Friday, December 20, 2002

I Feel Your Pain?

Yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune had a long story about men who were forced to spend the holidays away from their families due to their work duties and the strain that this seperation caused them.

Special forces troops in Afghanistan tracking down Taliban and Al Qaeda stragglers?


Marines in Kuwait training for the coming invasion of Iraq faced with the possibility of dealing with chemical and biological weapons?

Not quite.

Naval pilots on aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean patrolling the no-fly zones over Iraq?

Not even close.

FBI or Secret Service agents tracking terrorist cells here in the United States trying to protect the homeland?

No way.

No, the poor suffering souls that we're supposed to feel sorry for are Northwest airline mechanics who chose to move to Minneapolis from Atlanta rather than being laid off. Airline mechanics?

Broderick Arnold never planned to have a commuter marriage. The Northwest Airlines mechanic was living with his wife, Barbara, on a 15-acre property in suburban Georgia when the airline decided to close the Atlanta maintenance base.

Cannon, 46, has worked as a mechanic for 26 years. In Georgia, he said, "I've got a 3,500-square foot house sitting in the middle of 12 acres that's 20 miles from the airport. We've got deer, we've got turkeys. I can't duplicate that up here because of the cost of living."

The tears are welling up.

They can't survive with a 12-inch TV. "Football on that is a little tough," Davidson said. "We're getting a minimum of 27 inches."

Life is just so damn unfair sometimes. Where's the humanity in forcing a man to watch football on a 12" screen?

The union's MacFarlane said mechanics who chose to relocate are realists, because they "understand that the industry is coming apart right now" with US Airways and United Airlines in bankruptcy court. He said the average Northwest mechanic earns $68,000 to $72,000 a year.

These mechanics are semi-skilled workers with minimal educations who are making far more money than in any other possible job that they could get with their skills. They make far more than almost anyone serving in the military and we're to feel pity for them because they had to move to Minneapolis? Sorry but my sympathy well is dry when it comes to these guys.

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