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SAY WHAT?

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Growing up in China, Texas, I was taught that you should not put your family's business "in the streets." The same should apply in the workplace, because you never know who could be listening. I had the misfortune--or maybe it was fortune--of hearing two employees of a rival airline speaking so negatively about their employer. What surprised me the most was the time and place in which their conversation took place...in a locker room full of guys getting dressed after a lunchtime workout. During the time it took for me to get dressed, I didn't hear these two pilots say anything nice about that airline (a major competitor of Southwest's). They should have been more aware of their surroundings; although, once I was dressed they noticed that I was wearing my Southwest Airlines-issued liberty blue aircraft Mechanic's uniform with the Southwest Airlines logo on the shirt and cap. I wonder if any of the other guys in the locker room decided to fly Southwest Airlines that day, after hearing what they said. I can only hope.
7 Comments
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I could not agree more. If you've got a beef with your workplace, the place to deal with it is in the workplace. I also like the fact that this blog post does NOT mention which competitor the complainers came from - another golden rule is to never speak badly of the competition.
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As a Flight Attendant for SWA, I spend a LOT of time in vans going to and from hotels. More often than not, there will be another crew in the van from a different airline. SWA crews tend to talk about what we ate that day, where we will eat that night, and what food should we bring tomorrow (notice a theme!). Other airlines talk about EVERYTHING under the sun, and the conversations tend to run towards the negative. We get quite an earful. They know we are SWA crews because EVERYONE is in uniform. For some reason, other crews love to "air their dirty laundry" in front of us. Even after a rough day, this is THE BEST AIRLINE TO WORK FOR, BAR NONE! Can you imagine what the van drivers must be thinking?!!
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I had the pleasure of being in Denver the other day and was in the van with three flight attendants from a certain Atlanta, GA based legacy airline. Being friendly I was asking them questions i.e. where they were going, what equipment they were on...and length of overnight. The proceeded to rip into their company because of their contract, the fact they don't have a union, and their overall work rules. I have never heard an employee talk so bad about their employer! I know things haven't gone well there but they had very low morale and it was cringe-inducing, especially since there were possible customers in the van with us. It makes me feel better that we have what we have here at SWA and that we are treated so well!
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Matt and Linda, You're fortunate because not only do you work at a place that keeps their Employees happy, you also both apparently have the good manners to not "air your dirty laundry" in public. I am often surprised by what people will say in public when they have no idea who is around them or what those people might know. Airplanes seem to bring out that ignorance in folks almost as easily as cell phones do. On at least three occasions on a Southwest flight, I've easily overheard conversations about my employer, about one of my customers or a next-door neighbor of mine. I've also seen countless documents being read at arm's length by a seat companion, including sensitive legal briefs (no, I don't mean that I saw some lawyer's undies! 🙂 ) and have had ample opprotunities to easily peruse spreadsheets displayed on a neighbor's laptop screen. I used to surprise salesmen that I trained by telling them not to leave file folders containing customer information flipped open on their front or back seats of their cars when eating at a restaurant or even more importantly when parked in the parklng lot of a customer. It seemed that they would flip open a file to review the specifics of their last visit or to check out an invoice and then just leave the file open in plain sight. Bear in mind that these are probably the same kind of folks who work for the CIA or some of our defense labs and who leave their government laptops sitting in a retail coffee establishment and then wonder how folks get a hold of our secrets... Kim
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Gordon, I guess those pilots are not "Something special in the AAir". Matt, Those workers don't "love to fly and it shows" ;-) Blogging before blogs existed Joe Friedmann
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Dear "blogging before blogs existed" Does your own personal calendar show BB (before blogging) and AB (after blogging) after the dates? Blog Boy
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Why yes it does. How did you know? Without guys (and gals) like me, no one would have a place to live. Joe Friedmann