Friday, February 20, 2009

New Amtrak President Declares War on Dead End Bureaucrats in His Midst

Posting today in The Infrastructurist about an interview new Amtrak president Joseph Boardman recently gave. Some of Boardman's comments include:
  • Amtrak as being "in worse shape than I thought" and full of hopeless clock-watchers.
  • There are a lot of dead enders at Amtrak. Boardman refers to them as "people who don't believe."
  • Their heads will roll: "he says [any] Amtrak managers… who cannot make the transition from a survival mode to a growth mode will have to find another job."
  • The previous management, despite the fact that traffic was up 12 percent last year, apparently didn't order any regular passenger cars as part of their five year plan. For some reason they just asked for odds and ends like "baggage dormitory cars."
  • This lack of passenger cars leaves Amtrak in "horrible" shape for America's new golden era of passenger rail.
I have no problem with people getting laid off if they're not doing their job or are just not effective. There are slackers at every company, public and private. Slackers at private companies get whacked more quickly though and I hope all those companies doing layoffs now take advantage of the cost cutting they need to do and ditch their losers, this will make these companies ultimately stronger in the long term though it may hurt the economy in the short term. I hope Amtrak applies these same principles, you can't have a well run company poised for growth and efficiency gains with slackers on board, they drag the company down and de-motivate others. So Boardman, do what you have to do, don't just talk the talk.


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