Lying, Cheat And Steal

Last month, someone circulated a list of her reasons why her boyfriend is a loser. (sadly most of those requirements I meet but another story for another post) I asked this person about the allegations and he would not comment on them.

I am reminded of the time when I was kicked out of school for cheating on an exam.

So my advice to this person, is to evaluate. Plus the accuser has a lot of friends and they probably have formed their own opinion. I published this list on this blog and he asked me to remove it. However I wrote him back a letter persuading him to keep it on. Why? When people criticize you, evaluate the credibility of the criticism, ask if it is founded and constructive and do things to better yourself. I know when I write this he’ll probably won’t care. He will read paragraph above and find ways to better himself.

Someone recently brought up the idea I should lie on my resume. In his words “apparently bullshit is a very transferable skill.” He couldn’t be more right. A lot of my readers have lied the gamut: cheated on their taxes, exaggerated their salary at their current job to get a new job to pay them more money and even lied about academic credentials. I have even caught people in lies. I may be unemployed but people know I sniff out lies better than mydog who finds snacks in my backpack. Here is a recent story about Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson, apparently a hedge fund has called out that the CEO of one of the largest search engines does not have a computer science degree. Resume padding: inconsequential or inexcusable.

I think back sometimes to the days at that college. And although I missed a lot of opportunities to participate in clubs, do research with a professor or study abroad. I remember one year I applied to Earth House, the interviewer told me what made me believe I was qualified to live there. She said “just majoring in environmental science does not qualify.”


1 Comment

Filed under Dick Don't Need No Education, Gainfully Unemployed, The Women of Dick

One response to “Lying, Cheat And Steal

  1. Dick your post was an interesting read, especially in face of that college’s honor code, an oath of allegiance to never lie, cheat, or steal while a member of the college community. Believe it or not, honor codes actually do keep most students in line, no less than at schools with explicit rules against cheating and disrupting the college experience of others. Essentially, this proves one thing: whether you have an honor code or not, there will still be people who lie, cheat, and steal and there will still be a vast majority of others that will never engage in such activities.

    It really comes down to what passes on your own moral compass, and if ALWAYS following the rules somehow harms your chances of success because others are willing to lie to get ahead. To think of it another way, the guy pumping gas at the local Mobil station might never have told a lie in his life and yet finds himself stuck at minimum wage; while the banking executive at Goldman Sachs who penned in a perfect 4.0 grade average on his resume got hired into a multi-million dollar job. Obviously most people would say the gas station worker is the better man, but clearly the lying Goldman exec has a very privileged life and an infinitely greater number of opportunities to improve himself and/or his family. In this case telling the truth closes some doors, while telling a lie opens others.

    I’ll use myself as an example. There were times in college when classmates pulled me aside and offered me a copy of a professor’s test well in advance of it being administered. I never once accepted any of these tests. I told myself that I would be the better person even if I got a C compared to the cheater that got an A.

    After college I thought doing the right thing would land me a great job, a beautiful wife, and an adoring family. Sadly, none of this happened. My degree from that college and 3.3 GPA did nothing for me. In fact, the only job I could find was working at a supermarket stacking adult diapers on shelves while monitoring mentally retarded coworkers from the local group home. I constantly second guessed myself and wondered if college was truly worth the trouble. A high school graduate could have easily done the work I was doing. Meanwhile, people from that college with superior GPAs and stronger skills were being tapped for jobs on Wall Street and Fortune 500 companies. Apparently if you’re dumb and honest you get the shaft in this world.

    So to cheat or not to cheat? If you can get an A without cheating, don’t cheat, that’s just a ridiculous thing to do. If, however, the only way you’ll get ahead in life is acing the next exam, then the prospect of cheating suddenly begins to make sense.

    I’m not stacking adult diapers anymore. I build websites and promote online gambling. Along the way I’ve had to lie to people, employ underhanded marketing tactics, and stepped on others in order to get ahead. On the other hand, I make significantly more money and have a much better life compared to my days at the supermarket. I now live life on my own terms even though it clearly comes at the expense of others.

    I can live with myself most of the time. On the days when I can’t, I ask myself if doing the right thing would make me sleep easier at night.

    My only advice: let’s face it, there are times when you have to lie, cheat, and steal. Not one successful person has been 100% honest 100% of the time. Even Mother Theresa had to out-compete other nuns in her order so that she could become a leader. Competition ultimately means you might have to play dirty.

    While I don’t advocate lying and cheating as a way of life, I would say there are times when you’re going to have to do it. If the other 99% of the time you do right by others, it’s not so bad managing the 1% of the time you have to be bad to get what you want.

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