In a disaster, there are no small jobs

Sleeping conditions aboard Carnival's TriumphImage Credit: @Chasemaclaskey
Sleeping conditions aboard Carnival’s Triumph
Image Credit: @Chasemaclaskey

I have to admit, I was captivated  last night by the details of the miserable voyage of Carnival’s Triumph and its passengers.

Those poor brides-to-be and their bachelorette party guests, hopeful honeymooners, excited sweet-sixteeners, traveling retirees… they’ve just gone through two weeks of hell in a handbasket full of raw sewage and no air conditioning, I thought. Details of their horrible experience appeared on the ticker feeds of various news channels and Twitter, as they slowly made their way to port. You just couldn’t get away from it last night. I kept looking for something positive in all of this and the gory details almost made it impossible.

But then I read this:

“No power, no toilets, nothing. Nothing. I mean, it was was disgusting, but the staff, they did such an amazing job,” said Joseph Alvarez. “And I give them so much props because they were amazing through it all. I mean, they worked their tails off to accommodate everybody’s needs.” (CNN Article)

And I saw that over and over again in different news outlets, from different passengers. They observed how crew members, usually low-paid, foreign workers doing the jobs that many others won’t, worked hard under impossible conditions. They made the difference for many. They cleaned up the urine and feces in the hallways and then some. They checked on passengers to ensure they were as comfortable as resources allowed. Passengers sung their praises in concert. It was refreshing. And, it was a reminder.

Hiring the right people makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE. There are no small jobs.

Carnival may have failed in some decisions as it relates to this voyage, but their hiring managers saved the day by hiring a crew of people who banded together during a catastrophe and did their job when others may have given up.  I also give Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill major props for owning the poor judgment applied during this ill-fated voyage.

Could things have been handled better? Sure. Anybody can play Monday morning quarterback.

But when you are in the game, knee-deep in raw sewage as sometimes happens to us anectodatally, you hope that you have the right talent around you to pull you out of it.


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