By Rolando Larraz
During a segment of Dirty Dining on Channel 13, Darcy Spears asked something of one employee she was featuring in her well-watched show: could she speak to the owner? The response was “the owner is never here,” and Darcy’s response was “Maybe that is the problem, the owner is never here.” How true that can be. Nowadays the “owners” are like ghosts; they are never around, and the companies, the businesses, are run by supervisors, team leaders, managers and many other titled individuals who are used to receiving the buck that is passed in order not to have to give a straight answer to anyone; and sometimes not even that, not even a straight answer of any kind if it so happens that the front person does not like the person asking the questions.
The days when you saw the legendary Benny Binion sitting in the first booth of his Horseshoe Gambling Hall shaking hands, answering questions, or just saying hello to friends and passersby impressed with his background, or just to someone that is going home to brag that he or she shook hands with Benny Binion are long gone.
I would like to know when anyone has seen Jack Binion walking around, not just on the casino floor his father created and built, but even at the Wynn Hotel where he worked as another peon to Steve Wynn. Remember what I have always said about Steve Wynn: he hires the best, he pays the best, but he is a master of embarrassing and humiliating his management people, regardless of the level of their position.
The days when people were able to walk around the Sands casino floor chatting with Carl Cohen, the vice president, casino manager, and decision-maker at that place are history, as is anyone in the position of the late Charles Kandel, who had no title on his business card, but lived and ate in the Sands and had the power of the pen.
When has anyone seen a man in the position of the late Senator Floyd Lamb walking around the floor of the Nevada National Bank handling one-on-one issues (I am not saying transactions, that’s what the employees were there for) with the bank customers? This inquiring mind would like to know!
Does anyone know that Cox Communication has no department handling business accounts in person? Does anyone know that Cox Communication
has no management team handling issues in person with anyone? There is only telephone contact: a client speaks with one “team leader” in Oregon and never is able to contact that “team leader” ever again.
I have no idea who the “team leader” might be, or what he or she is supposed to do because leaders, as I understand the term to mean, are not appointed or hired, but born with the potential for the qualities needed to assume their leadership roles. Therefore the title alone is a fraud and a lie and is often misused.
Take, for example, Wells Fargo Bank where everyone has a fancy title yet solves no problem because, as I have told one of those fancy title-holders, they are nothing more than peons, and the only credit to their names is that they know how to read the script they are given
to read and have become experts at kissing the mysterious big boss’s butt (or the butt of some boss down the line).
There is no more personal touch, there is no more direct communication with clients, subscribers, customers or whatever the case is; heck, that is no surprise; now we even have nurses pretending to be doctors, seeing patients and prescribing medicine for mysterious doctors that have never even seen the sick human being in their life.
The same thing happens with the court system when one taxpayer tries to get to the bottom of a case, tries to talk to the almighty Chief Judge or the court spokesperson and then see what happens. In Justice Court, the interim Public Information Officer named Rhoda (no last name for “security reasons” because her life may be in jeopardy over the telephone) at least has no other alternative but to answer the court telephone lines as a double-duty telephone operator and Public Information Officer). This Rhoda person is everything but efficient; she is rude, cold, inept, miss informative, and pretending to be a very important person who is allowed to treat people like trash and is, therefore, a complete (you fill in the blank).
But what are we to expect from a court’s simple peon-type of employee when the Public Information Office of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police is secluded on an obscure floor protected by bulletproof glass and police officers are rubbing’ on their handguns while talking to a member of the media that they know, and know what organization they belong to, and where to find that person — isn’t it called paranoia? Darcy Spears is right. That is the problem…when the boss is never there.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him
at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.