Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day

I worked an afternoon shift yesterday which was unusual for me on a Tuesday as I usually have a day shift but the change worked out well. I was up by 7:00 and on my rollers an hour later watching news coverage of the inauguration. It didn't take long for me to become bored with it so I muted the sound on the TV and fired up my mp3 player strapped to my arm. It came alive to the sound of Third Day's, Tunnel.

I twisted the original intent of the song for my own purposes as we're coming out of the shadow of the Bush administration. The light at the end of the tunnel worked for me and the song would remain in my head all day.

I dismounted long enough to share a link to the song with my Facebook 'friends' then climbed back on to finish my workout.

I knocked out 30 miles and then hurried to get into the shower. I needed to make a quick trip to Burnsville Center before work to stop at Macy's and buy a tie. Anything already hanging on my tie rack is outdated and that wouldn't work for this day. Most of the controllers in the area I work in were dressing up to mark the occasion of Obama's presidency and hopefully a return to some fairer treatment from the FAA. It's a shame that our workplace is so affected by the ebb and flow of elections but because of presidential appointees to head agencies such as ours it's the nature of the beast.

I don't know how long it will be before we see some change in the tenor of FAA management but it wasn't happening yesterday. I got to work and was sent off to listen to a 'Conduct and Discipline' briefing. The first words out of the briefer's mouth were 'No disciplinary action will be taken until a full investigation has been conducted.' I whispered "bullshit" just loud enough for those in my immediate area to hear. The briefer went on to say that "Effectiveness, productivity economy and high morale generally can be expected to occur where progressive and constructive discipline is fostered and maintained. Progressive and constructive discipline helps to produce a positive change in an employees undesirable behavior or performance." You're joking, right? I thought I was listening to instructions for how to train our new puppy. What a joke. In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves. How about when you have runaway supervisors who abuse their positions of authority and area managers who blindly and foolishly encourage them? When do we talk about that?

Someday, somebody is going to write a book for employers about how to get the most from their employees; what to do and what not to do. The FAA's leadership, especially the past eight years, could fill several chapters of what not to do. I can think of nothing, nothing, that they've done in that time which hasn't been done out of spite toward the controllers who do the real work around here.

Okay, I really didn't intend for this to become a rant about the FAA.

Let me get back on track. Yesterday was a good day. We have new leadership in our Country in the name of President Obama.

I came home from work and was greeted by Toby and Allie. Charlie was downstairs with Tammy and Rachel. Allie is warming up to Charlie but Toby is still unconvinced that having Charlie around is a good idea. He mostly growls when Charlie invades his personal space which is approximately three feet in all directions.

I went downstairs and Tammy poured us each a glass of wine. We sat down with Rachel and watched Obama's speech. I liked his words; in particular:

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers...our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine drafted a charter to ensure the rule of law and the rights of man. A charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."

"We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waiver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us and we will defeat you."

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

For me those were the highlights. I didn't sense any Martin Luther King Jr moments which will be remembered generations from now. But, it's going to take more than words to cure what ails us.

1 comment:

Marc said...

My favorite quote: "The United States is ready to lead, again." Good to hear, and also a nice slap in the face to the Bush admin.