It’s that time of the year again. What I am talking about of course is that time when Chuck is headed to the International Helicopter Convention “HAI Heli-Expo”. Since he is such an important figure, not to mention the chief pilot of Roost-Air, I’m sure that HAI won’t be able to go on without him. And in typical Chuck-fashion he once again has all his priorities straight – see the ladies at Vertical Magazine, collect as much helicopter swag as he can carry, and scope out where they are giving out the free beer. Some things may never change I guess.
And speaking of our friends at Vertical Magazine, stop by their booth (Booth #9533) and say Hello if you are there. Or you can follow them AND the show through their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds.
And look for their “Show us your Swag” Contest with give-aways!
I venture to say that each and every one of you who ever had to deal with pro-seal in one way or another, will be able to relate to this strip. No matter how much you prepare before you start sealing, it will always be a mess. And even if you’re not a mechanic or homebuilder, you can also tell just by looking at a pro-seal job (during your preflight, for example), that the application process must have been a mess by the little streaks that come off from the sealed area. Sometimes you also find wipe marks where the mechanic desperately tried to wipe of the excess sealant. Pro-seal has the tendency to just end up EVERYWHERE, your clothes, the floor, all over the aircraft, and of course your phone since you always get that one phone call you really need to answer right after you mixed the sealant. I am sure this probably applies to most resins or anything that comes in two compounds to be mixed before applying, but in my experience pro-seal has been the worst. The smell of it doesn’t help either.
We truly do live in an era of technological wonder. It’s so easy to lose sight of all the technological awesomeness that surrounds us, because we adapt so quickly and take everything for granted. I remember the first time I heard what a GPS was, I was about 12 or 13 years old. The concept blew me away! Satellites! In space! Helping you pinpoint your location to a few meters! Of course, back then it was ridiculously expensive.
Not so today. Nowadays, every third grader has technology in his pocket that would have blown the mind of even the most visionary person just a lifetime ago. But smartphones are around for just about a decade! So has Youtube! Of course, I also just take all that for granted. But every now and then stop and think about how things have changed just in my lifetime. It’s simply amazing! And I am curious about what else I will live to see.
Everything comes with its own problems, risks and drawbacks, of course, as Chuck experiences in this comic strip.
I have to admit I zone out when pilot speak gets really technical. And with technical, I mean stuff like regulations and form numbers etc. But I sure have learned a lot of aviation lingo since I started drawing this comic! Maybe even more than Sally.
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.
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!