(Whatever happened to taking care of customers??)
I want to thank whatever station was playing on the overhead big screen at the gym this morning for juxtaposing these two stories for me. There was an immediately apparent underlying connection that might not have been so clear had I not been treading dutifully and somewhat breathlessly along on the machine.
And so what does a big risk-taking bank with mud on its face have to do with – meat glue?
A minute for the meat glue story, in case you were not watching the same channel as I; it appears there is a recently discovered and FDA approved substance – composed of “safe” ingredients that have something to do with dried blood and other elements I did not catch (the treadmill was a little noisy) – that you can sprinkle fairly liberally into your pile of stew meat – it looks like a white powder – then mush the whole thing together like you did when you were a kid playing house making a mud pie meatloaf …wrap it tightly in plastic wrap after shaping it, and chill. The result is …… voila! filet mignon… an instant high-quality meat from stew stuff. Maybe I should have named this Aladdin’s Lamp – new meat for old….There are a few pros and cons to this “con” – supposedly you, Joe and Jane consumer, cannot tell the difference between the good and the poor quality meat, and, you don’t know what your favorite restaurant is really serving you when you order your chic piece of beef….but boy, can we now sell low quality stuff for high quality prices!
Have you caught up with me on the treadmill yet?? One flashing thought as I watched this guy mushing the modified meat right after seeing J P Morgan’s esteemed, granite engraved moniker; the real problem here is that nobody represents honest, good quality product anymore.
Our entire American economy is no longer based on providing solid value. We are looking for the financial fountain of youth – endless easy money; filet mignon for butt beef. The same core value motivates the meat maker as the big banker. We no longer have respect for Joe and Jane consumer; no longer have respect for ourselves, our honesty and the integrity and quality of the work we do. We value how “successful” we will appear with our bottom lines and top shelf life styles and wonder where our own happiness and sense of self-worth has gone; and our sense of security with it. We live in derivatives and additives, instead of accomplishments and contributions. Cover it with gravy and don’t look at what it is until it rots: Gambling, betrayal of trust, lying, deception, stealing - value and integrity from what we do and who we are as well as from our customers. We dress these activities up with other names – risk taking, modifying, fill in you own blanks – and eat them for dinner every day!
When as a nation, as individuals, our values change, our nation will reflect those values back to us again. Outwardly imposed regulations will not bring about internally generated integrity. Me – I’ll go for the real meat, pay a little more, eat a little less of it, and enjoy my life….