Thursday, April 21, 2005


My inbox was stuffed with memos this morning. I know that every profession is plagued with memos, but I suspect that aviation has it worse than average. I think it's because due to our non-intersectiong schedules and being always out of town pilots get away with fewer meetings than other folks, so we make up for it with memos. I overheard an amusing memo-related conversation recently.

"You'd better do it according to the memo, they're going to be checking."

"What memo? I never get any memos."

"You have to look in the memo book."

"I don't know anything about any memo book."

"You're supposed to read the memo book when you come on duty. There have been memos about it and everything. You'll get a letter on your file if you don't."

"What happens if I get too many letters on my file?"

"Dunno, you probably get a memo, and a letter on your file about it."

At that point the Dilbertian irony of the situation overwhelmed both participants.

You learn a lot about a company by reading their memos. "As of Tuesday we have been reinstated as a permitted carrier for such-and-such company." Hmm, what did they do to lose that status in the first place? (Turns out they crashed a plane on that company's airstrip.) I saw an interesting one last week, dated in April and noting that a crew member had suffered frostbite during a trip that week. The memo decreed that it was now the responsibility of the pilot-in-command to ensure that all crew members were equipped with parka, winter pants, boots rated to -40 degrees or below, an extra hat and mittens and face protection. Next week there will be a memo reminding pilots to remove their balaclavas before going aft into the passenger cabin.

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