That's Not My Job!
“It amazes me how you come up with subject matter for your editorial. Great job.”
Wayne M. Bailey
Mr. Bailey sent an email to me after the last issue came out (see Readers Speak on page 8) stating he was amazed how I come up with subject matter for my editorial column. Here are what I think are the two most important factors that help me write my columns. First of all, I am an A&P mechanic. I have worked in the industry since 1988. Second — I pay attention. Whether it is at a trade show or touring a maintenance facility, I tend to listen and observe.
That’s how I came up with the subject of this month’s column. You see, I was recently visiting a nearby repair station. As the DOM walked me around, I heard one of the mechanics off to the side say to a coworker, “That son of a b**ch can kiss my f***ing a**! That’s not my job!”
There were two things that bothered me about that comment. First of all is perception. Although aircraft mechanics are not doctors or lawyers, we aren’t Neanderthals either. The character Lowell from the TV show Wings may have been a skilled mechanic, but many of us cringed at the negative perception that the character cast on the profession. In most cases, we don’t work in a bubble. We have customers, pilots, vendors and others in and out of our offices and hangars. We must always be on our A-game. How can we expect to be treated as professionals if we act like children and curse like sailors?
Speaking of cursing sailors, that brings me to my next point – the “That’s not my job” attitude itself. One of my favorite shows on TV is Deadliest Catch. In the craziness of a crab boat environment, the work culture is a lot different than a typical aircraft maintenance shop. The captains rule with iron fists, sometimes cursing and yelling at the crew in order to run a “tight ship.” But there are some good life lessons that can be taken away from the show. One is the example of Jake Anderson on Sig Hansen’s boat the F/V Northwestern. He is a young kid that has gone from being a greenhorn to deck boss in a few short years, passing other deck hands that have been on the boat a lot longer than him. How did he do it? Perseverance and drive. You wouldn’t catch Anderson saying, “That’s not my job.” Instead, he does everything asked of him and then asks to learn more. He wants to be the captain of his own boat someday. It looks like he is on track to accomplish that goal.
I have heard it time and time again from successful aircraft maintenance professionals — an important part of their recipe for success is having a positive attitude.
On another note, on August 4 the FAA issued the long-awaited clarification of “actively engaged” as it pertains to IA renewal.
Those that follow D.O.M. magazine on twitter (@DOMmagazine) found out about the news right away. If you are an IA, you need to read the document! You can view it at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-04/pdf/2011-19741.pdf.
In a nutshell, the FAA acknowledged that IAs that work part-time or on an occasional basis (a contentious issue in the comments) could be eligible for renewal. So would supervisors in a technical or executive capacity at maintenance facilities. But it did say that manufacturer’s technical reps and Part 147 instructors could be eligible for renewal if they document proof that they work on aircraft or parts on a part-time or occasional basis. The exclusion for FAA ASIs having to meet the same standard as those working in the industry (another contentious issue in the comments) remains in place.
The FAA says has determined to make this policy effective for the next renewal cycle in March 2013 to allow IAs and ASIs adequate time to participate in the required activity. The FAA will update FAA Order 8900.1 accordingly.
Thanks for reading, and we welcome your feedback.
Thanks for reading!