When I was a youngster, toiling away at what used to be Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems (now Cingular Wireless), I swore off office politics. I reported to work, fended off oldsters who hit on me and my "sexy voice" daily, pretended to sell extra features, took much too long constructing a faux jellyfish from a styrofoam plate and bits of plastic for a team decorating contest, just generally toiled there in my cubicle from morning 'til night, fixing glorified walkie talkies. Then (usually a few minutes early), I went home. As a result, I never got the attention (nor the raises) of my superiors.
Then I got ten years older. The world and its ways slowly and painfully revealed themselves to me. I realized, that in all kinds of realms, you have to do as Freddie Mercury suggests, and "Play the game, play the game, play the game, play the game!"
With a single email that could have been utter bullstuff (it wasn't, but the point is, verification of my lofty claims didn't occur), I convinced my old asshole boss that I knew something after all. He decided that perhaps I was in fact the cat's pajamas. I had made myself, and hence him and the school, look good.
This feat, after 3 or 4 years of indifference and/or hassling from him, convinced me completely. Now, I jockey for position as all who get ahead seem to.
I don't misrepresent my deeds, and I do work a good bit harder than I did back then, 'tis true, but now I frame my doings in gilded rectangles, wrap them in festive tissue paper and present regular news of them like gifts to my overlords. I am my own press secretary.
What are 'principles' in youth look like foolish obstructions of prestige and cashflow in slightly older age.
Print that on a batch of fortune cookies and distribute at your next office holiday party.