Do Your Best: Quick inspiration for the day

Sept. 1, 2001

Do Your Best

Quick inspiration for the day

By Lonnie Williams September 2001

This is a story about an AMT who decided to end his maintenance career. He told his employer of his plans to leave the company and live a more leisurely life with his wife and maybe finish his flying lessons and enjoy spending time with his extended family.
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The company was sorry to see a good employee go but asked if he could stay a little longer and help repair one more airplane; important customer they said so the AMT said ’Yes’ — the company had been good to him over the years. In time, it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and bent the rules a little. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the AMT finished his work and the supervisor came to inspect the aircraft, the AMT was handed the keys to the airplane with the words, "This is your airplane to use any time you want, our parting gift to you."
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was repairing his own airplane, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to fly the airplane he had repaired none too well.
So too, it is with some of us. We build our careers in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up with less than the best. At important points, we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock, we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living with the career we have built. If we had realized that sooner, we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the AMT in this story. Think about your work. Each day you inspect, repair, replace and sign-off important work. Do it wisely. It is the only career you may build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived with professionalism and integrity. The plaque on the wall says, Life is a do-it-yourself project. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
In the final analysis, you’ve got to become the true professional in this business — in every sense of the word. A professional is not always someone who wears a white shirt and tie or carries a briefcase. The real mark of a professional is the attitude that he or she brings to the task at hand.
We have to keep our air transport system as it is a huge part of our economic well-being. We keep it moving because those of you reading this deserve the credit by doing your best.