4 comments on “Business as usual

  1. Oh, dear. It really is everywhere these days, so I’ll simply say I do understand, truly – and leave it go at that. Otherwise, I might risk a bit of a rant myself.

    What I cannot understand is why so many in business today act as though their customers are an imposition upon their time and energies, rather than the source of their profit. Given what’s happening in the States, it could simply be that we’re witnessing the end of free-market capitalism. Why bother with those silly old customers when your security lies with government subsidies and bailouts?

    My goodness. I’m grumbling, aren’t I? I’ll wish you good luck with your inquiry about the shoes instead, and go off to see what Granny-Anne has to say!

  2. This malaise is so widespread that I don’t think the subsidies and bailouts argument can apply across the board. I am inclined to think that there are two main causes: 1/ Lack of individual accountability, caused by the difficulty of dismissing individuals who are simply incompetent or couldn’t care less – at all levels from top management and directors downwards. 2/ Sheer ignorance of those who really don’t know their job/business and who in turn were “trained” by others who didn’t know. This situation was accelerated (though not caused) by the grand agist clearout in the 90’s, when lots of good, experienced people were heaved out of the workforce at all levels because they were over 40 or 45 and were therefore deemed to be past their sell-by date. This was done by people who didn’t know what it was that they didn’t know – and didn’t care either -and they have since trained successors with the same mindset. The same inexcusable brand of ignorance ensures that nothinmg is learned from history – which is why expensive “think tanks” are needed to rediscover that clean hospital wards mean fewer infections and why, more recently, it has been deemed desirable for those wanting mortgages to save a 10% deposit (just as we did 40 years ago) if only to demonstrate that they are likely to afford the repayments.
    I did say don’t get me started!

    • But I’m glad you got started because you got me thinking about something that hadn’t crossed my mind – cavalierly dismissing those with years of experience and hard-gained knowledge because they are “old”. And, of course, offering “buy-outs” to older employees and encouraging early retirement in order to reduce costs.

      In the course of the health care debate here there has been much talk about the benefits of “pulling the plug on granny”. As one of President Obama’s closest advisers says, if there are limited benefits, they should go to those who have the most to offer society – the twenty-somethings who have decades left, rather than the oldsters who have only five or ten years left.


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