Mean People Got Nothing to Live For – Except Cash

I was reluctantly driving to work this morning, with my trusty NPR station on and I hear it. The results of a 20-year study have just been released. Mean people make significantly more money than nice people. Really? That just sucks. Sucks the big one.

I guess I knew it on some gut level. I mean the Nasty by Nature gal in our office is rarely messed with. They keep her in her own office – away from the regular folks. Her reputation as a pain (which she revels in) has traveled corporately around the country. Everyone grimaces when they hear that it’s her on the phone. But I’d be willing to bet she managed to wrangle more base pay than the average bear.

Then the scales of justice appeared in my brain (luckily I have excellent visualization skills). I put extra bucks on one side then how I knew people felt about her (and for that matter how she feels about herself) on the other and – voila! – Karmic correction occurred.

I really don’t give a rat’s ass about money – witnessed by my current lifestyle, living in an RV craving Mickey D’s rather than patisserie  (I’m not really sure what that is) – so I don’t know why it bothered me in the first place. Except that it seemed terribly, horribly wrong.

However, I was so fascinated by this factoid that I went on an internet search for more information and found out the researchers are speculating that one reason for the extra pay is that managers are rewarding bad behavior. Basically, “here take this check and please, please don’t make my life any more miserable than you already have.”

Okay, I can live with that. If my boss cringed when I darkened his doorway I’d have to enter a convent – or something equally drastic. Let the meanies have their cash. I’d rather be nice and happy, than mean with droopy pockets. So, there!

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9 thoughts on “Mean People Got Nothing to Live For – Except Cash”

  1. We have a reverence for poverty; the nice guy on the Titanic was the poor one etc. I would bet the nice/bad ratio in people is about the same regardless of economic status. On the other hand the squeaky wheel does get the grease.

  2. I’d rather make life better for myself and others than have a boatload of money. On the other hand, I wouldn’t turn down a boatload of money if it suddenly came my way.

    1. Depends on how much money we’re talking about here. I could be a raging jerk for a couple of million. 🙂

  3. There’s an old saying I think everyone has heard; “Nice guys finish last.” I guess this study is more proof of that.

  4. Let’s not get carried away here. I read this study and it’s actually a bunch of crap. People who are very intelligent, focused, and direct that don’t engage in needless small talk get work done and drive economic growth. You can choose to ignore the importance of a strong economy until you are out of work and hungry and truly what being nice gets you. I am often misclassified as ‘mean’ because I get shit done and could not careless about how you spent your weekend or what your kids are doing. Somebody in this country has to care about money because that is what drives a capitalist society.

    Yes, there are true assholes at work and they should be treated with the following advice.

    “In a room full of assholes, you must become an asshole or you will get treated like a pussy” I made that up but it’s true.

    1. So, we all make choices. My choice – I’d rather be happy than rich, laugh rather than piss people off. May not have been born into the capitalist gene pool.

      1. I don’t really believe in the happy OR rich philosophy. I think there are many wealthy who are selfish. That I do see, but I think people can be both rich and happy. Money has nothing to do with happiness. We make our own. To choose happiness over money sort of sets limits, and I don’t believe in limits.

  5. I think it’s time we turn this around and every time someone is mean or arrogant, they get $1,000 deducted from their salaries and that money goes to a nice person. I think most CEO’s would be broke in no time.

    1. I’m with you Donna – then we can have Niceness Returns and divvy up the proceeds among those that spread the most joy in the world (except people with their own network, or multi-million dollar contracts, etc.) I gotta few waitresses I can add to the Niceness list!

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