The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same: A Behind the Scenes Look at United Airlines Maintenance Base

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AuthorHouse, Feb 12, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 132 pages

It has been a continuous struggle with myself as to whether I should write this journal.  I was frustrated and needed to ascertain some way of keeping my sanity.  It finally dawned on me that on the occasions when I was very frustrated, writing thoughts down might become a way to alleviate some of that stress.  In writing this journal, I hoped to shed some light on the employees’ and their perceptions and how they contributed to some of the problems at United Airlines. 

            In the years I worked at United Airlines, I made some of the best friends I will ever have.  

            I do not want you to think all the time I spent at United was negative.  It was not.  I have had some very good times and enjoyed working for them.   Through all the challenges I faced, the good times far outweigh the bad.  I always believed in doing things to enhance the work environment, and make it a fun experience for everyone so that it did not feel like being on a job.    Therefore, I helped organize, plan, and create that atmosphere, through functions such as potlucks, and steak barbecues.  In addition, I would bring in bagels, cakes, cookies etc. for the whole shop.  We had a lot of fun.  United had some of the best people you could ever imagine working for them, we were all like family!

            I had no intention of doing anything with these writings; it was simply a catharsis for me. When I retired there were so many things going on with United I decided at that point maybe I should publish my journal.  A lot of the things that happened were events I was afraid would happen

And did, such as the loss of so many jobs.


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About the author (2007)

With forty years of work experience (sixteen plus) with her last employer, Ruth Washington has seen a variety of situations involving employee/employer relations and conflict.  Since she was not educated at the University of California, Haas School of Business and does not hold an MBA degree from The Stanford School of Business, she is an unlikely candidate, as a source of quotes, on how a corporation should develop and serve its employees.  However, this does not, mean that she does not have a valid opinion and incredible insight into how a major corporation should attempt to govern its business and work with its employees.  Not only does she have the insight, but the logic of some of her conclusions make sense in the evaluation of Employee Stock Options Programs, Revenue Sharing and a host of other so called ”employee benefits”.  Washington cites examples of greed, employee disrespect for line management/managers and a host of other issues. 


The day-to-day resistance of individuals within the company (who were among the owners of the company) made it difficult to be as profitable as possible.  This day-to-day resistance affected every employee within the company and management. 


When the lions tell the story of the hunt, the hunters will not be heroes.  Washington provides a different interpretation of the role of management, the performance of the employees/owners and the earnings of the company.  She is critical of many management decisions and the method in which many valued employees influenced the outcome of the company with their malingering. 


This must read account may not be the greatest literary work of the decade, but it provides a very valuable record of the “hunt” from the perspective of the lioness, not the hunters.  This is a witty and humorous, must read, first hand account of a major corporation.  Everyone from the CEO of any company to the janitor should all read this work to learn how he or she should act within the corporate world.

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