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Tom Hill

I Love My Work
Tom Hill, Fleet Service Clerk, American Airlines Ramp Services

I am a person who can honestly say: ‘I love my work.’ For those of you who’ve never been around airplanes…I mean, up close, they are beautiful.

Very soon, I will have 20 years of service with American. I started in Charlotte, North Carolina and now I work at DFW Airport. My job is called ‘Fleet Service Clerk’ and I load and unload aircraft. It’s a job that’s physically demanding. We’re out in the elements – the heat and cold — making sure every item of baggage, mail and freight is properly and safely placed on the aircraft.

DFW is American’s largest station. Although this airport has many gates where wide body aircraft park — airplanes like the 777 and 767 — I like the narrow body aircraft because loading and unloading is all manual.

Sometimes, an MD-80 or 757 arrives with six or seven thousand pounds of baggage and freight on-board. My coworkers and I manually unload the aircraft and often load another six thousand pounds back on for the departure. All this happens in the space of about thirty minutes.

The job we have is the job we make it.

It is demanding work; but it’s also fun. And, the people! In many ways, it’s difficult to describe the sense of family and connection I feel for those I work alongside. I am from a small town. I was working for American the first time I heard someone speak with a Boston accent. And, I remember the first time I worked with colleagues from New York or Puerto Rico. Even though we were from different places and had different experience, we all share something in common. My coworkers have become like my extended family.

We all work together, both believing in and supporting one other.

For me, being an American Airlines Fleet Service Clerk is a perfect job and this airport is a great place to be. I started by talking about airplanes and how beautiful they are to me —but over my career I’ve learned it’s the people who make our airline special.