, she will not have self-esteem, and she will certainly not have pride. She is by my definition, a sell out, but, ironically too ignorant to realize it. Ignorance may seem to be bliss for her, but the fact that she lacks awareness of her lack of self-esteem does nothing to change the consequences of having none. So, easy may not turn out to be so easy after all. Live your life the way you think you should because ultimately when you judge yourself that is all that is going to matter.

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