An early garbage e-mail
One of my earliest e-mail experiences occurred in 1994, when I worked for Horizon Airlines. Though it wasn’t especially inspiring, it was memorable. As a multitasking ramp-worker, one of my duties included emptying the trash from the aircraft. More often than not, as the flight attendant handed us his or her rubbish, the bags would leak onto the stairs leading out from the plane. After witnessing dozens of these syrupy incidents, it became clear that we needed to take some simple measures to improve this safety and health hazard.
I wrote a letter to corporate headquarters, suggesting that we conduct some tests, using higher quality garbage bags. After a few weeks, one of our managers handed me a three-page printout, which consisted mostly of middle managers e-mailing each other back and forth, mostly making wisecracks about my suggestion. This left a bad impression on me. Not only that, I wondered if it was; a glimpse of what this company was evolving into; another fat-cat corporation, overstuffed with middle managers piddling around their cushy desks, while being heavily subsided by our government.
This was the first time I worked at a place, where the corporate headquarters was in a separate state from the job. This did not seem healthy. In one of their first cost-cutting measures, they slashed our stations highly qualified safety-training officer. Soonafter, one of the new employees almost walked into a running airplane plop as he tried throwing the GPU’s electrical cord out of the passenger pathway. When Skippy our (corporate-tool) manager heard about this, the best he could do was mark a “must read” onto his office board in bold chalk that proclaimed, “Do not walk into the airplane props!”
Several other noteworthy incidents along these same lines occurred, that I would like to write about soon.