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Toyota, the Weather, and Alan’s Rant

Toyota, the Weather, and Alan’s Rant

Apparently, Toyota has known of many of its problems for years. Deaths have occurred, and Toyota has blamed the placement of floor mats. But now, under testimony, Toyota has had to admit that it first authorized repairs and new designs two years ago, without publicizing either. The regulatory agencies have the power to severely fine and punish Toyota, including the prohibition of selling cars in the US for a while. That’s not such a bad idea. It will revive the local industry, and show that we resent people being killed by corporate cover-up. We condemned American companies for such acts (Remember exploding fuel tanks?) and if Toyota were American-based, we’d be a lot more upset. And why hasn’t the CEO of Toyota resigned yet? Where does that buck stop exactly?

Meanwhile, up here in Providence, each major local affiliate—NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX—has at least five “meteorologists” (weather people). (I’m reminded of the one great line in a short-lived TV sitcom about a TV station, where a sportscaster calls the weather woman a “weather babe.” She says, “I prefer meteorologist.” He says, “But you don’t even have a college degree.” She says, “I said I PREFER it!”) Dr. Frank Fields, the famous NBC “meteorologist,” had his degree in, I believe, optometry.

In any case, these stations up here have more “meteorologists” than they do street investigative reporters, I am not making this up. They are highly paid, have segments far longer than the content dictates, and are notoriously inaccurate. They all predicted a huge snow storm here today, and while it’s been snowing for about seven hours, we have about a three-inch accumulation. Yet schools were cancelled, meetings postponed, offices closed, people given days off, public needs unmet by closed government offices, and so on. The State of Rhode Island has probably lost $50 million to $100 million in productivity, performance, and production, because these 15 clowns read their radar, and reports, and other nonsense but divined the tea leaves incorrectly. Where is THEIR performance review? I guess it’s alongside all those stock market analysts who brag when they’re right and are never held accountable when they are (usually) wrong. Since when is snow in New England a major happening? Or maybe they believe we’re in the age of global warming?

To end on the bright side, let’s hear it for Germany, taking the lead to bail out Greece and other struggling economies before a domino effect set in. It’s nice to see people taking accountability, especially when it’s an entire government. Of course, we’re dealing with out own important matters here, such as what Sarah Palin writes on her palm, the content of SuperBowl commercials, and the President’s inability to pronounce “corpsman” correctly.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved. Oh, heck, I’m disgusted, you can have these rights.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 7

  • Garry Beavis

    February 10, 2010

    News broadcasters and TV weather people the world over have an unwarranted dose of self-importance and highly inflated ego’s. And all obvioulsy overpaid. For goodness sake they should just be presenting the news, not creating it or dramatizing it. I would rather watch the news being read by a chimp than listen to the dramatics of news readers or to be told to ‘rug up’ tomorrow because there ‘might’ be a cold snap!

  • Alan Weiss

    February 10, 2010

    The original Today show on NBC in the 50s was hosted by Dave Garroway, who had an actual chimp as a sidekick, the quite famous J. Fred Muggs. I kid you not.

  • lkutner

    February 11, 2010

    I worked for several years at a TV station in Minneapolis, where weather reporting is taken very seriously. The weather department had a staff of about seven meteorologists, including one who had a Ph.D. in that field. Their weather center contained the latest in doppler radar, satellite imaging, remote sensing and so forth. What I loved to watch was how, when a big storm hit town, they all left the electronic gizmos and immediately ran to the window to have a look!

  • February 11, 2010

    Thanks for the rights. I’ll try to use them wisely!

  • Alan Weiss

    February 11, 2010

    What rights? I’m glad you caught that!

  • February 13, 2010

    Opposite here in Dallas – the weather forecasters said 1-3 inches and we received 12.5!

  • Alan Weiss

    February 13, 2010

    Talk about NOT being paid for performance….

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