In yesterday’s post we discussed the role Mariam’s narcissistic rage had played in the demoralization of TBI staff. With this nasty and self-regarding woman persecuting her detractors and critics and scapegoating her underlings, anyone who worked under Mariam came to fear her moods and tantrums. A lot of capable people left, shaking their heads at the culture of blame shifting and low productivity.
Just as deadly in the long run was Mariam’s appalling sense of judgement. Everyone who worked for Ashley as school manager knew he was out the door at 4 pm each day, probably in a taxi which he would charge TBI for. When he appointed Needham as Actel at Kuningan, three expats chose not to renew, and left naming Platts and Needham as the cause. The reason Cam became Actel so fast was mostly because Platts had got rid of most other expats: he had scared them off with his blatant favoritism towards Needham. But then Mariam, oblivious to what was going on, failed to see what every expat at Kuningan knew: Platts was an aloof free loader with a tin ear for criticism. She was so gullible that she agreed to take this charlatan on as a ‘business consultant’ who sold her the GROW Model and other stuff that was big in the UK in the 80s. Platts never acknowledged his whole system was stolen and wrote TBI a bill of above Rp 25 juta a month for GROW, KPIs and other stuff he had cut and paste. It should never have happened but Mariam was clueless about business and lazy to boot.
Unable to run the company but loving the fancy title, she was easily persuaded by shifty con-men like Platts and Preece that they would run TBI for her, while she wafted around in kaftans doing long lunches and talking about herself. It must have looked like a good solution but she had only increased the concentration of slippery, conniving people at the top of TBI. She had no more idea how to judge a character than she had how to manage the company and her advisers and consultants have only hoodwinked her.The mess she has created has probably ruined TBI’s name for good.