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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 01:00 AM   #121
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Laurence
So riddle me this: success has come easy to me (o.k., my last name is not Dell or Gates, but at this point I'm pretty happy to be where I am at my age), and I don't feel like I've had to kill myself to get here.* Is it just dumb luck?* What makes success easy for some and impossible for others?* At my work, I'm surrounded by people of similar education and background, yet they flounder, glad to make 50k at 40+ years of age.* Even if we accept that social classes in the U.S. have come to resemble a caste system (better luck next life!), there is plenty of difference within classes.
What do you think the answer to your own question is?

By the way, whatever you answer, it will only lead to another question.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 01:09 AM   #122
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
What do you think the answer to your own question is?

By the way, whatever you answer, it will only lead to another question.
I climbed all the way up this mountain to the ancient temple for this?
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 01:13 AM   #123
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Laurence
I climbed all the way up this mountain to the ancient temple for this?*
The curse of too much education. No answer goes unquestioned.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 07:28 AM   #124
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
Hmmm

One of my daydreams in ER was to live on four figures with a seven figure portfolio. Mr Market gave us the seven figure number(just barely).

But the screaming and yelling started when I tryed to get lower than a 12k/yr budget.

In ER - downward mobility can be fun - WHEN IT's a 'voluntary' experiment.

Heh heh heh heh heh heh - of course there was less than 'total' agrement - hence we currently spend more.
Further involuntary "downward mobility" is in my bag of ER tricks if needed.
I have all of the details worked out but will only do it if absolutely
necessary. DW is on board with this (this was always part of her charm).
Previous wife needed the biggest house, luxury cars, fur coats,
diamonds, etc. Don't get me wrong. I think that is all just fine, as long
as someone else is paying

JG
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 07:35 AM   #125
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go
Maybe a little of both and maybe something else entirely.* Nobody on this board is stupid but there is a limit to which they are willing to subordinate their lives to the pursuit of money.* Although this decision limits their "upward mobility" I doubt anyone here would want it any other way.
I was close to the peak of my earning power and "status" when I
jumped ship (both times). In 1993, I was Pres. of my own company
which I shut down (we did not "go broke" as () once implied). And then, in 1998 I was CFO of one company and VP of it's parent, with all of the pay, rights,
perks and bennies (plus it was a very low stress job). Once again, I just up and
quit. Business was good, the money/perks were good, no serious
health issues, no scandals, turmoil. tumult, etc. I just wanted the TIME.
Everything that stood in my way got dropped like a hot rock.

JG
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 09:29 AM   #126
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
So riddle me this: success has come easy to me (o.k., my last name is not Dell or Gates, but at this point I'm pretty happy to be where I am at my age), and I don't feel like I've had to kill myself to get here.* Is it just dumb luck?* What makes success easy for some and impossible for others?* At my work, I'm surrounded by people of similar education and background, yet they flounder, glad to make 50k at 40+ years of age.* Even if we accept that social classes in the U.S. have come to resemble a caste system (better luck next life!), there is plenty of difference within classes.
The harder you work, the luckier you get?

The more education you achieve, the more good choices you make, the better you'll be prepared to recognize & exploit that lucky opportunity.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 11:39 AM   #127
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
So riddle me this: success has come easy to me (o.k., my last name is not Dell or Gates, but at this point I'm pretty happy to be where I am at my age), and I don't feel like I've had to kill myself to get here.* Is it just dumb luck?* What makes success easy for some and impossible for others?* At my work, I'm surrounded by people of similar education and background, yet they flounder, glad to make 50k at 40+ years of age.* Even if we accept that social classes in the U.S. have come to resemble a caste system (better luck next life!), there is plenty of difference within classes.
Laurence,

After observing people at several large mega-corporations where I've worked for 25+ years, I've also wondered why some people (seemingly with similar educations and abilities) have achieved more 'success' than the others.*

Realizing that 'success' (defined as pay increases, plum assignments, and promotions) is meted out by other humans, the system for doing so, thus, is imperfect. I think some contributing factors I've observed are:
  • their family backgrounds may have given them a network through which they have a connection that the others may not have
  • they may have graduated from a school that begets them a corporate 'connection' that others may not have
  • some people I've observed just don't know how to 'play the game' as well as some others; they think that hard work is what makes them successful whereas it is sometimes a function of other things
  • some people have been naturally gifted with the good looks and oratory skills that get them promoted ahead of the others
  • some people are willing to work that extra 1% to 5% harder than their peers
  • some people truly have the fortune to be in the right place at the right time (timing is everything)
  • some people are better at selling themselves and their work whereas others are quietly doing a great job and are overlooked by management
  • some people are fortunate to have acquired a mentor early in their careers who 'paves the way for them' behind-the scenes and thus secures them key assignments and connections which lead to money and promotions (I've even sat in on HR sessions where I've heard this referred to as having a 'pet'. And no one who isn't a 'pet' moves upward far into the well-paid ranks of management!)
I have also observed that often people get 'labeled' (both good and bad) early in their careers and it's difficult, if not impossible to change that label.

omni
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 01:17 PM   #128
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
Laurence,

After observing people at several large mega-corporations where I've worked for 25+ years, I've also wondered why some people (seemingly with similar educations and abilities) have achieved more 'success' than the others.

Realizing that 'success' (defined as pay increases, plum assignments, and promotions) is meted out by other humans, the system for doing so, thus, is imperfect. I think some contributing factors I've observed are:
  • their family backgrounds may have given them a network through which they have a connection that the others may not have
  • Got my job through a temp agency, but so did a lot of people here. We do hire a lot of relatives, but I can only think of one that is now above entry level.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • they may have graduated from a school that begets them a corporate 'connection' that others may not have
  • Alas, I went to no name state U. But this translates well at my work because it's teeming with retired military officers. Definitely a clubby atmosphere.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people I've observed just don't know how to 'play the game' as well as some others; they think that hard work is what makes them successful whereas it is sometimes a function of other things
  • So true, not that hard work isn't neccessary, but just like a small business, you have to advertise your product, not just make a good product.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people have been naturally gifted with the good looks and oratory skills that get them promoted ahead of the others
  • I'll let you be the judge on the good looks part, but I have been accused of the "gift for gab"/

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people are willing to work that extra 1% to 5% harder than their peers
  • It's amazing to me how far coming in that one weekend or staying late on a coupel of occasions goes so far in the eyes of management, yet some people just refuse to do it.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people truly have the fortune to be in the right place at the right time (timing is everything)
  • No disagreement there.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people are better at selling themselves and their work whereas others are quietly doing a great job and are overlooked by management
  • Tied into answer above

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by omni550
  • some people are fortunate to have acquired a mentor early in their careers who 'paves the way for them' behind-the scenes and thus secures them key assignments and connections which lead to money and promotions (I've even sat in on HR sessions where I've heard this referred to as having a 'pet'. And no one who isn't a 'pet' moves upward far into the well-paid ranks of management!)
  • Too early in my career for this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
I have also observed that often people get 'labeled' (both good and bad) early in their careers and it's difficult, if not impossible to change that label.

omni
I'm the first to admit I have the least barriers to mobility, being an over six foot white male married Christian who is an extrovert, but I tried to control for those factors by only comparing myself to men with similar attributes. I'll tell you what I have seen a lot of is that "label" effect. A guy at work tried out for a junior position in my department, and he was already out of the running before the interview. Ends up the Director felt he wasn't a big picture/team player due to an incident that happened over 3 years ealier. The guy is done at our place of business IMHO. Don't mis-read me, what he did was pretty inane, but people can change, right?
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 04:08 PM   #129
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
So riddle me this: success has come easy to me (o.k., my last name is not Dell or Gates, but at this point I'm pretty happy to be where I am at my age), and I don't feel like I've had to kill myself to get here. Is it just dumb luck? What makes success easy for some and impossible for others? At my work, I'm surrounded by people of similar education and background, yet they flounder, glad to make 50k at 40+ years of age. Even if we accept that social classes in the U.S. have come to resemble a caste system (better luck next life!), there is plenty of difference within classes.
L.

I have always felt that way as well.
When I got my last and final job 20 years ago, I was a senior P/A (big fish in a small pond) with a starting sal of $55k. There were many other P/A jobs paying $40k to $45k. I think it has to do with my defective work gene theory. The defective gene seems to attract us to the higher paying jobs or jobs with great pensions. We then ER much faster then the normal person as the work gene disintegrates completely. Even 35 years ago, as a "lowly" bicycle messenger in the big apple, I was making $200 a week while the other messengers made about $100-$125. I even got my dumb boss to accept my collect calls instead of me making a .10 call. If he had that defective work gene, he would have said "NO" or at least given me daily $1 phone allowance.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 04:25 PM   #130
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

I think Omni550's post is pretty right on for the corporate world. *

Personally, I haven't had much luck or good timing, especially compared to some of my friends and family.

Being introverted is a strike against a lot of people IMHO, me included. *Hurts one's ability to network and it just seems like extroverts are more likable in most people's eyes. *Good social skills can go a long way in a lot of positions.

I worked hard in my last position but it didn't really do much for me other than a pat on the back. *I mean the last thing I wanted was a raise *

I think the height and looks thing works only if a person has the social skills to match the image. *

I don't have any degrees from Brand Name U so I don't foresee much help in that department. *The top companies and the best financial jobs I have looked at only seem to recruit from the top MBA schools. *I think a person from an unranked school can get an interview for a one of those jobs or at one of those companies if he/she has a connection.

I am not saying a person will not be successful based on anything in my answer. *I am just saying that it can more difficult. *My nickels worth...

* *
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 04:54 PM   #131
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by wildcat
Good social skills can go a long way in a lot of positions.

I think this is a major factor in Laurence's success. Come on, doesn't everyone here just plain like the guy?
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 05:42 PM   #132
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Martha
I think this is a major factor in Laurence's success. Come on, doesn't everyone here just plain like the guy?
I agree, Laurence is very likable but it doesn't explain my job success as I am not all that likable and on top of that, I never finished college. 8)

Go figure. I tell you, it's that defective work gene.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 05:52 PM   #133
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Martha
I think this is a major factor in Laurence's success.* Come on, doesn't everyone here just plain like the guy?*
Martha: *No doubt about it.

An outgoing attitude to go along with technical skills is hard to beat.!
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 06:01 PM   #134
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Man, I'm getting red here! Thanks guys! Reading back now, it looks like I was fishing, not my intent!

MJ, you don't give yourself enough credit, but doesn't that make your accomplishment all that much sweeter?

It seems unfair how many things that factor into success are things that can't be taught. Nags my sense of justice.


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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 06:17 PM   #135
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
L.

I have always felt that way as well.
When I got my last and final job 20 years ago, I was a senior P/A (big fish in a small pond) with a starting sal of $55k. There were many other P/A jobs paying $40k to $45k. I think it has to do with my defective work gene theory. The defective gene seems to attract us to the higher paying jobs or jobs with great pensions. We then ER much faster then the normal person as the work gene disintegrates completely. Even 35 years ago, as a "lowly" bicycle messenger in the big apple, I was making $200 a week while the other messengers made about $100-$125. I even got my dumb boss to accept my collect calls instead of me making a .10 call. If he had that defective work gene, he would have said "NO"* or at least given me daily $1 phone allowance.*
I had a couple of years over 100K straight income. Spent it all.
Wish I had saved some but it was quite a party!

JG
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 06:25 PM   #136
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by Laurence
but people can change, right?
Not really! It's a myth. The best predictor of future behavior
is past behavior.

JG
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-22-2005, 07:20 PM   #137
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550
Laurence,

After observing people at several large mega-corporations where I've worked for 25+ years, I've also wondered why some people (seemingly with similar educations and abilities) have achieved more 'success' than the others.*

Realizing that 'success' (defined as pay increases, plum assignments, and promotions) is meted out by other humans, the system for doing so, thus, is imperfect. I think some contributing factors I've observed are:
  • their family backgrounds may have given them a network through which they have a connection that the others may not have
  • they may have graduated from a school that begets them a corporate 'connection' that others may not have
  • some people I've observed just don't know how to 'play the game' as well as some others; they think that hard work is what makes them successful whereas it is sometimes a function of other things
  • some people have been naturally gifted with the good looks and oratory skills that get them promoted ahead of the others
  • some people are willing to work that extra 1% to 5% harder than their peers
  • some people truly have the fortune to be in the right place at the right time (timing is everything)
  • some people are better at selling themselves and their work whereas others are quietly doing a great job and are overlooked by management
  • some people are fortunate to have acquired a mentor early in their careers who 'paves the way for them' behind-the scenes and thus secures them key assignments and connections which lead to money and promotions (I've even sat in on HR sessions where I've heard this referred to as having a 'pet'. And no one who isn't a 'pet' moves upward far into the well-paid ranks of management!)
I have also observed that often people get 'labeled' (both good and bad) early in their careers and it's difficult, if not impossible to change that label.

omni
I got labeled (by some) as a PITA and a trouble maker (with some
justification). Can't see that it held me back any. OTOH, I tend toward
the superaggressive, which can work quite well in business, but is less
useful in day to day social interaction. I wouldn't change a thing
(about me), so I guess that's the important thing.

JG
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-23-2005, 08:52 AM   #138
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

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Originally Posted by MJ
I agree, Laurence is very likable but it doesn't explain my job success as I am not all that likable and on top of that, I never finished college. 8)

Go figure. I tell you, it's that defective work gene.
I buy your theory of a defective work gene. I seem to have the same gene.

Most people though who are driven to work very hard seem to continue to do so, long after they could retire. Some of my partners are like that. One is about 70 now, still runs marathons, and works 10 hours a day.
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-23-2005, 10:08 AM   #139
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

I always thought there was something wrong with me, I couldn't wait to get out of work, I hate that work interferes with what I really want to do. The older I get the more I feel that way and now after reading here I realize I must have that defective gene too. What a relief!!! LOL

Cj
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy
Old 10-23-2005, 03:36 PM   #140
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Re: ER - the Rational Response to a world going crazy

I think there still is the ability to change class in the USA, but not everyone is going to take advantage of it. People may think they want to "move up", but it involves making tough choices. Perhaps to some extent people feel more comfortable staying in the class they were born in.

I base this on my family. Father--maintenence man; Mother--Stay at home mom; working class all the way. My siblings all chose to follow this pattern. My sisters all wanted to stay at home with their kids, but each ended up divorced (multiple times) and working out of the home. Brother quit high school and learned a trade. This was back in the '70s, which I believe was the last decade when a working class kid could reasonably expect to find a living wage job with a high school diploma (or none, even.)

I got the college degree, postponed marriage, postponed children. Married, no divorce. My husband and I both found white-collar jobs in government, not much in terms of wages, but good pensions and health care. I would have prefered to stay home with my kids, but I compromised with a half time job.

None of my sibs are stupid or lazy, but the difference between "right choices" and "wrong choices" decides where you go on the ladder. From my observations, these are the "wrong choices":

education: High school diploma, GED or dropout
Marriage and children at a young age

Multiple marriages.

For women: marrying one loser after another, because you feel sorry for them. Or marrying some idiot because he is the father of your children. Marrying anyone and thinking you can improve them. Relying on men to support you, in short, and not preparing for a career in case you end up having to work out of the home.

Ensuring future ill-health by smoking, lack of exercise, alcoholism and drug abuse.

A history of petty crime, even if you've "gone straight"

Mental illness, depression, low self esteem

A basic attitude that higher attainment is impossible, and people who do attain are "cheating" somehow, through getting unfair advantages.

A fatalistic attitude that you might as well spend what you've got now and get a little pleasure from it, because you'll never save enough to make a difference.

Obviously there are exceptions to these points, but overall I'd say these are the things that sank my sibs' expectations.* Unfortunately, I'd also have to say that their role models were my mom and dad.
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