That’s just like the federal government — instead of assigning blame, instead of acknowledging that there really is such a thing as intentionally underperforming individuals, it overlooks the obvious. These slackers, people who don’t do their jobs because they don’t want to and feel they don’t have to, often are fodder for analysis that has citizens of this nation wondering if they and their government are from the same planet.
The federal government’s response to sleeping air-traffic controllers is a typical example. Rather than showing backbone and admitting that some people just can’t — or won’t — handle the job given to them, the Federal Aviation Administration changes the rules.
Come on, in any other century, people who fell asleep on the job, especially one where an unconscious state could lead to the deaths of hundreds of people, automatically would be fired. There would be no discussion. There would be no debate. There would be no suspension, and there certainly would be no re-evaluating of scheduling practices. It simply would be a relationship between employer and employee that ended in these words: You’re fired. It’s the old-fashioned way of doing business, but it works.
The FAA decided to consider changes after the fifth air-traffic controller allowed himself to fall into the slumbering arms of the sandman, this time at a regional radar facility in Miami that monitors high-altitude flights. The man was not terminated. He merely was suspended, even though his unwakeful state put others in serious jeopardy.
In case the FAA hasn’t noticed, there are a lot of people out there looking for work. No doubt it could find more than a handful who would appreciate a good, paying job, particularly one with great benefits. No doubt it could find men and women who would be willing to stay awake and protect the lives of air travelers. At the very least, they would be willing to keep their eyes open to keep a paycheck coming.
The federal government needs to do a little waking up itself.