January 22, 2009

Living to Work

So far, my New Years Resolution to travel more to see friends and family has worked out pretty well. It hasn't left me as much time to blog as we'd all pretend to want, but perhaps its all for the better. I still enjoy my downtime at home with my cats on the weekend, and I still enjoy going to work....as crazy as that sounds.

Its amazing how the job that I get to do 5 or 6 days a week is so boringly different everyday. The fact that it is always a little different is what is the same about it. I try to smile and stay confident; the only way I don't freak out from the thought of what could ominously creep out from behind the vines of unpredictability to snatch away what would otherwise have been another good day. I suppose I could have tried to crack a lame joke by using a term "flock of unpredictability", but I digress.

My days off have changed one day forward. I used to have Monday/Tuesday as a weekend. Now it's Tuesday/Wednesday. I am officially confused. And yet, tomorrow will be just another day:

I have my schedule written down on a blank strip (I wrote my schedule ON the blank strip, get it), magnetized to my freezer door. I glance at it, double checking my calender, and determine I work a 3pm flex. I can get there as early as 2:30pm if I''d like. Two in the afternoon zips by as I nonchalantly figure out which frozen dinner I want to eat later. Perhaps some string cheese and a banana will appease me as well. My cats are relieved as I take my badge off the hook by the door; "Whew, he's just going to work. He'll be returning later tonight," they realize.

I listen to some intellectual lecture on CD on my way to work. Lately its been either the History of Rome or the History of Language. I am more and more like my father every day.

After being shooed into Lot 4 due to plowing elsewhere, I put my lunch away in the fridge and make my way into the radar room. There is a small group of day-shifters waiting to sign out at the bank of computers at the front of the hallway. I push my way through and flex in 18 minutes before three. Fantastic. I check the numbers on the wall and verify no one had a deal over the "weekend". That's good. I can always count on my fellow coworkers to keep the place running while I'm gone.

Walking down the hall, I pass by Airways/Facilities. They're doing whatever it is they do, they way they always have. A quick glance to the left and there is the one and only QQ, metering the hell out of the Boston arrivals. "When am I gonna be in your blog?," he asks. "Patience, man. Patience."

A head nod to the fine folks in Area B as I pass them on the way to the back corner. They put Area A as far away from Area B as they could. We get along that well, I guess. Or is it because we're loud? I can't get that story straight. Everyone leaves us alone back there anyways.

I double check a few paperwork details, and jump in to train my newest and most favorite trainee. He went to school in North Dakota, as did I. We have something in common, and hopefully he'll pass his check ride this week. I get to plug in with him and sit there....and watch...and listen...and watch...and try to stay awake. This instructing thing is new and exciting. Or at least different. Yeah, different. Boringly different. And I'm loving every second of it. Its what I do. And all the traveling in the world can't take me away from it for long.

Till next time...

DM

1 comment:

Alex said...

Hi DM,

I am studying the relation between controller staffing and sector capacity, e.g how much workload D-side can share so that the total throughput will increase, compared with using only R-side. I found your blog accidentally but learned a lot from your firsthand experience ever since. Hope you can share more your thoughts because there is always a reader like myself who enjoys reading them.