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Old 05-11-2019, 05:41 PM   #30  
Nightflyer
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Mar 2006
Position: Crewmember
Posts: 731
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ToF,

Glad to hear you are enjoying being here. A long, long time ago, I interviewed with both SWA and FedEx during the same week. It was during a period when hiring was slowing down, and I ended up being in the pool for a year. SWA called first, but by that time, I had made my choice and told them I wanted to work for FedEx, and it wouldn't be fair for me to take a training slot and then quit after 3 months. Not fair to SWA, and not fair to someone in the pool at SWA waiting behind me. SWA was really nice, and told me I had one year to change my mind and they would still take me. I am still at FedEx. I do appreciate SWA being cool about me turning them down. Some of my friends said I was crazy doing that, and that I should have said yes and then quit. Well, it worked out in the end.

Sometimes I eat dinner with the crew, sometimes I am too tired or I woke up early and eat by myself, that is why we have the 5 minute rule. I have never thought poorly of another crew member for missing dinner, it's just part of everyone sleeping, working out and eating on the schedule that works best for them. Now, if I have a longer layover, I will do my best to meet my crew for dinner.

The rest of what you said is also very accurate, but I am glad to hear that a more recent hire has come to the same conclusions I did over 20 years ago.

I picked FedEx so I could fly international, and fly a variety of aircraft so I wouldn't get bored. One of the good things about FedEx is that you can find your little niche and stay there to get senior, or you can make a change until you find a plane you like or one that flies to the cities you like.

Hands down, FedEx has the best vacation rules in the industry. I hope the young guys and gals can resist PBS so they can keep it. I also hope the union fails in this stupid idea to give away our retirement plan.

There are many "old" guys here, who took 8 years to get to the right seat of a wide body, and even longer to be a wide body Captain, due to slower hiring and the age 65 change. I am envious of the young guys and gals just starting out. You will truly benefit from a greatly accelerated career track. I think most of the old guys, including myself, are genuinely happy for you, but we also hope you will protect our contract, and we need to stop giving away the good deals, which seems to happen every negotiating period. Those good deals exist for a reason, and they should not be given up lightly or cheaply.

We debrief here because standards wants it that way. Some Captains take it more seriously than others. My goal is to make sure there are no unanswered questions, admit my mistakes to my crew, and tell them what I learned from it. At 0300, I know I am going to make a mistake somewhere along the way, and I tell my FO's it is their job to catch it. When they do, my response is either "correcting" or "thank you". I usually summarize what I might have done wrong, then ask the FO "what have you got for me"? That gives them the opportunity to debrief any mistakes they may have made in a manner similar to the example I have set. If they don't mention something I consider significant, I may debrief them on it, and do a little mentoring, but it is in the style of "you might consider doing it this way next time". Most of the time, the flight goes smoothly, with only minor errors. In that case, I might say, "I though it went well, except for whatever mistake I made, what do you have for me?" Asking for input makes them think for a minute, and they might bring up something I forgot. I also try to thank my crew for their good work at the end of every trip.

Sorry, I got long winded.
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