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BabylonFree's avatar

Can a decent honest person survive in this world?

Asked by BabylonFree (208points) April 17th, 2010 from iPhone

All if not most people that have a good paying job either got on there by sneaky schemez or got pulled in by friends or friends friends. I’m tired of this, because the rest of us decent people get manipulated, got advantage of.

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35 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

This is conspiracy theorist paranoia at its worst. Most people earned their positions.

Chongalicious's avatar

I’ve made it this far… so I don’t see why not!

john65pennington's avatar

I am proud to state that i did not know anyone, when i applied for a police officer position way back in 1964. i walked into the front door of police headquarters, met the assistant police chief and filled out an application. after reading my resume, i was hired on the spot.

Yes, it does happen to good people. i do believe that a person must be blessed and have a good amout of good luck for this to happen today.

janbb's avatar

Bitter much? Obviously something has been bothering you.

slick44's avatar

Go to college, you can get a great job too. Thats honest.

cornbird's avatar

Of course they can.

dpworkin's avatar

I have earned every position I have taken since I entered the workforce in 1967, and I am putting myself through 6 years of higher education right now so that I can qualify for a better job, which I will be able to begin at the time when most people are retiring. quit bitching, get off your lazy ass and earn a job.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Opportunism and pragmatism are ones of many reason many people still survive until nowadays.

earthduzt's avatar

@slick44 Going to college isn’t the only way to get a good job or one you love. To bad it has been ingrained in our heads that this is the case. For some people college is great and then there’s others that it just doesn’t cut it for them, but that doesn’t mean those poeple were lazy or anything like that. There are tons of successful people out there that didn’t go to college. I also have seen many people that got out of college that aren’t even working in the field that they majored in or that can’t even find or get a job that they went to academia to pursue.

I would rather hear from people “work hard, have a goal, pursue what you want and be persistent.” if that includes going to college then great, if no t then great…being successful is relative to what you think successful is. College isn’t the end all be all though, jobs and success don’t just fall into your lap once you walk out of there with a degree.

And to the OP not every successful person is a slimy and shady character that muscled, killed, or rose to the top by “selling their so called soul to the so called devil”. Whatever the case they had to think critically in the choices that they made to become successful, who they chose to associate themselves with and the persistence it took them to get there (it doesn’t happen over night) Whether they got there honestly or dishonestly they had to work hard either way and it shouldn’t matter to you it’s their life…just be prepared to face any consequences that may or will occur depending on the path you choose to take.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Naaah…that’s why I became a cat burglar;)

DarkScribe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Naaah…that’s why I became a cat burglar;)

How many cats can you steal in one night?

john65pennington's avatar

Good morning. Lucy!

filmfann's avatar

I get the feeling that you will not be satisfied in any job. I know it seems others have it easy, but that isn’t always the whole truth of it.
You will need to find happiness within yourself, first.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@DarkScribe – It depends on the size of the purse I’m carrying ;)
@john65pennington -Good morning!! :)wanna cat?

ninjacolin's avatar

let this be a lesson to you: knowing people, getting along with others, being a person others respect.. is important and moral. there isn’t anything wrong with people in power giving opportunities to those subordinates they respect. don’t just do amazing work and expect that to be enough, be a likable person too.

partyparty's avatar

Yes I do most certainly think a decent honest person can, and does, survive in this world.
And most people have worked hard to achieve what they have.

laureth's avatar

The job market is different now than it was in the 60s. Today, when thousands of people apply for some single job openings, one of the easiest ways for HR to pick from the hordes of applicants is to ask current employees for recommendations. It has nothing to do with decency, and a lot to do with expediency.

That said, liars have the advantage over nonliars (at least until they’re found out and dealt with), for the same reason that nonviolent cultures are run over by ones willing to fight.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It seems that in the world today pure merit and ability to do the job are less important than social connections. It can be done though, but you have to be damned near the best at what you do. The idea of loyalty to an employer is dead. The simplest method is to work your way into a key position and do not share your working methods with anyone. Avoid “team” projects like the plague, the key is individual productivity that no one else can take credit for and the employer cannot duplicate if you are laid off. You won’t advance in the organization, but you’re unlikely to be laid off either.

Outside of private employment, one can earn a decent living in civil service or the military. Just memorize the rules and follow them to the letter, no matter how ridiculous they seem. In these jobs, following rules is more important than productivity. Put in your thirty and collect your pension.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I consider myself to be a “decent, honest person,” and I have survived quite well to the ripe old age of 67 ( next month ).

Jeruba's avatar

Your assumption is false.

In more than 40 years of working life I have run across no more than four or five people that I knew got their jobs through connections. I have seen some people advance on brown-nosing or wearing senior management down until they got promoted, but most people advanced on merit and were competent to handle their new positions.

I ended my career last fall with a very well-paying job, but it took me 25 years to get there. Until 2000 I was never paid much more than average for my job title despite the fact that I was consistently rated a top performer. I didn’t work for big-bucks companies until the last decade.

But I never thought I was unfairly treated, and I never made up fictions about other people and their jobs to explain my own dissatisfaction.

My son is a deeply decent, honest person who has just begun his career as a lawyer because he wants to make the world a better place. He doesn’t expect to make a lot of money, and that is fine with him. I believe that he will end his career the same way, even though I won’t be around to see it.

bobloblaw's avatar

Wait, wait. What’s wrong w/getting your job/position through social connections? To reject that notion is to reject a major component of how human society works: utilization of social capital. It’s only natural that humans, being the social machines that we are, rely on it. We form relationships and use those relationships in almost every aspect of our lives. There’s no way you can do everything purely on merit. You’re going to have to know someone eventually, however minor that may be.

Of course, there’s a difference between nepotism and using social capital. The former completely ignores merit/human capital while the latter doesn’t necessarily exclude merit/human capital..

Pandora's avatar

Nothing wrong with getting a job through connections. Doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t deserve it or won’t earn it. My daughter had a bachelors degree and finally got interviewed for a great job because of connections. However it was her interview and skills that got her the job and she continues to advance because she is a hard worker and learns quickly. Before that, everyone either said she was too skilled or that they were looking for someone with more actual experience. How was she to get experience if no one would hire her. I know plenty of college degree students working at chain stores because of the lack of experience in their chosen field.
After tons of applications she was feeling bitter. Especially when she had to work in a chain store doing nothing related to what she could actually do. However she would work for friends and family building a reputation and practicing her skills till she would get a break. At the interview that is what worked greatly in her favor.
It takes time but yes, eventually a person can survive. You have to just be persistent and learn how to network.
Liars eventually show their true colors.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Who you know is as important as what you know.
That ain’t new.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

Yes they can, but they have to be careful of certin temptations, they have to really stand their ground and be firm about it.

CaptainHarley's avatar


It sounds to me as if you may ( just “may,” mind you ) be blaming your own lack of experience in finding a “good-paying job” on the somewhat questionable tactics of others in doing so.

jerv's avatar

It’s hard, especially in the US, but possible.

BTW, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of people who succeeded a few years ago have had their worlds come tumbling down, whether it be through greed causing them to make bad investments or criminal prosecution.

That is why I measure success with things other than the size of my paycheck. Sure, I drive a beater car and have to struggle to make rent sometimes, but I have a wife that puts up with me and still loves me so I haven’t really failed :)

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’m under no delusions. I’m well-off financially simply because of my cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure from exposure to Agent Orange while I was in Vietnam for 2 years, and because of the three pounds of metal holding my right leg together. Sometimes I feel guilty for kinda “sneaking in the back door” this way, but then I remember how very, very close I came to dieing so many times. We play the hand we’re delt, and sometimes we lose, and sometimes we win.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I’ve done okay so far, I am going to have my degree before I am 20, and I still have the cash for a short overseas trip later this year. Anyone can get ahead in life, it just takes good judgement, knowing your unique skills, and a shedload of hard work.

phillis's avatar

There is a reason that the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know” exists. People didn’t just pull it out of their asses, nor does it make any sense to categorically call them all “bitter”. I can’t blame anyone for taking advantage of a job offer extended to them because of a social or personal connection. But I feel no guilt at all in placing the blame on the person who did the extending. Between connections and affirmative action, Atlanta is a cesspool filled with people who half-ass their jobs. No matter what company you call, in this area or any other, it’s damn near impossible to get anyone to actually help you. They simply don’t care.

Hexr's avatar

I understand where this question is coming from. I would much rather work with someone, or have someone hired over me who is actually better at the job, and not someone who happens to know the manager or whatever. Favouritism can be a very dangerous thing, and can prevent the person most capable of doing the job from getting recognized. I am not saying all people who get jobs through other people are less capable of doing their jobs, but I know of many instances of it happening, and I would be extremely angry if a job I worked hard to get was given to someone else simply because of the fact that they happen to know someone I don’t know.

jerv's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh And a bit of luck. I tend to be lacking in that.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@jerv Definitely, luck helps too. You can always compensate though, if you learn how to create your own opportunities.

thriftymaid's avatar

I’ve been around quite a while.

mollypop51797's avatar

I think I’m doing okay so far but then again, no one is perfect so we’ve just got to try our best!

phoebusg's avatar

It may be slightly more difficult to get through interviews and such. Because you don’t put up a more desirable facade. The criteria of hiring committees and interviewers could be tweaked – definitely. Overall though, you still have a good chance of “making it” without having to sacrifice your honesty or integrity at all.

I’ve failed a couple of interviews for exciting jobs, due to my open honesty policy—but it’s ok.

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