Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Got Chest Pains Reading This One

Ah, yes. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

My old friend. Old. Friend. (Warning. Gross picture. Think of that face the next time you think of walking in to a Ruth's Chris.)

The New York Times finally has done an article (paid access) about Ruth's Chris's cowardly abandonment of New Orleans. The article raises the right question (Would Ruth Fertel Have Left New Orleans?) but lets Craig Miller, Ruth's Chris spineless CEO (and now chairman), off the hook.

One quote from Miller tells you everything you need to know about what's inside of his skin:
“When you go through something like this, there is a pecking order of priorities,” Mr. Miller said. “Yourself, your family, your employees and your company.”
Where do I start?

According to this line of thought, you don't want to be a child or a disabled person on a ship with Mr. Miller. If the ship starts to go down, he's taking a lifeboat and waving goodbye to those too slow to grab one for themselves.

Self first. Then children. Of course.

This guy has the moral sensibility of a velociraptor.

He falls back on the "responsibility to the stockholders" line. Garbage. In the long run--heck, in the medium run--the market is going to trash this guy. He responds to the whim of the moment. He has no vision, no self, beyond what gets him to the next financial report and--see the list he cites above--his next paycheck and stock options. The whim of the moment is going to destroy him and his company.

I think Craig Miller of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse spends a lot of time thinking and talking about moving forward.

World Class people, companies, and communities know who they are. They use their talents and passion to make goodness and beauty and truth a little more concrete and real for all of us.

Do you know what the root meaning of "velociraptor" is?

Speedy thief.

NOTE: Third Battle of New Orleans's Mr. Seymour D. Fair has been passionate and articulate in staying on this story. Mr. Fair's articles have been much better than the NY Times's Joe Nocera's piece, which shows a clear lack of curiosity, imagination, and courage.

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