Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Doing the right thing

Turns out that Michelin, despite screwing the pooch at the USGP, eventually was compelled to do the right thing by refunding ticket prices paid by attendees. In addition, they agreed to purchase 20,000 tickets for fans to next year's USGP (if in fact there is one).

  • Many good and juicy soap-operaesque links at the Planet-F1 site for those who may be interested in a motorsport that doesn't involve amateurs and hillbillies fighting amongst one another.

Having paid to attend a USGP, and hearing that attendance was roughly 140,000 people, I derived that Michelin just wrote a $20 million check. That is impressive. To put this in perspective, that's basically the entire budget for a competitive two-car team for one year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series. Ouch.

I formally recant my desire for everyone to boycott Michelin tires. Whether or not you patronize Michelin based on their complete and total failure to prepare for a single turn on a 100 year old racing circuit is still your decision. I still won't.

Lots of companies (and people) are provided opportunities to shine, and fail to make the most of them. It's a shame that when someone or some organization does what it should, by rights, that it is 'remarkable' at all. America's expectations of companies, ourselves, and each other have often times become so low, it's outright insulting at best and racist/prejudiced at worst.

Maybe this is why it seems hard for my wife and I to find life-long friends. Our expectations of others are usually no less than those we hold of ourselves. This isn't out of arrogance, it's out of respect. I would not dare assume that anyone else in my neighborhood is any less capable of living their lives to a high standard than are we. Yet time and time again, we are disappointed - by parents who allow children to behave violently and disrespectfully toward others. By adults who have no concern or respect for anyone but themselves. By people who do not consider the consequences of their actions. By people who only half-heartedly believe in personal accountability. By entrepreneurs who openly struggle to manage their businesses, ask for help, then do whatever they damn well please anyway. By people who take friendships for granted, and who assume that friendship implies complete acceptance of their lifestyle choices.

Makes it really hard sometimes...

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