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American Airlines has the worst managment on planet Earth and beyond. December 25, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in American Airlines, assholics, assholism, Pontification.
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I hope they don’t close down the Guantanamo Bay water-boarding facility too soon. Honestly I’m as serious as I’ve every been about anything in my life. The skills those guys gained at administering human misery and degradation would both be appreciated by American Airlines management and employees and be an appropriate Christmas present.  It would be my gift to them for making my Christmass  so special . I’m sure all these angry humiliated and exhausted people would support this and chip in if air fare were needed to get the American CEO to Cuba..

I’m sitting here on Christmas eve after the worst Airline on the planet and beyond could not find a flight attendant to ride with a plane FULL of Christmas eve passengers to Tucson from Dallas. Now if you want to know how this company is doing consider that the worst airliner on the planet and beyond — American Airlines — has part of their corporate headquarters here in Dallas.

They had a flight attendant at 8 PM. She decided it was not her job to fly on Christmas eve. They had another flight attendant at 9ish. She was on her way but decided to bag it,, call it a night,,, tip a few with the boys,, attend a water-boarding exhibition given as a Christmas present by the Amercian management.

THEN THEY HAD ANOTHER ATTENDANT CANCEL WHO WAS IN THE BUILDING. They got one who was on the way from Long Beach after that and SHE TOO CANCELED. If you’re counting you will note that FOUR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS DECIDED TO SAY SCREW YOU TO THE CUSTOMERS OF American Airliess the worst airline on Earth.

This absolutely absurd Christmas eve nightmare at the hands of American Airlines the worst Airline on planet earth and beyond is not a joke nor is it an exaggeration of the facts. The weather is fine. The airplane is supposed to be fine but if I were betting I’d say there are major structural problems with the machinery because they employee attitudes would seem to suggest that not only do they not care what happens to the customers.. they are making plans to administer pain and suffering at the most critical times possible. Certainly unsafe aircraft are more possible with this bunch than most.

Here is a quote from their website’s ‘About Us’ page.

American Airlines and American Eagle are in business to provide safe, dependable, and friendly air transportation to our customers, along with numerous related services. We are dedicated to making every flight you take with us something special.

Well some of this is true. Torture and humiliation are related services in by their definition I suppose. And certainly we have a unanimous group of travelers here who feel American has made this flight ‘something special’.

I personally wish the entire company a merry Guantanamo Christmas.


A Bad VCease Spreads February 14, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in assholics, assholism, Pontification, VC funding process.
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I’ve got some strong opinions about the venture capital funding process resulting from direct experience and observation of analogous processes. Its the VCease and while I may sound cynical its not a general criticism of VCs but more of an observation of the way humans organize and execute filtering systems. A filtering system in this example is intentionally designed and organized human based system that winnows out submitted or gathered material through a process of elimination.

Web based delivery makes the need for filtering systems ever more accute. Some lessons and good practices can be learned from prior experience with content related industries.

A few notable and often studied filtering systems would be feature film production, book publishing or record production (i.e.. the various steps involved in song publishing where  a  writer’s work is examined by executives who stand around taking turns urinating on it). We’ve all known people who’ve been either victims or victimizers in this process. Who hasn’t know an aspiring screenwriter / novelist / songwriter or worse actress / actor / model / singer and watched them go through the trials and tribulations of becoming a fill-in-the-blank? They go through identifiable phases that roughly correlate to the various stages of rejection, rejections, more rejection, acceptance, limited success , unlimited mediocrity, and finally creeping assholism. While assholism is a serious problem for these professionals as highlighted by the recent Tom Cruise debacle I’m going to focus only on the process and how the venture capitalist can learn from Mr. Cruise’s example.

I’ve worked in the publishing industry creating Movie Tie-in on the editorial staff of Simon and Schuster as well as the film business where I had several corporate level management jobs directly involved with the submission and rejection of scripts, ideas, projects, people, etc. Notably I worked for HBO in Special programming as an official defender against assaholics who have a tendency to lose their self control and storm the executive suites in search of reasonable explanations why their lives have been destroyed by someone who no doubt didn’t bother to read the script. I was there at the ready to assure them that someone had read the script. In fact I was that someone and could speak with a degree of authority and personal knowledge that their project had been given a thorough reading before I trashed it in the ‘coverage.’

My superiors had seen my raw but unpolished abilities at asshole wrangling while at Simon and Schuster. Possessing a southern accent was still (early 80s) considered charming and reeked of ingenous concern which would immediately give the delusional assholic pause and allow me to divert the conversation to possible ways the project could be improved or other outlets for their art. Often, although I was unaware at the time, my southern charm was not as effective at halting their rage but the belief that I was packing which was a common prejudice against anyone from the south.

Yet I had a secret that was exacerbated by the pressures and enviroment of the entertainment industry. I was young at the time and only a weekend asshole. It was not until years later that my disease progressed.The occasional weekday binging of assholianism inevitably ended in a raging two or three year bender. Blurred and indistinct memories of that time are bolstered by members of my ‘family’ or ‘support groups’ who “help” me to remember  as they tirelessly help all around them with laser like focus on past indiscretions even those that occurred up to 40 years in the past. I’m luckily this way.

Its the process of how these things are picked that we’re interested in now but a bit of background was necessary to establish my expert status and preslap any lurking untreated practicing asshole who wants to leave anonymous comments to the contrary. In fact working at Home Box Office was for armature assaholics (I’m a pro at everything I do) so after a 10 year stint as an entrepreneur and junior venture capitalist I return to entertainment to receive my doctorates in asshole studies at Sony Pictures during the 90s reign of Jon Peter’s and Peter Gubers. Here’s the book version and FYI I’m quoted no less than one time and possibly twice. Every word of it is true.

Continued in PART II – THE PROCESS

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