Last year we had an agent that for the most part was a good agent. He came to work, did his job, and was always where he was supposed to be. This agent worked in a small station and at times had some breaks in his schedule up to 3 hours in the day. I suppose this agent was very industrious, as the down time at work was not to his liking, so he wanted to make the most of his time. This agent did make the most of his down time and used it to run errands, go to doctor appointments, stop home and say “hello” to the wife, all while on the clock. What is the big deal? He never missed any work, there were never any planes on the ground. In fact, many, if not all the time, this agent had a radio with him, so when a flight would call in range he would just run right back to the airport. Seems pretty harmless. Well, the Company found out about it and when they discovered how often, and how long he had been away from the airport, he was terminated. The agent will not be coming back, but that is not the point of the story. The other day I was watching TV and one of my favorite movies came on so I decided to sit and watch it. It was a remake of an old classic, Ocean’s 11. There is a line in the movie where the casino owner tells his girlfriend after he pulls back from her advance to give him a kiss, “In my hotel, there is always someone watching.” The same thing can be said with our work today, “At the airport, there is always a camera on you.”
There are so many ways for the Company to see what you are doing from SIDA swipes, gate cameras, security cameras, bag drop logs, gate reader reports, time clock, parking lot swipes, to who knows what else. If you think you can get away with something; that the Company will not find out, you better think again. I have dealt with too many employees in my short time as a District Rep that have either lied, or really stretched the truth in telling me what happened and why they filed a grievance only to watch a video and see something completely different. I had an agent get written up for using his cell phone while working a flight and tell me he just looked at his phone for 5 seconds to see the time. I watched a video to see that same agent look at his phone for over 40 seconds while walking around the provisioning truck to the belt loader and then stop and tap his fingers on the phone.
I had another agent tell me after he had been written up for driving a lav truck while on his phone that he never is on his phone while driving. As I sat and watched this video, not only did it show the agent driving up in the Lav truck talking on his phone, but standing about 15 feet away from the truck was a supervisor waving to him holding his hand up to his ear indicating, “get off your phone.” I had an agent tell me they were wearing their seat belt on a tug and that their letter was unjust only to watch a video of an accident where the agent flew off the tug after impact. The Union had a case where an agent said they did not damage an aircraft with a cart only to see a video where the agent pushed the cart into the engine, stopped to look at the engine to see the damage, and then look around to see if anyone saw what they did and then walk away when they did not see anyone. The Union also had a case where two agents said they deiced “the entire aircraft,” only to see a video where only half of the aircraft was deiced. I had an agent tell me they left the airport only for an hour, and then the Company gives me the SIDA badge swipe report that shows they were gone for over 3 hours. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. If you are in a situation where the Company starts asking you questions about something, first and foremost, make sure you have a Union Rep with you while being questioned, but second, there is a pretty good chance the Company already knows what happened. There are too many things and ways for the Company to piece together what actually happened, and it is just not worth saying something that is not true. On the flip side, I have worked out cases and made settlements for lesser discipline because the agent was truthful. Not only do you make things worse for yourself by not telling the truth, you make the job of your Union Rep almost impossible to fight for your rights and your job when you start things off by not telling the truth. I want to fight your grievances, I want to make a case to have your discipline taken out of your file, but I cannot do any of that if the Company has evidence that your story is not the truth. Remember, at the airport, there is always someone watching.
DUTY OF OFFICERS