When I first got out of the Air Force the economy was having a rough time and the airlines were not hiring. I ended up taking a job at a little FBO. FBO’s are basically service stations for airplanes. I was officially a mechanic but since I was the most junior guy I was also the designated line boy; the gas pumper. “Check your oil sir?” and wash the windshield, you know?
Now, airplanes can get pretty pricy and frankly some (not most) pilots are pretty snobby, stuck up jerks. I would run into them now and again pumping airplane fuel and it was never fun. They could be very much like Merrill Streep's character in "The Devil Wears Prada"
So years later I buy my first plane. This is her, this was my baby. She was old and she was cheap but she was just what a first timer like me needed to learn with. We spent over 600 hours together in the air and she taught me a lot. Sadly, I traded her in for a younger much faster mistress who really eats at my wallet. :(
Anyway, once I became an aircraft owner I vowed I would always treat the line guys right since I remembered well the shit I had to take on occasion. Really, I just treated them no different than any other human. I don’t look down on many people. I would always laugh and joke with them and at Christmas I gave them all gift cards from the sports bar down the street. Nothing big though, just enough for a cheeseburger and a few brews.
So one hot summer day a sudden and violent storm just sprang up out of nowhere as they sometimes do in the hotter part of the Great Plains. The storm only lasted about 15 minutes but it was a doozy. I was on the 31st floor and I could feel the building swaying in the wind. I looked out the window and the trees were bent over and the hail was pummeling the cars on the street below!
My building was pretty close to the airport so I drove over to the airport real quick to see how my darling came through the storm. I pulled into the parking area and my plane’s parking spot was empty! Oh crap! My baby got blown away! Where was she? So I was looking around desperately and right then the supervisor of the line guys comes out in his golf cart and says, “Looking for your plane Mr. Johnson?”
“Yeah! Did the storm get her?”
“Oh no. We saw the storm coming so we put your plane in the big hanger”
Since this place had LOTS of customers and I probably had the oldest, cheapest plane there I was surprised, “Well thanks Don! I really appreciate that bud! How in the world did you ever find room for her in there?”
“Uh…see that blue and white Lear Jet there in front of the big hanger?”
“Well”, Don drawls, “that guy is a huuuuuuge asshole so we pushed his plane outside to make room for yours. By the looks of all the hail dents he won’t be flying for a while, huh?”
Wow, what could I say?
Karma dude, Karma.