When in doubt, blame others

Birds don't do it. Bees don't do it. But, big business sure does it. “It” is blaming others for one's Blame-game mistakes.

The latest example came a few days ago when my beloved, primary source of commutation, NJ Transit, blamed Amtrak for its record 1,400 delays this past summer.

Talk about the summer from hell. NJT experienced 1,400 delays in a period of 90 days! Now, I'm not a math wizard, but that adds up to a staggering 150 or so delays a day. I'm surprised any of their damn trains moved at all.

But, hey, don't blame NJT. It wasn't their fault. A lead spokesperson pointed the finger at Amtrak, from whom NJT leases 'track time' on the Northeast Corridor. He said that, since Amtrak has always been underfunded by the government and unable to keep pace with needed maintenance, NJT really isn't to blame for overheated 20-year-old locomotives, overhead wires that drooped in the heat and electric power interruptions. That's the business equivalent of a kid saying the dog ate his homework.

To add insult to injury, NJT also implemented an across-the-board fare hike this summer. That's akin to charging the Titanic passengers a surcharge for life jackets.

NJT officials certainly aren't alone when it comes to pointing fingers at others. BP has made it something of an art form. So, too, have Wall Street executives who shrugged their shoulders when the markets collapsed but happily continue to pocket record bonuses.

No one's better at obfuscation, though, than religious leaders. My favorite is Brother Harold Camping, a Bible expert who holds court on a national cable channel.

The 90-year-old, hearing impaired, former engineer sits in a dilapidated studio, holding a Bible and entertaining questions from viewers. But, whenever an above-average viewer stumps Brother Camping with one of the Bible's countless contradictions, he claims not to have heard or understood what was just asked. So, he thanks the viewer for her question and simply hangs up. It's hilarious to watch.

Recently, the self-proclaimed Bible authority was thrown a real caller curve: “Brother Camping,” said the caller, “please explain how the Bible preaches an eye for an eye in one section but advises us to turn the other cheek in another?” Brother Camping squinted at the camera, fidgeted in his chair and finally responded by saying, “Unless you can cite the specific passages, I can't answer. But, thank you for calling Open Forum.” Classic dodge.

Brother Camping has somehow added, multiplied, subtracted and divided various 'mathematical clues' in the bible and declared that May 22, 2011, will be the end of the world. About 15 years ago, he made a similar prediction. But, when the day came and went without an apocalyptic event, Brother Camping pulled an NJT (or, BP if you prefer) and blamed a faulty computer.

Isn't it great to be living in a society with no accountability? Hey, my train's delayed again! At least I know it's Amtrak's fault.

4 thoughts on “When in doubt, blame others

  1. Welcome to my world, little girl. Here’s hoping you find a pad in the city/Hoboken in the very near future. I wouldn’t wish a lifetime of NJT commuting on my worst enemy. Well, maybe on a few former clients, but not on my worst enemy.

  2. njt can suck it. they are the worst part of everyone’s day – and i never know what’s worse, the horrible/rude conductors who never let anyone know what is going on or the people who choose to drink to excess on their way home/to events in the city. Last sunday I was coming home and in one car a little boy was screaming for the entire trip and in the other car a drunk woman was screaming on her phone…by the end of the ride i wanted to kill myself. NJT sucks, and i pray to god that one day we will not have to deal with them 🙂

  3. Totally agree, Art. But, there’s no incentive for NJT to improve. So they don’t. My kingdom for a private sector alternative.

  4. Given the numerous ways in which NJT can improve, it’s a wonder that someone at NJT hasn’t tried to make his/her career by fixing something. Also, what a lot of these blame-meisters fail to realize is that customers don’t give a damn about who is to blame–they just want the problem fixed. I was at Best Buy many years ago, working with an ineffective customer service rep, who started to tell me, “But sir, you’ve got to understand…” I interrupted him and said, “I don’t have to understand anything. I just want what I came in here to get.”