That's the name of the game.
That's exactly why I get nowhere in my career. It's a dead end. From here on it's a death spiral. I just do my job to the best of my ability and work for the good of the company. I see others kissing tail and playing politics, which is the only way to get ahead, I know that, it has nothing and I mean nothing to do with your work, it's how you play the game. But you know, I choose to do my job instead of play the game. Thus I will never get ahead. My aspiration is simply to keep what's left of my sanity and not have to be the Walmart greeter or ask people if they want fries with that.
So you guys are exactly right. It took me a LONG time to figure out the quality of your work has nothing to do with success when you work for other people - it's how you play the game. I was dumb enough to think work had something to do with it. Now that I know better, I still focus on the work, which proves I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.