Council 22 Message - 8/15/17
Council 22 Message - 8/15/17


Members of Council 22,       

The commodification of professionalism

Have you even been to Edwards Air Force Base? Ever wonder who the streets are named after? They are named for the professionals who pushed the envelope and expanded our understanding of manned flight—some paid the ultimate price for that knowledge. If you read business courseware these days, you might be shocked about how little they value professional artisanship.  Workers are becoming cost centers and professionalism is lost on the manager that looks at the numbers. It is productivity that matters. Write new rules if you don’t like the way your employees are doing the job and look for your metrics. 

Professionalism is a way of life or its not. You can’t have it both ways. The industry we work in requires professionalism from every level. Everyone involved with our flights must be of the highest caliber. If you have to make an excuse for why you showed up unprepared, you might want to refocus your efforts to overcome that issue. After all, we cannot expect others to bring their A-game, if you did not bring yours. We count on so many people to do their jobs to keep us safe day in and day out. So, the next time you are in the seat and an engine fire happens just after V1, do you want to look right, or left and see a professional sitting there with you, or do you want to see just another cost neutral person along for the ride?

In our industry, things like Appendix S are inappropriately added to operational manuals. Calling in sick is monitored to control costs. Pairings are revised adding extra legs to high-density airports as a second leg after 10-12 hour flights to reposition aircraft. As recently communicated by FedEx management, other companies are allowed to be flown in our livery.  Undeclared Hazardous material, one of our most dangerous concerns, continues to be a problem. Writing up O2 bottles for being over serviced earns you a conversation with a fleet captain. Do these events make us safer? Could it be construed as professional treatment, or is there another motivation afoot?

As airline pilots we are on several teams every time we fly. There is only one team you pay to be on—it is the team that will stand beside you if something goes wrong, the rest will be on the other side of the table. Stay professional. Encourage professionalism from those you interact with. And most of all, ask for help if you ever find yourself in need. 

One last thought, when playing on a team, it is customary to wear the team’s colors.  If you want to wear a lanyard for your favorite football team or past affiliation, that’s fine, consider wearing two, one for them and one for you. Showing your professional colors is always a good thing.

Fly safe, and fly professional.
DJ Shaw
LEC 22 Chairman
Block 2 Rep
Brian Hoffman
LEC 22 Vice Chairman
Block 5 Rep
Ian Thompson
LEC 22 Secretary/Treasurer
Block 7 Rep
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