Friday, November 25, 2005

The Indispensable Man!

There's Always Hope...

Can't do anything right? Disappointed in the progress of your career?

Don't feel bad.

There's always hope.

Consider the case of one, Michael Brown, the titular head of FEMA who botched up so badly in New Orleans, that he was removed from his once proud job. During this difficult phase of his career, when the poor people of New Orleans were without food, water or shelter, Michael Brown had committed the unpardonable sin of thinking more about a babysitter for his dog than he did whether or not the people of this battered city would survive.

It never seemed to dawn on him that there might be more pressing priorities.

Because even the after-taste of this man was so odious, that the public watch-dogs pressed to have him removed a second time from the consulting position he had inherited after being dumped from his leading role at FEMA.

After all, a consulting role for a man who didn’t seem to get it in the first place seemed a rather odd assignment especially when it was paid for with taxpayer monies.

What to do with all of this negative criticism coming out on almost a minute by minute basis? How could this man in one’s wildest dreams manage to redeem himself from charges that he was so inept, so unthinking, so ill-prepared to prepared to respond to the challenges New Orleaners faced in a timely and effective way?

Well, for one he never seemed to realize that they were talking about him. In other words, the rest of the world was astonishingly crazy if they believed that he should be targeted as the reason for what happened in this ravaged city. To bounce back and face the world, it took a new suit and the chutzpah to deny your complicity in everything that went wrong. Of course, if there is guilt, you make it clear that none of it belongs to you. It was the Mayor, the Governor, and, of course, a weather pattern that never should have occurred on his watch. .

If criticism persists, you can bury yourself in semantic differentials and suggest that you didn't want to go on TV telling the people how bad things really were. And you certainly didn’t want to hurt people’s feeling. And, naturally, if the governor and mayor don't make their needs explicit, well, can that be your fault?

In the long term, you can cut any ties with FEMA, point the finger at their reorganization that had FEMA fall under the aegis of Homeland Security and then start your own consulting business.

Yes, if all goes wrong with the organization that you steered? If you had contributed to adding so much confusion in your organization that only you can wend your way through the maze, well, then you have created the perfect opportunity. You can start a consulting organization and rent yourself out to those who want to know how to get something done in an organization that seems to have no idea of what it’s supposed to be about. And, marvelously, in the process, you have become the indispensable man.

And that's precisely what Michael Brown has done.

He is now is in charge of a consulting organization that for a price will help you steer through all the confusion he created in his last life.

There is a certain irony in that and evidence that clearly
God has a sense of humor.

Who knows with this kind of logic where Mr. Brown can go from here?

Maybe he could shoot for the job of the top guy who patted him on the back for doing a great job in the first place. Stranger things have happened.

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