Mar 2008 – Oakland, California: Don’t Be A Know-It-All

When I first started my career, I was sent to Oakland to work on a client.  It was an experience I would never forget.

I started my career off as an auditor.  Yes.  I was one of those annoying kids who used to question people about how they did their jobs.  It was a large learning curve and it was either sink or swim.  It was a fairly important audit as the client was ready to go public.  Everything was questioned to make sure all the ‘i’ were dotted and the ‘t’ were crossed.  It was a stressful environment.

The client was in Oakland, so I was working with the Bay Area office.  It was an interesting experience to work with the Bay Area staff and a team comprised with mainly women.  It’s obvious people in different parts of the world have different viewpoints and solutions to problems.  In other words, people’s personality and mentality are different.

During the engagement, I met this kid who was a few years out of college like myself.  We were both starting our careers and eager to make an impression on management.  However, he was in his early 20s and I was in my late 20s.  I was a late bloomer when it came to college.  That’s the reason I used the term ‘kid’ cause I had a good 7 years on him.

Anyway, I would never forget the experience.  He was a Berkeley grad and recruited by a lot of firms.  He was a sharp kid and he came off a bit smug, snooty and pretentious.  Also, he was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioner and a big fan of the UFC.  We shared a mutual interest in Mixed Martial Arts; in addition, I trained in Muay Thai and I dabbled in BJJ.  I thought it was a great opportunity to bond.  However, I was wrong.

Sunsets are the best on a plane

One day, we were talking about the UFC versus Pride FC.  For those who don’t know, Pride FC was the Japanese UFC counterpart.  They were eventually purchased by the UFC, so the stable of fighters were merged into the UFC.  He was a UFC advocate; he believe UFC fighters were better than Pride FC fighters.  I asked him how he came to that conclusion.

He couldn’t give me a convincing answer.  He kept saying because they are and that’s why the UFC bought Pride FC.  He added that his ‘years’ of BJJ made him more knowledgeable on the topic than me.  It kind of made me chuckle cause I’m no Muay Thai Kru nor do I have any belts in BJJ.  However, I’ve gotten punch in the face by many professional fighters during my years of training.  In addition, I’ve been submitted more than enough times by high-level BJJ practitioners that compete on a regular basis.  I think my experience has given me enough knowledge to determine a quality fighter.


With that said, the debate went on for another five minutes.  I could tell he was getting frustrated cause he couldn’t provide a convincing argument.  Therefore, I decided to end the conversation by asking him, “How are UFC fighters better than Pride FC fighters when the majority of current UFC champions are former Pride FC fighters?”  He responded, “No, they’re not.”  I told him to look it up on the website.  This debate occurred during the period when Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Quinton Jackson, Anderson Silva, Georges St Pierre and BJ Penn were UFC champions. The only non-Pride FC fighters were Georges St Pierre and BJ Penn.  He didn’t say much after that.

We never talked about the UFC again.  I found the debate to lackluster because the kid’s background made him a know-it-all.  The conversation made me realized how I shouldn’t approach a debate or a subject.  It made me opened to people’s opinion and/or advice until I found all the support I needed to make my own conclusion.  With that said…

Don’t Be A Know-It-All

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