Jan 26

Old reliable

January 25 The late New York Yankees star Tommy Henrich was known as 'old reliable' for his uncanny ability to deliver clutch hits at critical moments.

In today's scandal-soaked scene few, if any, people, places or things deserve a sobriquet like old reliable. But I've managed to come up with a few that, good or bad, still deliver on reliability:

– Take New Jersey Transit's 7:31am 'express' to the city. Please!

It's never, ever on time. In fact, its consistently bad performance has inspired me to suggest such alternative taglines as: 'Just train bad' and 'Expect less.'

But, I think 'old reliable' is even more evocative since it captures the certainty of massive, ongoing delays.
 
– The corporate communications executive who insists a $5,000 sales promotion is not only newsworthy, but should be jammed into the lead sentence of a bylined article on thought leadership. 

This member of the old reliable club exists in many PR departments and can be counted on to do what the sales and business leaders tell him rather than what smart, strategic communications would dictate.

– The Mets and Jets. Each teases fans with occasional flashes of brilliance but each always disappoints in the end. Old reliables, both.

– Politicians of all stripes. If there's one thing that's become crystal clear over the past few years, it's this: we can count on the politicians to fiddle while Rome burns. Old reliables, each and every one.

– The technology in ANY new business presentation. Whether it's the laptop, the flash drive, the projector, the video conference or the telephone, something technical will always go wrong in any important new business pitch. Period.

I'm not sure how or why this always happens, but it always does. So, let's add technology snafus to the old reliable list.

These are my old reliables. What are yours?