Editorial: Responsibility

It`s a noun that affects everyone. We can avoid responsibility, but that does not happen without consequences. It is a term that no one can escape.

We are confronted with it daily. Be it in direct form with ourselves, in the daily routine, or with other people with whom we always have to deal with.

It seems to be proven that actions that make use of responsibility and are based on norms and ethical values are mostly criticized by the next rather than by oneself. This means that, as is so often the case, we judge the responsibility of our fellow human beings, but when it comes to us personally, we quickly have an excuse ready. And so, the burden becomes the blame to the others. And with that, we are on the verge of immediately rejecting any responsibility.

The excuse: “It’s something,” a friend once told me, “that everyone carries with them and can’t separate from. When I asked him what it was that we all carry with us? He replied: “An asshole. It’s innate. Each of us has it. Separating ourselves from it is not possible. Excuses are the assholes of justification. Everybody has something at hand to evade responsibility. But the fact that he gives off mental diarrhea is blanked out. One prefers to make the other dull as long as one can persuade oneself to be off the hook. That is irresponsibility, and it is practiced millions of times. I bet with you, if you describe your daily routine in your professional life, then I can tell you how often you have to deal with irresponsible people.”

It got me thinking. And in fact, I continuously make the experience that no responsibility is taken. Let me give you an example that particularly annoys me:

Recently at El Dorado airport, in Bogota, my wife was asked by a Lufthansa employee whether she would be prepared to postpone her flight by one day at Lufthansa’s expense, including the offer of compensation of € 600, – in cash, as well as the cost of overnight accommodation with breakfast. The airline had a problem of severe overbooking. My wife agrees, she is put on a waiting list, and after almost 2 hours she gets the message that the offer is withdrawn, she can take her normal flight and board the plane, it is ready to take off. Somewhat disappointed my wife gets onto the plane and is crammed into the very last seat, because the reserved seat, which we have bought for €50, – extra, is occupied. Protests run into nowhere, she now must spend 11 hours uncomfortably in flight, although she has paid for a better seat.

Responsibility! Who will take it now? On the plane, absolutely nobody has stepped in. Stewards and Chief Purser on this flight have rejected any responsibility. One should complain in Frankfurt it was said.

There I received my wife and immediately went to the Lufthansa customer service desk. There the same story continued. One employee referred me to one who listened to me, she looked at me with disbelieving eyes and passed me on to her colleague. He put a piece of paper in my hand with a URL (not even with a mail address) and sent me away again. Back home, I searched for 2 hours, believe it or not, on the Internet for an interface for complaints, which are cared for by a living human. Zero results. In the end, I found an LH page, which offered a pre-printed form with automatic delivery. I used this chance and filled out everything accurately. That was 4 weeks ago. So far there hasn’t even been a confirmation that the e-mail has been received by Lufthansa.

The responsibility of a company worth billions that enjoys the reputation of being the best in the world…?

Yes, what my friend said is true. Be it in the almost 100 hotels I visit in a year, or in the many restaurants I visit with my guests, in the museums, attractions and festival halls, in public transport, wherever I am in my job and deal with people, there is trouble. Hardly anyone today is trained enough to deal with these resentments. The easiest way to get rid of the problem is to point the finger at someone else. It is the quickest solution to reject responsibility. It is the splinter in the eye of the other that displeases us, while we do not want to see the beam in our own eye.

You can be curious, dear PonderingTime friends on the articles of our authors on this central topic.

Best regards and a good start in May 2019.
Arthur Pahl