Learn it, Live it, Love it - *** READ BEFORE POSTING ***

Mike Lewis

Shadow Administrator
Staff member
Lately, we’ve had to step up the moderating in the forums, as serious discussions have suddenly started to head towards the blue goo.

There are a lot of posts that start out as:

I don’t like <abc> because they <xyz>

Very good, it makes the point and explains your issue.

However, several posts later, the thread has degenerated into:

You’re an idiot… I’m bigger than you are… I’ve got 600 hours… My dad can beat up your dad… I’m rubber and you’re glue…

And at that point, nothing more useful is being said and the thread has lost ALL relevance and/or any possible meaning it once had. No one is EVER going to take the thread (or the posters, I might add) seriously again.

As a public service, I am offering you these guidelines for how to successfully argue your point:

1. Determine your motivation. Why are you raising this issue? Do you want to effect change, or are you just ranting for the sake of hurting them? You have to think about this one: do you want to make a change to the situation, so that others in a similar situation can benefit from your experience or so that you can make a change that will positively affect their experience? Or, do you simply want to hurt the subject of your post? You can go either way; I’ve been hurt and betrayed by employers before, and I would have liked nothing more than to “stick it to the man.” However, there are a couple things to remember: 1) 99% of the time, the “man” doesn’t care and 2) there are enough people who have positive experiences who will simply attribute your rant to “whining”.

2. State some positives with the negatives. Did you have such a miserable time that you have absolutely NOTHING good to say about the subject? If you want people to actually consider your criticism unbiased, you need to offer some positive part to your rant. It can be something as simple as, “While it was good that I only had to endure this work for 8 hours a day, I don’t like <abc> because they <xyz>.” People are more apt to listen to you if you say “I liked this but didn’t like that,” as they perceive that you want to work with them, and they won’t simply dismiss your issue as “sour grapes.”

3. Keep it professional. Don’t lower yourself to personal attacks or immature tactics. Also (and this one is VERY difficult to me) resist the urge to resort to sarcasm. This is especially true in an on-line environment. For example: “We’ll change this by...” “Oh, that’ll work.” Now, if you posted the second statement sarcastically, the meaning might be perceived as, “Oh, so that plan will be met with a favorable reaction! Great! We’ll do that!” Name calling, profanity, sarcasm – they’ll all kill your argument and point faster than anything else.

4. Don’t mention a problem unless you are prepared to offer a solution. This is one that I always have to deal with as a manager. “I don’t like <xyz>,” someone will say to me. “Okay,” I respond, “if you were in my position, how would you solve it?” I don’t say that to be a jerk; I was never aware that there was a problem (usually because management has an entirely different view/perspective), and I want to know some ideas of how to quickly resolve this problem. 90% of the problems I deal with are handled this way, and they are handled quickly. I found that if there is something you really want changed, it’s best to go into the situation to say “Here is a problem, and here is what I propose as a solution.” They may not always agree with the solution, but it’s a lot harder to simply reject it out of hand.


Keep your postings professional. Think about why you are posting BEFORE you start writing a post. And there is one last point I want you to seriously consider about your motivation:

The aviation industry is in bad shape and getting worse daily, as airlines and flight schools alike are filing for or threatening to file for bankruptcy. Now, on one hand, you may want to hurt an airline or flight school that did you wrong; that is your prerogative. But, with the entire industry in the situation it is in, you have to ask yourself: do I want to hurt this entity and cause damage to the industry, or do I want to work to make changes to this entity to further advance the aviation industry as a whole?

Working to get a flight school closed will only further decrease the number of available jobs in the aviation community, thereby making it that much more difficult for YOU to attain your goal. Rather than simply trashing a flight school, offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to positively effect a change. You don’t have to like a school, and you don’t have to support it, but explain 1) why you don’t like it and 2) what you would do to make it so you WOULD like it. It’s fine to report about your negative experiences, but explain WHY they were negative experiences and HOW you would have liked to have seen them handled.

This site performs an important service to the aviation community, but remember: this service is only as good as YOU make it.


New Member

Mike Lewis......can't you post anything else? When ever someone tells the truth about this place, you post the same thing, and you've been doing it since August. I don't think you've ever been to DCA. Do you really know how much crap instructors there put up with? I was there as a student and instructor for three years. I know how the system works and there IS room for improvement by the upper management. Truth is, they don't want to improve the morale or the work conditions there...it's all about the money. Heck, the Director of Training was fired. That ought to tell you something about management right there man. It's just too bad that the students are taken advantage of (especially the new students). What is really sad is that DAL doesn't give a darn either. At the time I was there, I've only seen DAL there to do audits, not to talk to and inspire the students... Mike, I know you mean well, but let people express their views. That is what this website is for.


Mama Bear....
Staff member
it doesn't matter if Mike's been to DCA or not.. it's not about DCA.. this post is about how you go about posting the information you want to talk about... read it again and absorb it...it's actually very good advice when it comes to this particular forum.

We're all about expressing views, we're not saying "don't tell others your story" - we're saying "tell us your story but be professional about it"...

it's all in how you present your material that makes a post like this, from one of our moderators mind you, show up... as long as there is decorum in the forum, no personal attacks, no "previous" DCA whammys - then feel free to post away.