Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 372 posts, RR: 2 Posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 272 times:
A friend of mine who works for American Express here in Karachi said that their headquarters in America has asked all American Express branches worldwide to send condolence messages in the form of E-cards in their native languages to the people of New York, I find it a bit absurd, why should anyone have to do this? why should they be compelled into sending meaning less and half hearted condolences just because they have been asked to? and why? so tomorrow the pseudo condolences can be used as a publicity stunt or for some media hype what happened was tragic but this is outrageous. So much for freedom, American style
TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52 Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 253 times:
Well Airmale, my partner works at American Express headquarters in New York, which is across the street from the World Trade Center. He was on the 48th floor when this all happened, was still in the building when the first tower collapsed, and walked with thousands of people covered in ash and dust to the northern part of Manhattan. The Amex building sustained heavy damage, and the CEO of Amex has said the decision has not been made whether to return to the building once it is fixed in several months. Amex has moved their employees to other offices around the NY area (primarily Jersey City and Connecticut). Amex lost 11 employees in the disaster who were in the WTC complex.
My point is this has been extremely traumatic on the people who worked in the headquarters building. Although Amex is one of those typical big corporate giants will all the accompanying disfunctional corporate processes that don't seem to make sense, I think this is one time where a directive like this is understandable. This isn't about "American freedom." This is about an employer saying to its employees "Hey, your colleagues here need your support and words of sympathy." A company is not a democracy. If your employer makes a request of you, you do it (unless it is illegal).
Airmale, you are entitled to your opinion, and in this forum you have made no secret of your criticism of America, and I have to respect that you have the right to do that. After all, I can see why America would seem beneath you since you live in the glorious country of Pakistan that we all know is so free and democratic and has made such a positive impact on the world. (What is the name again of the military dictator that took over your country last year? It has slipped my mind.) Anyway, I find it offensive that you are really stretching this time to criticize America through this example. If your friend feels as you do, perhaps he/she should find another employer.
TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52 Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 229 times:
Obviously, PanAm747 and Airmale haven't worked in the corporate world. A directive in the form of a memo...
TO: All Amex International Employees
FROM: Ken Chenault, CEO
RE: Condolence Message
Now that HQ personnel have relocated around the NY metropolitan area and are settled in, I believe your colleagues here would very much appreciate your words of support and condolence in your native language. Please send any such messages tomorrow. Thank you.
...is very much different than being "forced" to do something. If those international employees didn't feel sympathy about what happened, then they have no business working for the company anyway. Suggesting that they put those thought of sympathy into writing and send them at a certain time is certainly not an outrageous thing to ask. The CEO is promoting unity and trying to help the NY employees heal.
JetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 12 Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 222 times:
I would curious to see the directive. A lot of corporations (including mine), offered a way to show condolences and even ways to contribute. They organized everything at the corporate level and sent out any messages or funds on behalf of the branch offices. Corporate Amex was probably providing a service for their branches and not mandating anything. It would, I suppose, be a good opportunity to use this gesture and spin it as a forced mandate for material to bash America (if one felt so compelled for whatever reason).
Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 372 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 204 times:
Yes! If they want to send it, and I never suggested that they were threatedned of dire consequences if they didnt, just that the employees found it weird that they should be asked to do this rather than do it themselves and sincerely
TWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52 Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 183 times:
Hey guys, I just want to clarify... I'm getting the impression you didn't understand that the memo I typed above was a hypothetical example and not Ken Chenault's actual words. I was trying to illustrate that: 1) in the corporate world and at American Express, this would be a typical way in which a directive would be communicated, and 2) I'm sure that Ken did not get on the videophone with the GM's of Amex's operations in Karachi, Taipei, Hong Kong, Delhi, etc., and say "Regardless of whether you have heartfelt sympathy or not, if you don't send words of condolence tomorrow in your native language, you're fired!" I mean, please, that would be ludicrous.