Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sucking up

Sucking up - I don't half wish I could do it! Having read Agent 007's piece on sucking up, I reckon it's one of those things which would have enhanced my archaeological career no end. There are also implications for any type of writing I do as well, and I'm getting very strong whiffs of it as I become more familiar with the territory. It's not a case of being to proud to do it, it's just that I don't have a clue (oy, what's new then?)

Some people just don't have the knack, and I am one of them. Just occasionally in my career, I have realised that I could do with cultivating a good relationship with someone who might be able to help me (and that's the major reason for sucking up, of course). However, my efforts haven't had any effect. Probably trying to hard. Must admit, the people I've tried to cultivate have, for various reasons, been people I quite like. Perhaps I should try it with people I detest? However, I normally detest them for good reasons, and am loath to keep their poisonous/stupid/idiotic/pompous company for any longer than is strictly necessary!

Conversely, I have helped people whether they suck up to me or not. For example, there is a person, now well established in English Heritage who wouldn't have his job if he hadn't met me by chance. I mentioned that EH was looking for someone in a minor post. Of course, he won't remember that 'chance' that I gave him (of course, it was up to him what he did with it), and I doubt he remembers me. If I was canny, I would have cultivated a continuing acquaintance with him, and he may have been able to help me in some way.

For a long time, I never expected any pay-back for this sort of thing. In fact, I had no idea I was being so generous. When, after fifteen years (!) I realised things were going pear-shaped for me, that people ignored me if I had nothing to give them, I started to understand. Now I know I'm naive and, frankly, clamp down on helping people in this manner. It's a shame it's come to that, but I'm the one left to pick up the pieces of my career in ruins (pun intended). It's a shame I'm not more savvy. It's just the way I am :-)


At 11:44 am BST, Blogger Diane said...

Huh! Must be where I've gone wrong all these years too. I'm too honest for my own good. And I hate it when people suck up to me - not that it happens too often, but I have been heard to say: "Cut the flannel and get on with it".

At 7:45 pm BST, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Honestly, I have more respect for the other editor that left than for 007. And I won't call it "pride" to refuse to suck up, I'd call it self respect.

Both my father and I probably have missed promotions for that, but we don't regret it.

At 8:56 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I think the quandary here is who is it hurting to suck up? I suspect it's a fact of life and perhaps sometimes one has to do it to get one wants.

I certainly didn't get on in archaeology despite being extremely dedicated, and working in crap conditions, including low pay and short contracts. If I'd sucked up more, I would have progressed. I can point to several worthless entities who have done very nicely due to talking the boss's (pompous) language and getting substantial patronage. I'm just too honest and straight talking to do it.

At 7:07 pm BST, Blogger crissachappell said...

sad but true....


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