Airline Safety with a Price Tag
What is Your Price?
A man walks into a bar and sees a beautiful woman. He buys her a drink. He's cute. He's charming. He says, "Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?" She smiles and says, "Of course." He says, "Would you sleep with me for twenty-five dollars?" She says, "Of course not! What do you think I am?" He responds, "We already established what you are, now we're just negotiating a price."
Do you Change Your Values Based Upon the Price Tag?
In Flight to Success, be the Captain of your Life I discussed the need to establish a safety line before you are confronted with a situation that results in a decision that was justified in the moment due to external pressures. Our safety standards must be engraved in cement, because a line in the sand is easily moved. It can even disappear with a light wind, the flow of the ocean, or a stack of hundred dollar bills. It's important to have a plan of action before you are faced with an ethical dilemma. It's important to know who you are, set your standards, and don't waiver.
Over the previous seven years I have witnessed deception, deceit, federal violations, and people doing the most horrific and illegal things for money. I am certain ego and power had something to do with this behavior, but the financial reward cannot be overlooked.
Yesterday I received an honor from the Giraffe's Hero Project for sticking my neck out. This highlighted my thoughts on what we do for money, but also what we would not do to avoid losing it.
I would have been the person hiding Jewish people during the Holocaust. I would have been running the Underground Railroad. I challenged the bullies in the schoolyard who were picking on the little kids. I would be the first person to intervene if someone was being raped, and not hesitate jumping into a river to save a drowning person. While working for Tower Air, my first instinct and step was toward the aftermath a screeching of tires, a car hitting a body that flew into the air like a ragdoll. My captain grabbed the back of my shirt to stop me and said, "He's gone. There is nothing you can do."
What I am saying is there is no amount of money for me to look the other way, don't help someone, or worse yet-- harm them.
What are your standards?
I've been watching the old series Ozark. The best thing about waiting years to start a series is that you can watch the episodes sequentially and see the cause and effect of the behaviors in a compressed time. If you've watched that series you should remember that the very first decision that set the course of action in motion, was simply a justification in response to the amount of money Marty and Wendy would receive and their perceived need.
When an entire airline culture believes it's okay to justify wrongdoings for money, this becomes normalized deviance. This is when airline safety is challenged. The airline industry needs each individual. working within the system to do what is right. Don't look the other way. Stand beside those who come forward to do the right thing. Don't accept financial enticement to fly an additional trip that pushes you over your limit of fatigue. If you are feeling anxious, or stressed about something, use your sick leave and stay home. Put your oxygen mask on first. Make those decisions as to how you'll deal with your emergency or crisis before it actually happens.
Enjoy the Journey!