August 31, 2008
The Law of Quality (Bob Franken)
@ 1:09 pm
Step aside Isaac Newton for "The Law of Quality" which states that "What goes down KEEPS going down".
Look no further than just about every product and service we're offered these days. They're inferior.
Of course they are, because corporate leaders in every sector, from food, to communication, to media are desperately scrambling to overcome their previous disastrous decisions and keep profits obscene… their own personal compensation disgracefully high.
They pretend they are simply creating efficiencies. Instead of cutting corner, what they are really doing is shamelessly gutting large chunks of the structured that allowed them to deliver some semblance of decent product.
True to the aforementioned immutable law of nature, quality is plummeting… being flushed down the toilet. It has gotten to the point we expect inferior products, antagonistic or non-existence consumer treatment and deceptive advertising.
All of this is justified by executives and their lackeys who use Orwellian Human-Resource-Speak with terms like "Productivity" and "Multi-tasking" to justify the layoffs that betray the workforce.
Ah yes: "Multi-tasking". It's become an ideal that demands an individual be distracted from his or her expertise to take on the added job of the less fortunate person who has been "let go" - usually a much more experienced one.
We see it in the media world. In television news we have the "One Man Band" where the previous functions of a reporter, cameraman, audio person, etc, etc, have now been combined into a single person struggling to maneuver the gear and pay attention to more important to the many duties which each used to be all-consuming. Talk about poor quality! The response from higher-ups, if there is one, is "So what?".
I also am thinking of the newspapers, who are paying the price of their owner's short-sightedness by slashing staff and combining functions. They couldn't care less that their publications have become displays of mediocre coverage, factual mistakes, and grammatical errors. No wonder readers are abandoning them in droves. No longer is there much to set them apart from anybody's rantings on the internet.
These are just two examples, ones near and dear to my heart, of a corrosive mentality which has eaten away at our community and our business fabric.
I have to ask: If "Multitasking" is so essential, why do our conglomerates need a CEO, CFO, COO, and a Chairman. Why do their subordinate divisions have a similar lineup? Why do all these muckety-mucks need highly paid Vice Presidents, and other lackeys fluttering around? By the way isn't "Executive Vice President" a redundancy? What do all these people do, anyway?
I'll tell you what they do, they make the bad decisions that have only enriched them and their fellow oligarchs, while bringing our economy to a standstill.
Meanwhile, just about every facet of our society is deteriorating. What we have, folks, is one big management problem. And all of us are paying a very dear price.
Labor Day reminds us that almost all of us are paying with our quality-of-life.