Why Companies Like Boeing Struggle to Work With Regulators

And how to get both sides on the same page

Jake Wilder
Published in
7 min readJan 22, 2020


Boeing employees and guests watch coverage as they welcome a Boeing 777X airplane returning from its inaugural flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington on January 25, 2020. Photo: Jason Redmond/Getty Images

MyMy son was happy when our elf-on-the-shelf left after Christmas. Following a day of particularly poor behavior, the elf delivered an official citation with a warning lump of coal, and they’ve had a strained relationship ever since.

Looking back on it, including the subsequent breakdown, the elf may have overplayed that hand. Live and learn, I suppose.

So, when our elf went back to the North Pole to relax and do whatever it is elves do for the next 11 months, my son was not sad to see him go.

“But won’t you miss finding him each day? Won’t you miss having him around?” I asked.

To which he replied, “Yeah, but I don’t have to worry about him telling on me anymore.”

And then I realized that I’d mismanaged that whole situation.

Instead of a source of Christmas cheer, I’d turned our elf into an overzealous tattletale, constantly waiting for my son to slip up so he could run to Santa with a bad report. The elf wasn’t a friend. A friend doesn’t snitch you out to Santa. No, he was a liability that slowly reduced present count throughout the month of December.

Every reminder and interaction was negative. The elf never rewarded positive behavior, instead saving all of his interactions for punishing bad decisions.

Is it any surprise that my son didn’t welcome his presence? I mean, who would welcome someone looking over their shoulder all day, waiting for the chance to yell, “Gotcha!”

No one, that’s who. Which is a shame. Because we’re missing out on a great resource.

Two kinds of inspectors

“A little positive reinforcement is a great tool. Any cop would much rather reward someone than hand them a summons.” — Tom Leach

I don’t really want to talk about our elf and his affinity for snitching. I actually want to talk about Boeing and the FAA.

Reports of Boeing employees being less than forthright with the FAA add another embarrassing layer to…



Jake Wilder

I don’t know where I’m going. But at least I know how to get there.