Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Negative Competition September 21, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 8:21 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is unhealthy.

As a kid, I remember bashing the other team. I still joke about it now as an adult, but it’s a joke (No, I don’t really hate Michigan, folks. It’s just fun to have a rival). Back then, I was serious. I hated that team and it’s mascot. I hated the people who went to that team’s school. I hated the coach and all the staff too. Hate. Emotions of a teenager  — illogical at best. “UA Sucks” I chanted from the stands and I meant it. Later, as an adult, I worked in UA, ate lunch in UA, drove through UA and I realized UA does not suck. It is quite beautiful. UA is a place I’d live in a heartbeat (if it was in a different climate). I love UA!!


I think I’m too far removed. And I like it that way.

I don’t do TV other than using it to entertain and educate my children. I’ll sit down to watch a medical show now and again to educate myself. I’ll watch a late night game with Rich just to spend time with him minus the kids. It’s a tool.

Because of this, I am not bombarded with the election. I haven’t seen the political ads. It’s a good thing. I can’t stand the smut that drives these campaigns to lower themselves to the level of teenagers in negative competition. It’s like glorified high school. Ick!!

There is this woman who goes to my church. She’s in my Thursday night Bible study. This past week was our first one. She almost immediately started talking about the election. I was sitting right next to her and I totally shut the heck down. Election talk at a Bible study? How inappropriate to me. Plus, she acted as if everyone in the room is voting for her candidate of choice. Interesting. Thankfully the two women in charge successfully shut her up after four different tries. Ei Yi Yi!!

I remember competition in the work place. I remember working at one national jewelry chain and competing with the other popular retail jewelry chain down the mall. I remember coming in at a lower price to get the sale. I remember walking customers down to their store to compare quality, price, warranty, etc. and always (always) getting the sale. The employees of that store hated to see me coming with one of their potential customers. They knew they were about to kiss that sale goodbye. And they were right.

I remember working for a subcontractor who did work for the #1 builder in Columbus, Ohio. I also remember how tough the competition was to keep the contract and how easily low-balled we could get. My boss was forever canoodling with the big wigs at this builder in order to keep good relations. He bought them lunches, dinners, did stuff at their personal homes without charging them, took them golfing, and they took and took from him. He needed that contract. He fed, sheltered, and clothed his family with that contract. He paid his employees with that contract. It was everything to him. To lose it meant he could lose everything he had worked for.

I was also a licensed Realtor once. That is one competitive, back-biting industry. Too stressful. Too many Realtors competing for your clients. I couldn’t take it. My Dad is a Realtor and he has been taken advantage of time and again. He’s good at what he does, but he gets burned too and it is hard for me to take when I know it’s happening. My brother-in-law is a very successful Realtor. I have a friend whose husband is also a Realtor. It’s a tough job. It takes nerves of steel and perseverance. It takes nights and weekends and always being attached to your cell phone. I takes hours upon hours of work and sometimes deals fall through. It can be laced with negativity and deceit. Ugh!!

In the midst of this competition, there was much negativity. Negative talk among employees. Negative banter when the other company got a better deal or a better contract or a better client. Negative.

It’s not healthy.

I have heard that there are a lot of hospital politics. I hope, for the life of me, that when I become a nurse it won’t get to me. I hope I won’t get sucked in.

How much better would a person or company look if they took the high road every single time?

How many more customers would flock to buy their products if they refused to come down to that negative level of competition and just kept it above and beyond them to behave that way?

How many more votes would a candidate get if he or she absolutely refused to cut down the other candidate no matter how hateful the other candidate was?

What if we raised our expectations? What if we no longer tolerated the negative? What if we, ourselves, decided not to be negative? What impact would that have on our society that seems to thrive on negativity?

It’s a challenge. Especially for me. But I’m up for it. Anyone want to join me?

Let’s refuse to succumb to negative competition. Let’s refuse to cut others down even when we don’t agree or when we’re being attacked. Let’s turn the other cheek — let’s do it!

Who is with me?


6 Responses to “Negative Competition”

  1. Holly Says:

    Competition is good for the economy and the consumer. Otherwise you’d have a monopoly and with that arrogance and horrible customer service: Case #1 the US Postal Service. You can have Fed Ex or UPS or DHL deliver things for you, but daily mail at a bulk rate of 18 cents a piece, or First Class 42 cents a piece. Competition in the work place, is incredibly hard – I’m having a hard time dealing with it – but it’s healthy. Without someone competing with me, why would I bother to get better and be better at my job? It keeps us growing and not complacent. Without competition we wouldn’t have better phones, faster Internet, better vitamins, cleaner facilities, etc. The list goes on.
    Political Campaigns. While the “negative attacks” seem to get to you, as they do most people (I personally love them as it makes my job interesting, as the fluffy ads are 95% of the day – to get some meat in a few here and there is a nice break).
    Keep in mind that 99% of voting citizens do not know a lick about candidates. Sure – go to that Candidates Web site and find out all the fluff they WANT YOU TO KNOW. It is the opposing candidate’s responsibility to get the truth out there to the public about the opponent. Without the known reality that what you do as an elected, public official will one day likely be aired to your voters, thus effecting your re-election chances – is the only, ONLY, real way to hold out elected officials accountable. You absolutely want them, each and every one of them, to be held accountable. So – while we get enough of the fluff and even more enough of the “negative attacks” … we must bear through it, as how else can we hold them accountable? Knowing you may not be re-elected because your dirt will be aired by your opponent is a sure thing.
    Negative competition? I am, as I stated above, dealing with what I would classify as this. But – I think it’s more that I am dealing with an undermining ass-clown, not so much competition, because there is no competition there, we don’t even fill the same role.

  2. candidchatter Says:

    Right you are — the focus word is “negative” though. Competition, in pure form, is healthy. Negative competition is not.


  3. Debateur Says:

    I agree with Holly that competition is good but only if it is done in a professional way and in the right settings. I just don’t think that mud slinging is appropriate and I do think that in some settings collaboration gets you a better product than competiion. Case in point the workplace. I’ve seen far better products produced by collaboration than competition.

    As for elections they always make me feel uncomfortable because it’s so difficult to separate the truth from fiction.

  4. Competition is good, within reason. When competition becomes God, it is wrong, then again, when anything but God is God, then it is wrong!

    I love competing…it makes me stronger when I push myself. Very often, the person I am competing against never even knows…it’s just my own person drive and motivation…

    Politicans…can’t trust any of them…none…nada…zero…Not a high opinion of them, can you tell?

  5. jimmy paravane Says:

    ahh, but negativity is the engine of imperfection. It drives you toward arrogance, and away from your God. Your enemy is heavily invested in this battle front-line. Allowing you to disengage might cause you to be more effective. What do you think is going to happen? (grin)

  6. candidchatter Says:

    Precisely, Jimmy. You like to hit nails on their heads, I see.


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