Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, September 03, 2005
  Real Leadership in Houston


During a week when we have been glued to our TV's, computers and any source of news we could get about the tragedy on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, what we haven't seen is a lot of examples of clear, decisive leadership we could get behind.

I'm not including the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin in this list, he has done the best he could with very little to work with. He has been a good spokesperson for the plight of his city. He has brought some much needed attention to a situation that should not have lasted as long as it has. I liked his very "direct" quote,

"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Nagin said. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."

Nagin accused state and federal officials of "playing games" and "spinning for the cameras." He says he keeps hearing that help is coming, but "there's no beef."
~Newsday:New Orleans Mayor Fumes Over Slow Reponse"

The rest of the federal and state authorities have seemed to be just giving excuses why things weren't getting better. President Bush's speech did not really make me feel any better, but most can agree that he is not Reagan when it comes to public speaking.

But today, listening to Marketplace on NPR on the way home, I heard evidence of the type of kick-ass-no-excuses leadership we have not been seeing elsewhere, from Bill White, the mayor of Houston, in dealing with the influx of refugees.
Initially, the city thought it could house 25,000 in the Astrodome. But when 11,000 people were brought to the building, the city's fire marshal said "no more."

Mayor White overruled him and took in 4,000 more. But at that point it became clear that the dome was filled to capacity, causing the mayor to open up Reliant Arena and Reliant Convention Center.

Anticipating some legal problems from his decision to open up the convention center to evacuees, White said that he expected lawsuits from some groups that had planned their conventions there later this year.

"They can go ahead and sue," he said. "Let them explain to the American people why money is more important than lives."


Oh yeah! I wish he was my mayor! That's the kind of spirit that makes me proud of my country, and have some hope that things are going to improve. I wonder if he'd like to manage a certain call center...

Thanks for reading,

AC
 
Comments:
I totally agree. Anyone who'd be dumb enough to sue for that would be laughed out of court anyway. It's good to see there are some politicians out there with balls enough to do the right thing.
 
I think it's hilarious that you excuse No Nuts Nagin for doing nothing, but somehow the mayor of Houston is a miracle worker?

It's the state and federal government's fault in Lousyanna, but in Houston only the mayor gets credit?

Please. New Orleans had an evac plan and never used it.

http://www.cityofno.com/portal.aspx?portal=46&tabid=26]

Nagin's fault. Period.
 
Wow...My Bad...

You have a valid point. I went to your blog and read your post about it. I think this is the first blog that I have read that really laid the failure squarely at the feet of the mayor. That took some testicular fortitude.

I went and read the emergency plan for the city of New Orleans. It does show the mayor is the one responsible for declaring the order of evacuation. You were right about that.

All that being said, you may have had the guts to say that it was entirely the mayor's fault, but that also took a lot of arrogance.

You see, I wasn't placing any specific blame, I was simply saying that I was tired of excuses from all of the agencies. The post was more of a perception thing. I still respect the mayor's comments even if he was wrong.

I also realized I did not know enough about an incredibly fluid situation to place the kind of all-encompassing blame that you have not hesitated to place at the mayor's feet.

But hey, I'm glad I had a Monday-morning quarterback that could stop by and set me straight. Maybe you should run for mayor of New Orleans, I'm sure you wouldn't make the same mistakes he made.

I'm glad I made your day with my hilarious little post.

AC
 
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