A few months ago, ALPA, the AirLine Pilot's Association (AKA The Union) ran a series of articles in their monthly magazine about pilots who had been helped by ALPA services in disaster relief, accidents and medical issues. The article was titled "ALPA had my back".
A few weeks ago, a check arrived in our mailbox from ALPA for over $150. There was no note in the memo line and no note attached. Just a check. It arrived at 5:05 pm on a Friday afternoon. We had no idea what it was for and of course, it was minutes to late to call and ask (of course if they are like me, their representatives were lined up at the time clock at 4:55 pm and not at their desks anyway...). My immediate through was "oh god, A's been kicked out of the union because of that post I wrote about scholarships". I spent all weekend fretting about it and had A on the phone with them at 9:02am the following Monday. Turns out, despite all of the leave and dropped trip wrangling that was done in Feb/March to get A to his one year anniversary, he was declared by the union to still be an apprentice member. By two weeks. Yep, once he finally goes back, he'll have two more weeks to go until he's a full ALPA member. So the check we got was a refund for dues he's paid this past year. Thanks ALPA for the extra boost to our Christmas budget, but perhaps you could have enclosed a note?
The ALPA LTD (long term disability) insurance kicks in after one year of disability. Sadly, we are approaching that date and expect to be receiving benefits for at least a few months in 2009. I swear, filling out all of the disability paperwork for A is going to give me my own disability- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome! Form after form, one from this doctor, one from that doctor, one from HR, one from us, filled out in quadruplicate with a black pen (only!) with no more than a fine tip. For months I've thought we were done with the paperwork and only had to provide phone call check in's to the disability rep. Until I realized that A had failed to complete the ALPA paperwork and it had to be in by this month. After much yelling on my part and some driving around on A's, we finally got the paperwork in and can look forward to receiving a bit of additional income sometime after February. Thanks ALPA, for having our back. Even though it's taken a year and I've got a callous on my finger from filling out paperwork.