SSA leadership is tone-deaf


To the Editor:

In response to the following quote from SSA board member James Malkin on the Steamship: “We’re not a technology company, we’re a ferry line,” and assuming his quote was not taken out of context, it can only be construed by those of us who rely on the SSA as tone-deaf. Does United Airlines think of themselves as just an airplane service, or Amtrak as just train transport, or Avis as just car rental? You bet they do not! Just look at their websites and apps — yes, they have apps! 

As someone who teaches and studies and researches leadership, what I find time and again is that tone at the top makes all the difference. And when our Island’s own SSA rep makes this sort of excuse for their abysmal tech interface to their customers, hr clearly lacks the expertise to represent us. How does Jim think a first-time visitor to MV interacts with the SSA? They don’t call, they go online. How does he think those of us who call MV home interact with the SSA to check our reservations and schedules? We go online! We’d rather go to an app, but let’s get the boats running reliably and on time first. 

I fear most of my fellow Islanders are just plain tired and exhausted by the “clown car” that is the SSA. But when I see quotes like these from those entrusted to represent us, I know why we have the “ferry line” we have. As long as we continue to allow tone-deaf leaders to lead, we are getting what we deserve!


Michael Bellissimo
West Tisbury