I think I mentioned here before that I don’t have any games installed on my computer. The reason is simple: I work from home and sit either in front of, or right next to the computer all day. It’s so easy to tell yourself to “just play one little game”, and boom, suddenly your whole afternoon is gone. I experienced that in the past more often than I’d like to admit. My biggest problem is that I really like strategic and/or building games, along the lines of Civilization, Age of Empires or Sim City. Those things can absolutely absorb me. I decided to go cold turkey many years ago, because it seems that’s the only way for me to deal with it.
It’s not like I wouldn’t be wasting any time anymore. Tons of browser games are just one click away! But I limit myself to ones where I know I can quit, and a round takes maybe 10 minutes or so. I don’t play Airport Madness though, because that really stresses me out! However, my brother is rather fond of that game. But, let me stress again, that all similarities between Mike and Chuck are strictly accidental!
Here in Austria, we have a military draft for those people unfortunate enough to be born with the wrong 23rd chromosome pair. I kinda lucked out, because I came to a rather relaxed unit and was trained to be a truck driver. We learned on really, really old Steyr trucks where you had to double clutch etc. They were really fun to drive though! Because their parking brake was not operated by air, but via a cable, you could ease it in with a lever, just like with a normal (manual) car, and drift through rubble or on snow. Good times.
Anyway, what I really wanted to write about was that, during and after my time as a truck driver, I had a totally different attitude towards cars in general. I would check on the tires, equipment, engine etc. much more frequently than I do now. Nowadays, I’m basically like Chuck: Four tires? Steering wheel? Let’s go!
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Reddit. But those of you who are, probably already stumbled across “Tales From Tech Support” or “Tales From Retail“. I really think Julio has it easy compared to what some poor people working in tech support or retail have to deal with all day. My favorite call of all time probably is the guy who can’t see the difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents. I think it’s way longer in the original, but I found a clip on Youtube here. Although in this case, it’s the support guy who’s the moron. If I remember correctly, it starts out with a disgruntled customer who has been quoted 0.002 cents per MB of data used and was then charged 0.002 dollars.
Does anybody have any stories to share in that regard? I know that in aviation, you have to deal with a whole zoo of customers too.
Oh, the checkrides. Will they ever end? I don’t think I was briefed correctly when I first got into aviation because if somebody would have told me that I constantly would have to take exams just like in school, only now my job depended on it and my livelihood, I might have chosen another profession. I have had some great examiners in the past though who made the whole checkride a learning experience which in my mind is what an annual checkride is supposed to be. But after many years in aviation, I’ve also had my share of not-so-great-ones. At least I am currently only flying one make/model (as far as the FAA is concerned) which means “only” one to three checkrides a year.
How many exams/checkrides do you all have to pass in one year?
I know a few people with Chuck-like communication habits in real life. Personally, I like to limit my use of all this fancy new ways to communicate. It’s not as bad as my approach towards computer games (which is basically teetotalism), but I pretty much only use Facebook and WhatsApp. Because I work alone in my own office, I need to steer clear of as many distractions and time-wasters as possible. I’m getting sidetracked enough as it is! And I’m sure I’m not the only one with the problem …
I have days (currently actually) when it’s a little more difficult laughing at this joke of ours then others. On this tour I need to fill out Report A, then scan it with the cam scanner, then email it to the laptop that goes with the aircraft, then download said report and save it in the “Report A” folder, then load it back up on the company lap top where it will be added to Report B (which I also just filled out – which literally has the same information on it, yet it’s on a different company form for a different company) so they can both go together to 5 different people. At least this year we got rid of Report C which was pretty much only a prediction of what the crews here think “might” be happening tomorrow. That doesn’t include updating 2 iPads (2 in case one breaks) and the currently applicable navigation data for the country I am in, plus the GPS(‘s).
Now, depending on the upload times here in the bush, this process takes anywhere from 20 min up to 5 hours.
I might be dating myself but I remember a time when we had a chart (which always worked, even if you left it in the aircraft in the sun all day) and we faxed a sheet with the days flight times to one fax number.
Ok, so bring on the pro and con arguments. Let’s hear (read, rather) them.
Personally, I don’t think Hans has stumbled across some big secret here. I mean it’s obvious that this management strategy is already applied liberally all across various industries all across the world. I mean, I am a single, self-employed artist and I apply this strategy to myself!
Evers since I settled down, I developed this tendency to buy stuff in bulk. Mostly things that don’t turn bad, like noodles or toothpaste. It’s a satisfying feeling to stuff away your groceries and think to yourself “well, that pickles problem is taken care of for the next half year!”.
But, unlike Chuck, I have never managed to run out of business cards. It’s one of those things where double the quantity only costs a few bucks more, so I always order more than I need. And since I spend most of my working days in my office, don’t really get to hand out that many cards. In Chuck’s case, I would probably advise him to get even more than 500 pieces this time!
Well, to be perfectly fair, if Julio starts to distinguish between different types of flying, we could also start to differentiate between different types of driving. Driving a regular car on a Nevada highway is probably orders of magnitudes safer than driving a moped in Hanoi, for instance. Those of you who ever visited Vietnam and crossed a street there know what I’m talking about.
And how come we never talk about the dangers of walking? I remember a chapter in one of the “Freakonomics” books about drunk walking, and how it is more dangerous than drunk driving, per distance covered. (Of course you’re less likely to hurt others when walking and, of course, nobody is advocating drunk driving!) Still, I wonder how dangerous sober walking is. Probably still less dangerous than sleeping in your bed, which is how most people die.
Pfew, I tried to come up with a short description of the pitot-static system, to explain to everybody who’s confused about today’s strip what “alternate static air” really means. But during writing I found that I would either have to write a few paragraphs, or spend an hour to make it as concise as possible. Since I’m really under time pressure today, can somebody else maybe explain it in a few words?
Anyway, here’s the link to the relevant Wikipedia Article.