Service of How Did That Happen?

April 4th, 2013

Categories: Business Decisions, Deceiving Yourself, Deception, Failure, Manufacturing, Quality Control, Research, Responsibility, Sloppy, Writers

how did that happen

Monkey Business

primateI’ve covered plagiarism before and am consistently amazed by the reaction of the outed plagiarist. This time it’s a world-famous primatologist according to Christopher Joyce, NPR. Jane Goodall who, according to a statement reported by Joyce, wrote the following about “Seeds of Hope.” “This was a long and well-researched book, and I am distressed to discover that some of the excellent and valuable sources were not properly cited, and I want to express my sincere apologies.” I added the bold to part of the quote to underscore the passivity of the apology. Joyce points out that Goodall had a co-author.

 What’s a $Billion Among Friends?

BillionBankruptcy is a different kind of oops, especially when a $billion is involved and in so short a time. The Revel Casino in Atlantic City is less than a year old, according to Tom Hals and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters, and management expects to be out of bankruptcy by summer. A little bump in the road to everyone but those who are owed all that money and if the vendors are small enough and unable to weather the loss, they won’t be in business as Revel expects to be. quoted CEO, Kevin DeSanctis, in an earlier article: “‘Today’s announcement is a positive step for Revel,’ DeSanctis said. ‘The agreement we have reached with our lenders will ensure that the hundreds of thousands of guests who visit Revel every year will continue to enjoy a signature Revel experience in our world-class facility.’”

How benevolent, how wonderful for the CEO to be concerned about future guests: Is my scorn coming through loud and clear?


LululemonThe press had fun writing and speaking about Luluemon’s $98 yoga pants that turned out to be see-through by mistake. It affected the stock and reporter Sapna Maheshwari covered analysts’ interview of Lululemon’s CEO, Christine Day. Day told them:

“The truth of the matter is the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over,” Day said on today’s conference call. “Just putting the pants on themselves doesn’t solve the problem. It passed all of the basic metric tests and the hand-feel is relatively the same, so it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue, and it wasn’t until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue.” [Highlight is mine.]

People in a store are different from people at headquarters or at the plant? I’m not the only PR person to test a client’s toll free number or website link before sending out a press release that includes such references. Chefs are known to have bad teeth because they are test-tasting food all day long. At that price point, couldn’t somebody at headquarters or at the plant try on a pair of these pants and use them as “people in the store” would?

Anybody interested in taking responsibility these days?


Tags: , ,

6 Responses to “Service of How Did That Happen?”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Just what is one to expect Ms Goodall to do? Wear a hair shirt? Hang herself? Being distressed is good enough for me, and most probably the thousands, perhaps millions, who respect her tireless and highly productive work over the years.

    The casino incident is disgraceful, but because of prevailing laws, can’t be helped. Scream bankruptcy and a number of small outfits go under. Those who don’t, such as large banks, pass on the loss to their customers. Check the interest on your credit card bill lately?

    The Yoga pants saga wins laugh of the year. Not funny for those who created the product, since inattention to detail comes at a high price. Good sequel to the “Emperors New Clothes” suite!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You win a “best comment” gold star for the Emperors New Clothes reference.

    Ms. Goodall might have “discovered” the problem early on or given stricter parameters to the researchers so she didn’t have to be distressed.

    As for the casino incident, I knew a fellow who went through various industries–restaurant, flooring, publishing–declaring bankruptcy in each while living on Fifth Ave., driving a BMW, etc.. You are right that the bankruptcy laws for business here are a disgrace and I have never understood why. I was in a costume jewelry chain in France many years ago and the saleswoman told me that she’d had to declare bankruptcy for her small business and it would be years before she would be allowed to open another one of any kind.

  3. Martha Takayama Said:

    In all 3 situations described above (with their priceless accompanying photos) there seems to be an incredible admixture of absurdity, pretension, hypocrisy, superficiality, ignorance, bad manners and bad form.

    What appears to be severely lacking is a sense of responsibility, reality, and common sense. One has to question why our notoriously litigious public is so tolerant of fame, power and money as if they convey total immunity from blame. Where does the buck stop?

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The buck belongs to the sloppy and sleazy and the public pays.

    As Lucrezia noted, bank customers pay in fees and interest for bank losses and investors in the yoga pant manufacturer’s stock share the loss as the value of the stock took a dive because of the loss of sales and product, not to speak of reputation.

    Lobbyists must keep business bankruptcy laws favorable to corporations. It takes individuals seven years to “get over” a bankruptcy but if the casino is a typical example, in a few months those folks will be full steam ahead having wiped the slate of debt clean. Some system!

  5. JPM Said:

    1. Having twice been accused of plagiarism, I know it well. There is nothing more criminal in the human experience. Jane Goodall would be well advised to write her own books from now on, that is if she is not too old to know how to read and write.

    2. I have never heard of Luluemon’s before, but thanks to your warning, I now know enough to avoid their products in the future. Such sloppiness deserves punishment.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I guess from your reaction that you were accused, but not guilty, of plagiarism. Just wanted to clarify.

    As for Luluemon’s yoga pants, to pay over $100 after tax for such a garment and find it faulty will no doubt open the door to another company that bothers to have somebody try on and test its garmets. Pay $20 at a discount store and you take your chances. Pay $100+ and as a customer, you expect more respect.

Leave a Reply

Clicky Web Analytics