EppsNet Archive: Incompetence

At the Post Office

3 Mar 2017 /
Mail truck

It’s Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 PM . . . I’m trying to overnight some documents to Reno, NV.

“They won’t get there tomorrow,” I’m informed. “It’s too late. They’ll get there on Friday before noon. So if you don’t want to spend 23 dollars for Express Mail, you can send them Priority Mail for 6 dollars.”

“Will 6 dollars guarantee that they arrive on Friday?”

“No, no guarantee.”

“OK then I have to go with the 23 dollar option. And by the way, why can’t you get documents to Reno by tomorrow? I could personally deliver them to Reno by tomorrow and it’s not even my job.”

The Big Short

10 Jan 2012 /

What is amazing is not just that people are greedy and prone to engage in ethically questionable activities; the big lesson is how people can reach unimaginable positions of power and essentially be (a) incompetent, and (b) not willing to do even the most mundane and trivial parts of their job.

— Jeffrey Pfeffer, reviewing The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis (quoted on WSJ.com)