Monday, March 10, 2008
Stuff ya don't wanna see
Okay - I don't make any claim of being a highly-skilled mechanic, but even I know this ain't right. I excavated this little piece of quality workmanship from behind the instrument panel of the Baron last week. Extricating it, hell - even seeing it, required lying with my left shoulder on the floor in front of the pilot's seat, my butt on the copilot's seat, and my legs stuck out the door onto the wing, while my head was jammed against the pilot's rudder pedals - a position guaranteed to induce red-out along with a stiff neck and backaches. Unfortunately, no helpful person came along to take a photo of me in this graceful pose, so you'll just have to picture it for yourself.
The thing that really bothers me is that whoever created this work of art had to assume the same working position to install it. If you're going to go to that much trouble to do a job in the first place, why not do it correctly? It wouldn't have taken any additional time; in fact it would have been quicker to have done it right. It may not be clear in the photo, but this ugly splice had a third wire emanating from it, and the whole mess had been soldered together before being disguised with electrical tape (another thing you never want to see in an airplane - especially behind the instrument panel). Oh - and that blue wire isn't even aircraft wire; I guess they had a little left over from their last job, which was probably installing a car stereo - in a Yugo.
Stuff like this may be symptomatic of a larger problem - no pride in your work. I personally take pride in the work I do, especially the work that nobody else gets to see. And yet this lack of pride seems to be common in this country these days. As a nation, we don't seem to be taking pride in our work - or our nation. Maybe it's because we've got nothing to be proud about. We don't actually make anything anymore - it's all manufactured in China or outsourced to India. Nor are we any longer the beacon of freedom and democracy that sets the standard for the rest of the world. Our currency is quickly fading as the benchmark in global trading. Is the sun setting on the United States as a world power, as it did on the Roman Empire before us?
I don't know, but stuff like this makes me wonder.