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  1. This! Mr. Groovy, this kind of post puts me in a “groovy kinda love” . It takes a lifetime to build trust but not even a minute to destroy it. Many examples abound where people abused their privileged positions thinking they are untouchable. Time gets them all. A penny earned honorably is worth a lot more in my book than millions earned in dubious means.
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…Fire Your Financial Advisor!My Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it. Your comment puts me in a “groovy kinda love.” You’re a wise man, TFR. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • Mr. Groovy

      No offense taken at all, Angela. As soon as I heard “don’t be a shithead,” I bowed my head like the Devil in Georgia because “I knew I’d been beat.” The only honorable thing to do was to give Mr. WoW the “golden fiddle.”

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true, BB. Here’s another one for you. I had a college professor who always shared the following quote.

      “Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.”

      So beautiful, so simple. And yet it took me nearly 20 years to finally embrace. Sigh.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I should have noted that I stole that motto from the Ford Motor Company. Was my failure to do that dishonorable? Damn, it’s tough being an ethical blogger.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! You’re right, Lisa. I am conflating the two. When the idea struck me to advance the financial benefits of of honor, I was having trouble coming up with a non-work related example. I still think I’m onto something, but this post didn’t really support my theory. Got to work on this. Thanks for pointing out the weakness of this post. I appreciate it. Cheers.

  2. Great post! I believe that if you come to work on time, put in a good effort and DBAS, good things will happen. That attitude has worked for me in my career. The DBAS applies to all aspects of life as Mr. WoW so eloquently put it on the Fire Drill Podcast. It is a great listen. Good things seem to happen to good people. It may take a while but in the end, I believe good people always win.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. The problem is the “good things” aren’t guaranteed and people aren’t patient. How do we teach people to appreciate ambiguity and delayed gratification?

  3. “I take care of the good ones and crush the bad ones.”

    That is outstanding! I’ve seen bad apples come and go at my work place. They get by for awhile but then usually step on the wrong person’s toes eventually. Getting along with people shouldn’t be that hard to do. But it sure is for some people.

    • Two things always amaze me about this where I work:
      1) Do people really think that no one is going to notice when they take advantage of someone else or do something to get ahead in a dishonorable way?
      2) Why can’t people just be nice and get along.

      It blows me away when people have a double standard for

        • Mr. Groovy

          Outstanding points, PP. Couldn’t have said it better myself. When I was growing up, the phrase “don’t embarrass the family name” was common coin. And, yet, despite this, shitheadery was all around my government job. It really eroded the trust and respect that people in a joint venture need to achieve excellence. Thanks for stopping by, PP. I really appreciate what you added to our conversation. Cheers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. If you don’t like your job, don’t take it out on your co-workers or boss. Get another job. And in the mean time, do your job well and treat everyone with respect. Like you said, Mr. DS, it isn’t hard.

    • Mr. Groovy

      So true, my friend. Why do people insist on making things more complicated? When I first started in my government job, the old timers used to tell us to be “deaf, dumb, and blind.” That was their way of saying, “don’t make a fuss, do you work, and get stuff done.”

  4. I agree about the importance of honor and DBAS, which is why I get so angry when I see someone who has no honor getting ahead. Now maybe karma will take care of them later, but I’m a bit impatient! Anyway, back when I was a manager, I certainly tried to accommodate my good employees when they had a need, but I also had to be careful not to allow too many exceptions for any one person in fairness to the group.
    Gary @ Super Saving Tips recently posted…18 Money Saving Ideas for St. Frugaltine’s DayMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great point, Gary. There’s a fine line between fairness and spitefulness. The good thing about the PTO perk was that is was so seemingly trivial, no went around bragging about it. Supervisors, thus, never had to defend their unequal treatment of underlings.

  5. With all of the hard work you put in, I think your boss got a bargain. An hour of time from an employee like yourself was worth much more than an hour from one of the “bad ones”. Plus you showing up early. I’d say your boss got a dividend too. Win-win!

    • Mr. Groovy

      The bar for being a “good one” at my government job was so low it was pathetic. So for twenty-one years I was a “good one.” I wasn’t a great one until the last 11 years of my government career. Something just clicked and being good was no longer good enough. I wanted to give the taxpayers their money’s worth; I wanted to be an “excellent one.” And I’m happy to say that even with my PTO perk, I made the taxpayers proud. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. Always a pleasure hearing from you.

  6. Once you establish trust many efficiencies become possible. Thus a lot of fortunes have been are built upon honor.

    But trust can be domain-specific. If I were a screenwriter with the right script, I could trust Mr. Weinstein to make it into a hit movie and make us both a ton of money. Conversely, I could trust my children and pets in a Motel 6 overnight with someone who I wouldn’t trust to manage my portfolio.

    It’s not just a morals thing, but a competence thing. We need to identify and vet people with character and competence fitted to the roles they play in our lives.

    Each of us is susceptible to different temptations. When one prays “lead us not into temptation” that may require avoiding the refrigerator, the bar, or the casino. Know your vices and those of your associates and act accordingly.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Excellent point. Sometimes in life you have to deal with unsavory people. Harvey Weinstein was a rotten person but an accomplished producer. Damn it! Why do human beings have to be so complicated?

  7. Reminds me of the honey & vinegar attracting flies saying …. which begs the question: why would someone want to attract flies?

    Anyway – in addition to the little niceties like a flexible schedule, employees that don’t rock the boat are often looked out for in corporate restructuring and during bonus time as well. Those that are shitheads usually aren’t worth putting up with, and at the first opportunity, they’re let go.

    Keeping your job is another great benefit of being honorable.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Here’s one for you, Ty. In my last job, my duties were being transferred to the Dallas office. I would thus fly to Dallas once a month and help the analysts and programmers understand the business rules and mechanics of my job. I knew I was a dead-man walking and that once they could replicate my function, I was gone. But I didn’t care. I was debt free and close to FI. So I did everything I could to make the transition as easy as possible. Many times, when the analysts and programmers got stuck with the SQL required for my duties, I stepped in and wrote the SQL for them. I was, in effect, making the rope to hang myself. And here’s the thing. Two weeks before I was going to be let go, I got a call from my supervisor and he told me there was a job opening in our company’s Midwest region. It seems another Dallas supervisor who saw me working the analysts and programmers got wind of the opening. He then immediately went to my supervisor and said I’d be perfect for the job. Now a question. Would this supervisor have saved my ass if I were a shithead? I doubt it. Like you said, “[S]hitheads usually aren’t worth putting up with, and at the first opportunity, they’re let go.” Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I really appreciate what you had to say.

  8. Jeff D

    Mr. Groovy, I think your PTO math is even more in your favor. Shouldn’t that be $72,495.36.!! We can only bank 80 hours/year with a use it or lose it provision, so even if my math is wrong still jealous of the number of days you had. Have a great weekend JD

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re not wrong, my friend. I left my government job in 2006. At that time, you could bank 240 sick days, 60 vacation days, and an unlimited number of comp days (overtime you took in time rather than pay). So I saw a bunch of guys retire with more than 300 days of PTO. I even saw one guy retire with over 400 days of PTO. Life was good for the disciplined at my government job. Sadly, at least not from the taxpayers’ point of view, there were far more undisciplined bureaucrats than disciplined bureaucrats. Thanks for stopping by, JD. Appreciate it.

  9. This is definitely the way we live life. It helps. I really think it’s karma. Great post and funny how great minds think alike.

    You catch more flies with honey than vinegar as my mom always says.

    Thanks for the inclusion. DBAS is a great rule in life. It actually gets you pretty far. Even Buffett says that. “You don’t have to be right, just try to not be wrong”.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Ah, Mr. WoW. Love your hearty laugh and your no-nonsense wisdom. The financial mantra I will now preach to young people is as follows:

      “Spend less than you earn and don’t be a shithead.”

      This one pithy sentence tells a young person all he or she needs to know to win the money game. Thank you, sir.

  10. Being just a general good person will reap you dividends that scumbags will never get. This goes through all walks of life that you might not even expect.

    This may not be related completely, but I also find that there is a responsibility you have when you obtain financial independence, or have the knowledge of how to do it. I am nowhere close towards financial independence, but I feel as if I need to be a “good dude” to my friends/family/coworkers and help them (if asked) obtain financial independence.

    Great post as ALWAYS!

    • Mr. Groovy

      “I am nowhere close towards financial independence, but I feel as if I need to be a ‘good dude’ to my friends/family/coworkers and help them (if asked) obtain financial independence.”

      You are a “good dude.” And I salute you.

  11. “First, you will never be able to handle all the misfortune or adversity that comes your way. You will need help from time to time. Second, your fellow man is more apt to help you if you’re a nice person.”
    You are 100% correct on that one. I experienced this first hand when my life was turned upside down 4 years ago. I got all the support I needed because I always treat everybody with the respect they deserve!
    Caroline recently posted…My Blog Is All Grown Up! It Has Its Own Blogroll!My Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Amen, Caroline. I can’t tell how much I love helping out good people that I personally know. It’s so much more rewarding than writing a check to some big-ass charity. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for proving that cosmic justice is real. “Give, and it shall be given unto you.”

  12. Well, like most things in life, Mr. G, it’s never so clear cut. I think honor plays a part in earning financial dividends, but many other skills and character traits come into play to take those dividends to a meaningful level.

    For example, you invested your little wind fall. Some would have spent it all the minute they got it, under withheld the taxes and needed a loan when they did their tax return to settle up with Uncle Sam.

    I didn’t know you were academically trained in journalism. Now I understand one reason why your writing is top notch.

    Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…Work, Save, Invest, Build Wealth, but Never RetireMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! You’re too kind, Tom. I actually cringe at my writing, especially when I’m reading other bloggers such as yourself. And you are so right about honor not being the only key to attracting financial dividends. Learning how to delay gratification and invest will attract a shitload of financial dividends. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  13. I’m also in the public sector but we have great flex time policies now. So when I have a dentist appointment or what not, I can leave early and just make those 2 or 3 hours up by staying longer on other days in the same pay period. Flex time is amazing to save on PTO. I now have about 175 days of sick PTO in the bank. Not quite at your level but still a lot. And flex time has allowed me to accumulate a lot of it.

    And I heard the WoW podcast and was laughing at the DBAS rule. So true. …

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it, AF. Flex time is a godsend to those who don’t need to coordinate with others. For stance, in my last job, I largely worked alone. It didn’t matter if I started my day at 6 in the morning or 10 in the morning. As long as I did my job and gave my company an honest 8 hours a day, my boss was happy. And on most days, I worked the classic 9 to 5. But if I had to leave early for, say, a dentist appointment, I would simply start work a 6 or 7. Everyone won.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Lot of wisdom there, my friend. How is it that the constant complainers fail see how they’re sabotaging their careers and sucking the life out of the workplace?

  14. 100% with you on honor begets financial dividends. Those same people remember you later too – and may change your life. I was like you – early to work, stayed late and went above and beyond. It was noticed and I was asked to consider a different role. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the experiences I had and I have turned into one of those teachers just waiting for retirement. The $ value can’t even be measured because now I have freedom! And yep, DBAS is a good acronym too!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow! That’s powerful stuff, Vicki. Waiting for retirement is no way to live. Challenging yourself, solving problems, making life easier for your boss, co-workers, and customers–these are the keys to forging a meaningful career. Thanks for stopping by, Vicki. It’s always a pleasure hearing from a dedicated non-shithead. Cheers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I love it, Jason. “Fixing problems” is indeed the path to wealth, both monetarily and spiritually. Why do so many of us fail to see this?

  15. Julia

    I work in the public sector in HR. While you may have seen not having to use leave time to take time off as a perk, it is actually considered a gift of public funds…aka theft.

      • Groovy Mom

        I love this answer and totally agree. The deadwood at the job who barely do their job or fall short, they are the real thieves. Maybe she should look at them. Kick ass Mrs Groovy.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Julia. You’re wrong. But you weren’t given the context to know that. Here’s some more background.

      1. I always played by the rules and never expected “favors” of any sort. Whenever I had to leave early, I always submitted a PTO request.

      2. I don’t think my managers were wrong or unethical for rewarding me with an occasional PTO perk. Managers in the public sector don’t have the same sticks and carrots as their private sector counterparts. A private sector manager can reward his or her outstanding employees with bonuses. My managers didn’t have that option. A private sector manager can fire the dead wood. Again, because of civil service rules and politics, my managers didn’t have that option. My managers had no choice but to motivate their employees with unconventional sticks and carrots. The PTO perk was one such example.

      3. Finally, I really was a kick-ass civil servant who routinely went above and beyond the call of duty. On most days, I was at my desk an hour before my official start time, pecking away at my keyboard. So even with the PTO perk, the taxpayers still got their money’s worth from me.

      Okay, Julia, that’s my defense of the PTO perk. I think it was a legitimate management tool given the constraints my managers faced. What say you? Do you still think it’s theft?

  16. I sometimes catch myself being a shithead. But then, I work even harder to regain my sense of honor. See, those two themes CAN work together, Boss!

    I know this story well. As a manager, I’m more than giving with PTO (something I have actual control over.) In fact, I like to give my team a day “off the books” in December to enjoy time with friends and family. I figure that is more meaningful than a card or a bag of Twizzlers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Exactly! My managers couldn’t reward good employees with promotions or bonuses. Heck, my managers couldn’t reward good employees with a bag of freakin’ Twizzlers. But they could cut a good employee some slack if he or she needed to leave work a little early. You’re a good man, Cubert. I would have loved to have had you as a boss. Have a great weekend. Cheers.

    • such a great idea and one will win you over very loyal employees and improved morale. I have the crappiest boss ever. I’d seriously have moments of panic thinking the Invasion of the Body Snatchers was really here if he were to suggest this.