Sunday, January 20, 2008

Good Dog Bad Dog and Wells Fargo In Owatonna

Performance appraisals came out at work this past week and there are several Controllers who aren't too happy and rightly so. I've heard it said more than once from fellow Controllers that they plan to live down to their rating. My area has 44 Controllers who were rated against one another. 9 were given the highest rating resulting in a 1.8% bonus based on yearly salary. Another 24 were given the 2nd highest rating resulting in a .6% bonus and the other 11 were given no bonus. I can think of several people in the no bonus group who are feeling very disrespected and unappreciated and they're right to feel that way.

The entire awards program is flawed in that too much importance is placed on how well a person is liked by management. You could be a hard worker but if you're maybe just a bit outspoken you can forget it. It doesn't help to be a union member either.

It's not as though management could have rated several people higher but chose not to. They were allotted percentages for each group which meant from the outset that 11 of the people I work with were destined to receive no amount of bonus.

There is strong belief that this is just another tool for management to help divide the workforce by creating resentment among those who received no award and those who did. They're right. The last thing management wants is a cohesive group of Controllers who stand together and assert whatever little rights remain. What the FAA fails to realize is that the bulk of the resentment won't be from Controller to Controller but rather from Controller to management.

The amount of this award is added to an organizational award to determine what if any additional pay we'll receive this year over and above our base pay. Because management uses a double standard in nearly all they do, Controllers can't use this added amount to count toward their base pay for retirement purposes but management can. The higher a persons base pay the more their pension. For the next several years I'll add nearly nothing to the amount of my base pay while management will add another 20% or so to theirs. How's that for fairness and leading by example?

There's much cynicism among the workers. During my meeting with my supe to discuss my rating he mentioned that myself and others need to be careful with being too negative around the younger people coming into the system. I suppose he's afraid that we'll taint their view of management and the FAA. I told him not to worry. I said that management was doing a good job of that all on their own with the disrespect they've shown the newbees in so many ways.

Enough of work.

Tammy and I took another road trip last weekend...this time to Owatonna. A couple years ago a friend of Tammy's mentioned a bank in Owatonna which had some glass work and wondered if we'd seen it. Neither of us had and I don't suppose we were in much of a hurry to check it out as it didn't sound all that unique. I sort of forgot about the bank until recently when Tom (a friend I've recently met online) asked us if we'd been to the Wells Fargo bank in Owatonna. I mentioned that we'd heard about a bank there but no, we hadn't seen it. Tom said it was a must see.

Any recommendation from Tom is enough to pique my interest so we packed up the camera gear and took a trip 45 miles south. Tammy had to drop off her resume' at a retirement facility in Farmington so we took the back roads through Northfield and Fairbault.

The bank is referred to as Louis Sullivan's 'Jewel Box' and is considered by many to be America's most famous small-town bank. I'd never heard of Louis Sullivan until Tom mentioned him to me. He was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright and considered by many to be the creator of the modern skyscraper. You can easily see the look of the Prairie School style spawned from his designs.

Here's a link to a set of photos Tammy took. This photo especially captures the 'Jewel Box' feel. It really is an amazing work of art and I'm not just referring to the stained glass. The glass is gorgeous all on its own but the incredible detail within the architecture is unlike anything I've ever seen. I mentioned to Tammy that I couldn't believe something so beautifull was so close to home and I wasn't aware of it.

Here's some video I shot of the bank.


messianicdruid said...

Hey Kev, thanks for the good wishes. The rating thing has always been a problem. The FAA can't fire people that need firing from screen to retirement. BTW I'm working for OU training at the Academy, {only took off 2 months} so I guess I'm not really retired. I probably won't last past the end of Feb. Missing the grandkids too much. Best wishes...

do you read the main bang?

Kevin said...

The faa has always approached discipline with a broad brush rather than address those who need it. Times are changing though with their new found power.

Yes, the main bang is a daily stop for me...some good information to be found there.