macondo, BP

Deepwater Horizon Fire (photo: SkyTruth)

After a year like the one he’s had, the CEO of Transocean should count himself very lucky that, unlike Japan, America lacks an ‘old-way’ tradition for a company manager to prostrate himself with shame and grief at his job performance, especially after loss of life. Instead, this Transocean weasel gets a bonus for the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”

200 million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico?

11 lives lost (so far) including nine of his own employees?

2010 is your best safety year? It’s a model of safety performance, bonus-worthy even? May we ask, Transocean, what you aren’t telling us about safety fails in previous years?

A grammar tell, from the CEO’s message on Transocean’s website, best indicates Transocean’s attitude to his lost employees’ lives. He deftly avoids Alan Greenspan’s new internet meme, “with notably rare exceptions:”

“Of the 126-member crew, 115 were safely evacuated,” Transocean President and CEO Steven Newman said in a message on the company’s Web site. “Despite exhaustive rescue efforts, eleven crew members lost their lives, nine of which were Transocean employees.

WHICH?”

No. These were human beings. In English grammar, humans deserve ‘whom,’ Steven, not “which.” But with your $5,800,000 compensation package, perhaps we shouldn’t expect respectful grammar niceties from you. After all you’ve been rewarded for your safety record, who expects you to acknowledge the humanity of your own dead employees?