Damage Control

Damage control: (n) any efforts to curtail losses or counteract unfavorable publicity

Most really bad ideas are introduced through clever phrasings.

Such is the case with “damage control.”

Years ago, some executive sat down and tried to come up with a more palatable way to phrase “failure.”

Negating “we fucked up” and the insipid, “it’s not as bad as it looks,” he tried deception: “We were prepared for a possible setback all along, and even had a plan in place to address it.”

Oh, hogwash (if they actually do).

I am so tired of excuses, I refuse to make one (explaining my fatigue).

Politics is the birthing chamber for damage control.

Because every politician believes that he or she loses brownie points with the public by not being a “good scout.”

There is some sort of contention that if we don’t appear to be right even when it seems we’re wrong, that we will be court-martialed and not allowed to captain the ship anymore.

What makes it truly hilarious is that none of us really like people who think they’re perfect. The minute someone portrays to us that they are “incapable of errors or sin,” we immediately launch a campaign to find their sins and errors.

So what do we think we are going to achieve?

We can only outsmart people until we run up against somebody smarter. And if arrogance has taken such a hold on us that we don’t think we will ever come upon another human more intelligent than ourselves, then the real damage control is to quickly and comprehensively have our heads examined.

There is only one fruitful reply when it’s obvious that things have gone awry:

“We screwed up. So now, from that screw-up, with the help of good counsel and better ideas, we will try to screw it back down.”

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