Astonishing Statistics

It didn’t take long for me to discover that intelligence was not in the top five of parameters used to select supervisors. I’ve come to believe that this was the principal problem in the FAA, at least in the Air Traffic Division, and it still clouds their operation to this day. It certainly was a primary factor which led to the events of 1981. To give an example, this is about one of the top managers in the facility—not the chief, and not even the deputy chief, but probably the next in line, whatever position it was. He was a slow witted fellow named Joe Hinson. We called him Ingemar…Ingemar Joe Hinson (1960's boxing reference—do a search on Floyd Patterson).

One time Ingemar posted a letter to all personnel concerning sick leave usage. It said in part that management studies had found that 40% of all sick leave was taken in conjunction with regular days off (RDOs). I looked at that for about two seconds, checked the math (as I frequently do in such cases) and concluded that with two of one's five days naturally falling in conjunction with RDOs that percentage seemed just exactly right. We made a lot of fun of Ingemar and his letter over that. Not surprisingly, he didn't understand why.

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Last updated: 06 April 2009