Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One of my Favorite Pictures....

....but it's not one of our children. It was a little girl at company Christmas party for Salvation Army children. And yes, it's me in the background hoping she won't damage the flight control simulator.

I really enjoyed working for McDonnell Aircraft un the days before mergers. Although my clock number was 95702, it didn't seem as if I was working for a large company. The head of the company, J.S. McDonnell, would come over the public address system with pep talks preceded with raps on the microphone and his call, "This is Mac, this is Mac, calling all the teammates." And that was how we felt - part of a team - part of a 'family' of workers, proud of our products and proud of our company. They even had annual company picnics at Blanchette Park in St. Charles, across the Missouri River from the St. Louis airport where the factory was located.

McDonnell Aircraft had all kinds of outreach prograns in the St. Louis area. It was a company that cared for the city it grew up in. The planetarium in Forest Park

was named after J.S. McDonnell. All over the city of St. Louis are things reflecting the generosity of the company. It was a day when there was a personal touch to a Company image - a caring touch that impacted many people.

So it was at Christmas when children were invited to share the Christmas spirit.

Our department hosted a number of children from a less-priviledged life style. The little girl above was one of our guests andit is evident that she is getting a thrill from 'flying' a flight control trainer in the departmental training department. I love the expression on her face. And I was glad to be a part of bringing joy into a young persons life.

I don't think the company atmosphere was ever the same after the merger with Douglas Aircraft. It was more like becoming a corporate number instead of part of a company family. Like so many things, the 'family' atmosphere in industry seems to have disappeared. Maybe it has never been there and it seemed that way just to me. Maybe automation, robots, and labor unrest has replaced old-time industrial pride, but I like to remember a time when a company seemed to care about its community and its employees, and employees were proud of who they worked for. Some of the old time things were not so bad.

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