Responsibility and blame

Spent weekend resting my back, which was casualty of post-snow mud, re-watching the first series of Damages. For those of you who didn’t catch it, it revolves around litigation against the CEO of a large American corporation. I was struck by the defence he put forward, which rested on him being responsible because he was in overall charge but not to blame.   There is increasing pressure on us heads of companies (whatever the actual title). Health and Safety have huge powers over us personally – if something does go wrong, we are completely to blame. Customers hold us personally to blame for any fault they can find; many a time, I have had customers ranting at me, asking why I haven’t checked their pieces personally which, given the volume we produce, would not be exactly feasible; staff, of course, hold one utterly to blame for anything and everything from their wage packets and working conditions to the economy.  It is, of course, a one-way street – staff still see it as totally permissible to lie to the boss about something they haven’t done.   It is increasingly hard not to see-saw between bitterly resenting this and going into a spiral of self loathing about our own failings and imperfections (why, for example, can we not be in two places at the same time?!). On top of that, we are blessed with a government who are responsible but never to blame – it is always their predecessors, the world economy etc.      Why is it that business owners are seemingly the only group who are both responsible and to blame?

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