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There is no worse misfortune, than establishing a bad precedent.

The first time you're asked to do overtime, you feel like you have a choice. It feels innocent.

You can't be further from the truth. By agreeing to something, you establish a precedent.

Next time, there will be less friction, less consideration, since you already agreed once. The window has been broken.

Before long, everyone will be encouraged to make overtime, because everyone else does it, because they agreed, because it's the way we are. The battle is lost before it started.

Every decision has consequences, and you must have wisdom to see precedents as they form.