Thursday, March 02, 2017

FAA to the Rescue

I work for a Canadian company that does work in the US, which we're allowed to do under the North American Free Trade Agreement, but not without a packet of paperwork. The worst paperwork is on the Canadian side, but once I've coaxed that through the system, I send the result to an FAA office in the States and they issue me a permit to work in their airspace for the year. Traditionally I send the documents all in, wait a week, and then call to find out what's happening to them.

I followed the procedure this year, and found myself talking to an FAA employee who seemed nice enough, but clearly had no idea what I was talking about. I paused, looking at the e-mail I'd pulled up to get his contact information, and realized that I had called the gentleman who had helped me with this paperwork two years ago, and not last year. I asked, "Did you change roles in the last two years and keep the same phone number?" the answer was yes. I apologized for the intrusion, explaining that he had been very helpful back when this was his job. He asked my company name, and remembered me, and offered to help. A week later he e-mailed back to say that he couldn't see that anyone was working on the file, so he was going to do it himself.

I think maybe he remembered me because my business e-mails have the personality of my blog posts. Here's the one I sent back.

I will literally go home and talk about you, an employee of a foreign government who is doing something I need doing, even though it isn’t his job anymore. This may be the highlight of my day, and that includes the fact that there was pie at the safety meeting, and I finally got Microsoft Word to format the org chart properly. If the world were a just and proper place, there would be medals for this sort of thing.

Oh and he sent that e-mail at 5:30 p.m. in his time zone.


WA_side said...

It really is a delight to come across someone who strives to offer exemplary service - particularly when it is no longer a part of their job description.

Like you, I do my best to make sure they know how much they are appreciated, and where possible / helpful, to let their supervisor know too.

It made me feel happier just reading this post. Extra thanks for him!

MaggieL said...

I had occasion to visit our local FAA Flight Standards District Office (we call them the fizz-dough) to add a drone pilot enforcement to my private pilot's licence. I expected a dreary bureaucratic encounter. Instead,I had a wonderful time and some great conversation. Maybe things are changing at FAA.