The aviation industry is struggling with the reality and aftermath of a few years of hard nosed economic decline and destruction. That’s normal in recessions and depressions. We did not really expect to climb away from the descent on 35% power, with the flaps and the gear hanging out and a sleepy pilot on the yoke, right?
With average fuel prices at an all time high, insurance premiums on the rise, the cost of living going up, more taxes, fees and penalties, it has become hard to do business in the land of the brave and the free. “The land of opportunity” has changed it’s landscaping firm and hell, the place looks different almost seven years into the game for this little soldier. What was once perceived as positive and held in high regard has worked hard to lose it’s status. So, whats the right thing to do?
Many things happen or do not happen because there is money on the table. Certain situations can get changed. In order to bring these changes, a wallet full of money is put on the table. We negotiate, sometimes with Attorneys, sometimes in private, but the deal essentially always involves this (sometimes virtual) wallet. The money in it, is often the motivator for many changes. It is also often the only true reason for people to show up and do their jobs more or less good. Crank the output of the money dispenser down and watch performance do the same. We ain’t doing stuff for nothing, that’s for sure! Take it to the bank!
Exceptional work deserves exceptional pay and good performance needs to be rewarded. We learned that in Management 101. We take care of our customers, under application of the highest ethical guidelines and our customers will take care of us. That, we learned in Customer Relations 101. When we are faced with adversity and problems we apply some of the simple rules of courtesy and respect and revert to the subjects taught in Human Relations 101. All pretty basic stuff – right? Wrong!
In today’s world, we tend to apply a few different rules when dealing with problems. One of them is based on the principle of deception. We somehow strive to make people believe that everything is just fine. “Nothing to worry about, nothing to see here, please go home!”
We apply short term solutions to long term problems. If you think that this only happens in movies, please think again. We tend to do it everywhere. In business, politics, hobby and sometimes even in our own, very private lives. In addition, we apply the principles of censorship and political correctness, no matter how disgusting the problems may be. It is safe to assume many decisions these days would not be made if there wasn’t so much money on the table. Attorneys are expensive, no doubt! However we turn and twist it, Money and Attorneys have started to run the shows, almost everywhere. It’s no longer suitable to face the music, it is no longer OK to speak openly about problems and oftentimes it has become the new standard to remain silent, if only to divert legal issues that may result if we seek open, honest communication with our opponent. Silence, ignorance and indifference kills. It may suppress the fire from being seen today, but it hardly extinguishes it.
Meanwhile, we may need to keep in mind that the money may have become the most important factor in what drives things around us. If the individual customer or member does no longer matter, then it is time to vote with the wallet. Complaints, emails and phone calls can be ignored to death. The lack of money coming in is usually not. Feeling like a cash cow? Stop dispensing money! How do you find out if you are just a cash cow or if you are really appreciated as a customer/ contributor? You can try and practice at your local car dealership and it’s free: Get up and walk out! If someone comes running after you, trying to “make you a better deal” it’s time to pay attention. Is the goal to retain YOU, or is it just to secure your bucks?
Make sure that what you are taking home is what you actually wanted to take home. If it’s a shiny brochure, by all means, take the brochure. When I go shopping I try to get the best bang for the least buck. The dealer tries to get the best buck for the least bang. Look at your wants and needs and budget wisely. Otherwise – what you wanted is not necessarily going to be what you end up with. For the last several years, I have been looking for the ultimate pilots association.
In my mind it looks something like this:
What I got for my money resembles this: