I just got an angry response to a post I did earlier this month regarding a commercial for Sprint/Nextel. Evidently, I offended an actual roadie. It was a fairly well-written and non-obscene comment, though, so I thought I'd share it with you here:
HEY PUNK!!!! I am a roadie. The 'backline stageing crew' depicted in this commercial is a stereotype. I just did Madonna's stage in San Fran, San Diego, and L.A.!!! Sticks, pass, and check stub to prove it! 35 semi's full of gear, 3 elevators, 2 lifts, 14 20x16 video boards, 346 separate lights to wire, etc. Look on her site to see the thing. HUGE! It took us 30 guys less then 14 hours to build it and only 5 and a half to tear down and load out! I was looking for the commercial and I have to see someone say that roadies would have done worse then the existing industry does now. Please... The good thing about roadies... we're smart, we actually WORK hard and fast, and we don't **** around! I bet you couldn't do it! Idiot.
This commenter is probably quite correct in his assumption that I couldn't do his job, since I've never had any training in or interest in becoming a roadie. I am sure that they work hard at what they do. I work hard in my job also, and most of my airline's flights do get where they are going, on time. I know that my fellow co-workers, be they dispatchers, ramp agents, ticket agents, flight attendants, or pilots, all work hard at their jobs too. (We did have an over 80% on time arrival rate last month.) My main point of the post I did was not to complain about roadies, but just to point out that people love to complain about the airlines, and you rarely hear such complaints about other industries. Rock concerts are just one example.
I have been to quite a few concerts over the years, and they did not all start on time. Many of them did. Even when they didn't, though, I've never read news stories later about a massive public outcry, calls for Congressional hearings, or demands for legislation to give partial ticket refunds for the affected concert-goers. Take another example...medical offices, doctor or dentist. I've been to many of THOSE appointments where I did not get in to see the health care provider at the scheduled appointment time...and once again, there is no public outcry for tighter mandates on medical scheduling.
Do not get me wrong, I'm sure airlines do have room for improvement, but unfortunately I feel that major gains will likely not be seen until the aging US air traffic control system is modernized to handle the volume of traffic present in our country's airspace today. I know there have been several very well-publicized incidents where people were stuck on planes for hours, and I don't think that's right. I don't think that passing a law with strict standards will necessarily fix everything either, as every airport and situation in aviation is slightly different, and a standard that might work well for some airports will not work at all for busier places.
Also, to the roadie I offended...may I suggest that, if you're interested in finding a commercial online in the future, just go to YouTube and perform your search there. That way, you won't risk seeing commentary that might offend you.