Saturday, February 28, 2004

Sorry I haven't updated here lately but I've been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest this past week. A lot of it is because of projects I decided to undertake but some of it is because of projects others have found for me (Mom's car again, nothing major, Layne and other friends having computer problems, etc.)

Emily finished computer enhancing one of her pencil sketches this past week. We scanned it in and she used The Gimp to edit it. It turned out really nice and I have it set now for my desktop wallpaper. This one is entitled Fairy Queen and it will probably be one of the first ones to go on her new website when she's ready to put it online. Also one of her oil paintings is now dry enough to put on the scanner so we'll probably get in soon too.

On Layne's computer we ended up having to download new drivers for his video card and for his motherboard but there was nothing we could do to resurrect his modem. It looks like that bit the dust whenever his HD and Power Supply did. There must have been some sort of surge go through the system. Anyway, at least everything else is working okay even if he can't get online with it just yet. A new modem probably won't cost more than $25 anyway.

I went down to the Union Hall Wednesday to see what the latest was on the apprenticeship program and they said the company is very skeptical about the whole thing because they don't want to get stuck footing the bill when right now the focus is on cutting costs everywhere they can to survive. The Labor Board has a lot of grant money available though and if they implement the program based on their guidelines the company could actually come out ahead on the deal. From the looks of things most of the company's questions were satisfactorily answered and there will be a followup meeting sometime in March.

I also learned that in addition to the 7 mechanics being hired off the street in Facilities at the airport there will be 2 hired off the street for Automotive as well. At a time when there are still union members on layoff status, even if they are of the lower classification of PMM, I find it reprehensible that the union is doing nothing to get the 22 PMM slots which previously existed at DFW reinstated before hiring new mechanics off the street so those who are still laid off can have a chance to get back to work. But this doesn't surprise me any. This is the kind of representation we have had for the 14 plus years I've been there. It's the classic good ol' boy, friends and family scheme.

My guess is this apprenticeship talk is just a ruse to take the PMMs' mind off of what's going on until the hiring is over (probably somebody's friends, sons, grandsons, cousins or whatever) and then "something" will go wrong with the program which the union will claim was the company's fault and once again we'll be left hanging out to dry.

Hopefully, in the meantime I will be able to find some sort of part time job on the outside to help bring in more money and build up my resume because I don't hold out much hope for the future of Title II in the next contract negotiation. It's time to start looking towards damage control and building up skills to use in the marketplace for when the time comes.

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