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You give them an inch, they take a yard.

No, that’s not another one of Job Talk’s esoteric sexual puns—it’s the ill matter of performing favors for co-workers. (Do count the sexual puns in this article, though—the number’s listed at the rear.)

Being asked to break the rules for somebody and bending over backwards just because you’re friends not only puts you in a compromising position, it takes away your power and credibility.

The reverse is doubly unsatisfying: nobody wants the victim who always needs to be paid early because his finances are a disaster. Bringing the drama of your everyday life to the office by asking for special favors (especially getting your check early) not only kills your chances at a promotion, it lowers your status in the office considerably.

No matter how small the business, companies’ systems are set in stone for a reason. It’s to prevent workplace sanfus where co-workers are placed in vulnerable positions that detract from office performance and pile on dysfunction.

Business environments, especially at small-mid sized companies like Forster-Thomas, can get very close and familial. If you want it to stay intimate, everyone has to follow the guidelines set in place and not kneel down for any little favor.

You’re going to get ahead at work only when you stop focusing on being liked or looking for others to break the rules for you. Offering leeway only serves to open a Pandora’s box, where the compromise snowballs into a bunch of he-saids and she-saids and workplace drama that gets you nowhere.

Know the rules and stick to them. You might like your co-workers. Really like them. But the only way you’re going to move up and maintain workplace relationships is keeping your power, your dignity and your favors to yourself.


Sexual puns in this article: 69

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