Should you put up with CRAP?

One of my definitions of CRAP is Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, and Prejudice. Here’s an email which touches on the “A” part of CRAP. It’s from Kine Bergseth, following a talk I gave at the Gulltaggen marketing conference in Oslo, Norway.

“Hi Richard. Thank you for making my day. I really enjoyed everything you said. My question is: Should you take crap from someone or leave, even if that ruins your career in the company and everything you have worked for over the last four years?”

Well, Kine, generally, the only time it’s worth taking crap is if you’re getting something good in return. Gardeners put crap (fertilizer) on their gardens and beautiful roses grow. Sometimes the same thing happens when people lay crap on us. It stinks, but out of it we might gain knowledge, insight, opportunities, money, or something else that helps our career. Note: never put up with crap just for the money. There must be some other benefits.

At my company, we once had a client who treated everyone like crap (except his bosses). He was a bully who yelled at people, treated them rudely, and made incredible demands. But he was also a loyal client who gave us challenging projects, supported us, and pushed us to do our best. As a result, we produced good work, won awards, and got new clients. Out of his crap came some roses.

So, Kine, are there any roses to keep you there? If you persist through the crap, will the four years you’ve already invested start to flower? If so, maybe it’s worth staying. But, don’t stay just because of the time you’ve invested. That’s the past. If you look ahead and take your knowledge to another company, it could breathe new life into your career.

The bottom line is, if you’re getting crap from someone ask yourself, “Am I getting any roses out of this?” If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s worth hanging in there. If not, get out and move on. Life stinks if you spend it in a toilet.

  • MJC

    Wise words, but as a proud man, it is hard to take crap from someone in the office just because they’re in a senior position. I’m personally struggling as I know I shouldn’t take it on the chin, but if I don’t I’ll probably lose my job (and let’s face it, in the current climate a ‘good’ job is hard to come by). Any advice?