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Unintended Consequences

January 7, 2013 18:53:25.983

I saw this article on what (some) flight attendants think about things, and this stuck out to me:

Our airline used to pay us when we showed up for duty at the airport. That was eons ago. Then we got paid our measly hourly wage when the cabin doors closed. Then it was when the plane's brakes were released. Now we get paid only when the wheels leave the ground ("wheels up" in airline parlance). We don't even get paid when we're taxiing! There can sometimes be hours of delay between the time we show up for work and when we're airborne. Different airlines have different policies, but it's a way for them to save money. So when we greet you at the door, we do that for free. When we serve you your pre-flight drink, we do that for free, too. No wonder our smiles are so fake.

If a flight is late, the airline might have to pay us overtime. If the flight is going to be late anyway, we've been known to delay it even further in order make sure overtime kicks in, which on our airline means up to double the hourly pay. We might find some minor defect in the aircraft or use some other ruse to make up for the money we don't get paid waiting for take off.

This is where many, many big organization policies end up. Some bozo with a spreadsheet has a bright idea about saving money, but the idea that an action might generate a reaction never occurs to him. Everyone ends up less happy, and the bozo gets promoted for "thinking outside the box".


posted by James Robertson

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