Friday, March 16, 2012

Doomsday Prepped!!!

There are a lot of shows on TV these days about Preppers and Prepping for the coming Apocalypse. These are the folks who store a years worth of food and water so they can survive in case the S%#@ Hits The Fan. The preppers have guns and ammo and tactical gear at the ready and practice exactly what they would do in the event of a an emergency. There is good reason to be ready if an event happens that would require you and your family to "bug out" or "bug in" as the preppers say and I must admit that it makes sense to me to have some food and extra water in the event that it is needed. I am pretty sure that I will never have a years worth of food and water stored but to each his own.

pic submitted by SkyWalker

These shows got me thinking, airline mechanics are like preppers or at least they should be. While the preppers are getting ready for the next polar shift or super volcano we mechanics (at least the responsible ones) are always thinking and getting ready for the next lay-off. Ever since I got laid off at Delta Airlines I never really looked at any of my next jobs the same. Lay-offs are a way of life in the airline industry and most everyone at the airline level has been through one. I even know one guy who has been at 14 different air carriers!

pic submitted by SkyWalker

A responsible mechanic will keep his/her skill level up-just in case. Again I will say we should never stop learning new things at our jobs. Sure there are practicle reasons like not having to ask for help running an engine but the other reason is-you never know. You never know when the company you work at will have financial issues, get bought out, or simply close the doors.

What would you do if you were told that in 2 weeks time you were going to be put out on the street? What if during your whole time at  your current job you never took advantage of any of the engine run, taxi, sheetmetal, inspection, etc classes that the company offered you? Now you are out of a job and have learned nothing during the time you spent with said company.

We should all get in the habit of being prepared. Learn all you can. Volunteer to do things you have not done before. Look things up in the MX manual. Experience what a Lead Mechanic or Foreman do by doing "Bump-up" duty. Learn how the paperwork is handled. How do you order parts? How do you contact and talk to Engineering? Never did an engine change or MEC change?-Volunteer. These are all skills that can help you out if you were to ever get that lay off notice.

I know one thing-I am doing it. I like to learn new stuff anyway so it is not hard for me to try. I will never get caught flat footed again. And if any thing like that happens again I want to be able to say that I am even more marketable than when I got this job.

Please understand that I don't think that SWA will be laying anyone off any time soon. I love the company and feel very secure here. Those things do not diminish  my responsibility to my family and that comes first. I am a Vocational Prepper I guess. Stay prepared and you won't be surprised-Oh and you may learn a thing or two along the way.

If I was a person looking to hire a mechanic and I saw two resumes from mechanics that were at the same company for the same amount of time but one of them was engine run and taxi qualified and the  other was not. One mechanic has stated that he did bump up Foreman duty on occasion and one did not-who do you think I would hire?

Doomsday to most Americans would be a Tsunami, hurricane, tornado or flood. But doomsday in my house would  be getting laid off and being a little less marketable than the other 100,000 airline mechanics out of work.

I am taking on a new challenge this year. I am currently studying to get my IA rating from the FAA. I always wanted to get my IA and now seems like a good time to go for it. Who knows one day it may come in handy. Stay tuned!!!