That "taste of the real world" Marvin talked about when he fired me involved learning to compromise my standards of behavior in order to succeed. "You'll come back here some day to tell me I was right about what you have to do to survive." In a way Marvin did me a favor. His statement challenged me to make a life-long pact with myself never to give up on my values.
Marvin was right about a tough world populated by sharks in sheep's clothing who offer unscrupulous paths to success. I've worked for more than one. There was the private school director who wanted staff to spy on each other; the designer who dumped her business partners when they were no longer of use; the narcissistic library director who demanded adulation. I might have more money in the bank if I followed Marvin's advise.
Money doesn't equal the kind of success I seek. The people I value don't take the easy path. The co-worker who refused to bend to unfair labor practices; the architect who reached for high design standards even when her work wasn't appreciated; the teachers who gave their hearts to children in need without thought of fair compensation. What they have shared with me is priceless.
I've "tasted the real world" and found sweetness in integrity.