Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Retire this phrase

If you worked at Arby's, and accidentally dropped your hairnet in the Curly Fries, then served it up, you would get fired. But once you make (as opposed to earn) over $200,000 a year, you enter the world of the "mistakes were made" club. This is a term used in places of power like Washington, in cases where the entire management team demonstrated they had not a clue to what they were doing, nor cared about the consquences, intended or unintended, of their actions or lack of actions. After a blue ribbon fact-finding committee (which is formed to delay and obfuscurate) does its work, shuffling around the evidence, the chief declares mistakes were made, and I take on the responsibility. This means that no one responsible will be held to account, and all involved will get glowing letters in their personnel files, and maybe even a pretty ribbon to wear when they retire. Then all involved go off to high-paid jobs in what is called lobbying, what we would call bribery. MWM is usually followed by the phrase and now it is time to move on..., meaning we can do whatever we want anytime we want and what are you gonna do about it? And by the time of the finding of the committee, the original crime has become an old news story, the dreaded bugbear of our Media. The wounded staggering gnu throws off the scent of being an old news story, and the jackals call off the hunt.

Lo and behold, there is a website that vents this pet peeve of mine....

By the by, those of use that earn around $40,000 or less have a different word for mistakes. In our class they are called felonies.

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