Scoutmaster Musings - Airlines - Do Your Best

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Scoutmaster Musings

Airlines - Do Your Best
I wish Delta would adopt the Cub Scout motto.

In the older Boy Scout lingo, DELTA means Developing Ethical Leaders Through Action. But, today I'm talking about Delta Airlines. I figured I should vent about this tonight at the end of a long day of catching up and be done with my whining for the whole year. :-)

It is amazing how unattached people can be to their jobs and the effort they make (or don't make) to fulfill their role. I was brought up to believe that whatever the task assigned to me, whether calling the plays or filling a waterbottle, I should do it as efficiently and thoroughly as I could. And, I still tackle tasks that way. When I have to shovel snow, I get it down to pavement or ice. When I vacuum, I get back in the corners where no one can see. I think the airline industry needs remedial training in task completion and ownership of duties.

Our family vacation to Brazil from Minnesota was a terrific experience with everything being great fun except for the problems with our air travel using Delta/Northwest. Our luggage was lost/delayed on the way there. The web page to check for luggage status never updated and even after we picked them up, listed our bags as at an 'unknown' location. The person that promised a call to let us know when they arrived didn't call. The people we talked to via phone said they would investigate and respond, but did not. And, on and on... We finally got our luggage at the airport 5 days late - we checked in person every 2 days.

Coming back to the USA, our luggage was again misplaced but did arrive the next day. I talked to one guy waiting in line to enter a claim and he said he was 6 for 6 on delayed luggage for the year with Delta. There are many people with much worse horror stories, like being stranded at O'Hare for 2 days, so I know our problems were not all that bad.

I understand there are lots of people flying and lots of bags moving around, but everyone else knows that too. The percentage of mixed up luggage is way too high. With all the technology we have, it just can't be that difficult to place Bag A on Airplane B. An automated system reading the barcodes on luggage tags should zip items lickety-split. And, we should have little scanners around the airport like the price checkers at Wal-Mart where you can read your luggage tag barcode and it tells you instantly where your item is. FedEx, UPS, and the like do it already.

I think the problem is that people get involved in the system. When a person that doesn't have pride in the work he is doing nor the self-respect to perform the task to his best ability takes on a task, then the system fails. If there is no incentive to get some luggage from here to there before the plane leaves, then it might not make it. Oh well.

This happens in any system, not just airline luggage. If a troop scribe doesn't think his notes from a PLC meeting help anyone, then he might get around to writing them down. If the patrol leader isn't going on a campout, he might not bother to make sure a menu is planned. If the scoutmaster's son finally made Eagle, he might not put much effort into guiding the other Life scouts on. Any of these can happen if the people involved don't have the mindset that doing your best is what you should do for every task.

I suppose lots of Cub Scouts and Den Leaders don't really think that much about the Cub Scout motto when they memorize and recite it. But, it's really one of the most important things anyone can learn. If I do my best, I can't really do much more than that.

Well, I feel better now.
Scout On
Posted: 23:17 01-04-2009 385
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