RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It is frustrating to be a professional and not have your experience valued. It is also frustrating to need a professional and not be able to find one (or afford one). In the last 48 hours we have been on a roller-coaster trying to get to press with our September Print edition and as I write I’m still not sure if it will happen today (or next week at the latest.) We wont name names, but let’s just say, professionalism appears to be relative.

Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.

The topic of professionalism is also comes up in our article about the Santa Teresa bonde accident. It seems to have been in such disrepair, it was just a matter of time before something went wrong. As my childhood neighbor’s ‘old man’ said about vehicles: “You can’t just run a car and expect it to run.”

Strikes me that the statement applies to many things, motor vehicles, physical health, love and relationships, toilets…

Although who would have foreseen the bone violently jumping off the tracks and crashing on the opposite side of the street. I feel terrible for the families of lost ones and the injured. I also feel a little bad for the people responsible for maintaining the bondes, thinking the worst that could happen was they break down and stop running.

That is why we need professionals, people with the experience to foresee all the possible outcomes. You pay them to head off huge mistakes, or little mistakes that can have huge consequences. At best, hiring non-professionals makes for slow, inefficient work and ends up costing you in other ways. At worst, a disaster.

It seems like a question of pay now or pay later really, and perhaps there is a variable for the margin of error that is acceptable, divided by tolerance for pain and the amount of energy that can be expended (self-exploitation).

A question of professionalism, image recreation.
A question of professionalism, image recreation.


  1. I’m an american who has traveled to Rio often in the past few years. What always brings me back is the warmth and dignity of the “Cariocas”. Last year at about this time, I brought my 82 year old mother to Rio with me and she loved her ride on the Santa Teresa bonde. I’m heartsick about this tragedy. I am in agreement with Mr. Korshak’s accessment of the lack of foresight that decision makers have with regards to proper and reasonable maintenance of equiptment. Sadly, this kind of professionalism is lacking in the U.S. also, and I suspect almost everywhere in the world. As economys get tighter workers are asked to do with less and less. How sad that innocents out for an enjoyable day, had to pay such a high price. My sincere wish is that what is learned fom this disaster will mean a safer bonde system that will run again. The charming people of Santa Teresa and of Rio deserve no less. My deepest condolances — Patrick Roach


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