It amazes me how you come up with subject matter for your editorial. Great job. Your column in the July/August issue on loyalty was extremely interesting and gave me pause to think about loyalty and friendships. Hopefully, the two go hand-in-hand.
It is very difficult to balance personal vs business loyalty as most would agree family comes first. The conundrum is that the business helps take care of the family. It’s a tough call for most. In the example of the 12 hour days to meet a deadline, it is interesting to note that the DOM was quick to make sacrifices to keep his associates motivated. While this is an outstanding tactic and shows a high level of empathy on the part of management, it still leaves me thinking something might be amiss. Of course, in a short article, there is not enough room to fully describe the dynamics of the work place. That being said, I would think that if a true level of trust exists between the manager and the associates, the associates would not only understand the situation, but would encourage him to go be with his family. He only has to remember the old adage -- turn around is fair play. To me, any organization should be able to perform its duties with one person missing. If not, it may need to look at its succession plan or create one. Still a great example of loyalty.
Referencing the West Point cadets, I am reminded of my military days. In Marine boot camp, one of our drill instructors preached about the seniority of any member of the group. In his example, he said that when you are promoted, there will be some who will attempt to use their “friendship” to ask you to get them out of performing some tasks. The wise drill instructor pointed out that your true friends would never ask you to compromise your values. Simply put, one who makes this request has self identified as something other than a friend. I never forgot those words.
Lastly, if someone on the team does anything to denigrate the team, that person is not a true team member and has displayed his or her selfishness. So, should you report that person for a correction? You most certainly should. Relate it to the hangar floor: If someone fails to perform or creates a hostile environment for their coworkers, are they a part of the team? Because of the working relationships on the floor, it is difficult to get someone else to report these activities to management. It’s too bad, because the failure to report leads to continuous unacceptable behavior. Unfortunately, it is often reported after emotions have escalated to a near uncontrollable point.
I’m not condoning a tattletale mentality. My recommendation is for the affected parties to have an honest conversation. If it is not resolvable between the two of them, it’s time for management intervention. Most things can be resolved with honest conversation and a no threat environment. Your working environment should foster open, honest communication. If you have that, you will help maintain the feeling of brotherhood and loyalty.
Wayne M. Bailey
Going back to school
I read the cover article about Jason Erickson in this month’s DOM with great pleasure. It’s always good to hear a success story. One thing that struck me right between the eyes was the story of his high school guidance counselor’s ignorance about aviation, in particular, the A&P technician. I had a an opportunity to go back to my A&P school in Florida recently and talk a little about my career to the students there. I accompanied Stan Younger, VP of Service Facilities for Cessna Aircraft Company. He and I share a passion for the future of our profession. Speaking to the students was a wonderful experience and I would encourage any A&P to go back to their school and tell their story. After our sessions with the students, we spoke at length with the school’s president about the looming shortage of technicians and the aging A&P in the US. We also discussed the need for our industry to reach out to the school counselors around the country and educate them about aviation and becoming an A&P. Perhaps D.O.M. could help get this message out.
Mark S. Chaney, CAM, A&P, IA