Dating an air traffic controller. How to Flirt with an Air Traffic Controller.



Dating an air traffic controller

Dating an air traffic controller

This question originally appeared on Quora. What is it like to be an air traffic controller? I have enjoyed my time as a controller, so much so that I encouraged my son to choose this career path. He now works alongside me! Prior to this job, I was a manufacturing engineer and dealt with soldering technologies and assembly issues. People would ask about my job and as I explained it, I could watch their eyes glaze over. Now, people are very interested in what I do. While trivial in the scheme of things, this is a very positive aspect of the job.

We are respected members of the community. There is a massive amount of information we are expected to know. Obviously, we have to look things up on a near daily basis, but the expectation is that you will do it correctly every time. The actual separating of aircraft is only a small part of the job. Other factors that come in to play are traffic flow requirements, such as en-route spacing of arrivals to airports like Chicago O'Hare, aircraft performance characteristics, noise considerations, Ground Stops and Ground Delay programs, required routings due to volume or weather, equipment outages, thunderstorms, blizzards, locusts, etc.

I liken our jobs to that of firefighters I served as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years in a large suburb of Minneapolis. Much of the time, the job is routine and capable of being done by many people. What you are paid for, however, is your ability to make the right choices and decisions under extreme pressure. Many of the folks in this career enjoy those moments and find the "normal" times boring.

Like ER doctors, we enjoy the adrenaline buzz. Like the ER doctors, if we make a mistake it is usually readily apparent. Unlike the ER doctors, everything we do is a matter of public record and constantly scrutinized by the public and press.

After any incident, recordings of what transpired are reviewed to determine where things went wrong. Voice recordings and radar data are also randomly audited. We are required to work all sorts of hours: If we aren't feeling well, we can't just take an over-the-counter antihistamine without consulting the flight surgeon and potentially losing our medical.

You can't just put some work aside to do tomorrow — if something needs to be done, it needs to be done, and usually right now. On the flip side, we are paid well. We have decent benefits. When we unplug our headsets at the end of the day, we are caught up and are generally not taking projects home with us. Our employer is not likely to go out of business.

Our entire day consists of people saying, "Yes, Sir" or "Roger, Ma'am," and people doing what we tell them to do. It is easy to forget that the general public does not similarly respond. Our job is to evaluate ever-changing and moving traffic situations, and we take those abilities with us when we drive home. Air traffic controllers are generally excellent drivers.

We find it frustrating when other drivers don't recognize unfolding traffic situations that we have already identified. Growing accustomed to the immediate compliance with our directions does not often translate well into personal relationships; couple this with the demanding work schedules and it's not surprising that the divorce rate among controllers is rather high.

The only people who can really understand a controller is another controller. We work hard and many of us play hard. There are a large number of us that are into racing, motorcycles, sky diving, fast boats, etc. We can knock back a six-pack faster than you can say "job related stress" and be ready to go the next morning.

Life expectancy once we retire is sadly shorter than average. This job has come under a lot of scrutiny lately as a result of the actions of an extremely small minority of the workforce. The overwhelming majority of us are dedicated professionals who take a great deal of pride in being a part of the safest air traffic control system in the world. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from the experts and get insider knowledge. What is it like to work as a diplomat in a third world country?

While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past several weeks to help get you started. Account Executive at Crain Communications Inc.

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The Air Traffic Controllers of 9/11



Dating an air traffic controller

This question originally appeared on Quora. What is it like to be an air traffic controller? I have enjoyed my time as a controller, so much so that I encouraged my son to choose this career path. He now works alongside me! Prior to this job, I was a manufacturing engineer and dealt with soldering technologies and assembly issues. People would ask about my job and as I explained it, I could watch their eyes glaze over. Now, people are very interested in what I do. While trivial in the scheme of things, this is a very positive aspect of the job.

We are respected members of the community. There is a massive amount of information we are expected to know.

Obviously, we have to look things up on a near daily basis, but the expectation is that you will do it correctly every time. The actual separating of aircraft is only a small part of the job. Other factors that come in to play are traffic flow requirements, such as en-route spacing of arrivals to airports like Chicago O'Hare, aircraft performance characteristics, noise considerations, Ground Stops and Ground Delay programs, required routings due to volume or weather, equipment outages, thunderstorms, blizzards, locusts, etc.

I liken our jobs to that of firefighters I served as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years in a large suburb of Minneapolis. Much of the time, the job is routine and capable of being done by many people. What you are paid for, however, is your ability to make the right choices and decisions under extreme pressure. Many of the folks in this career enjoy those moments and find the "normal" times boring.

Like ER doctors, we enjoy the adrenaline buzz. Like the ER doctors, if we make a mistake it is usually readily apparent. Unlike the ER doctors, everything we do is a matter of public record and constantly scrutinized by the public and press.

After any incident, recordings of what transpired are reviewed to determine where things went wrong. Voice recordings and radar data are also randomly audited. We are required to work all sorts of hours: If we aren't feeling well, we can't just take an over-the-counter antihistamine without consulting the flight surgeon and potentially losing our medical. You can't just put some work aside to do tomorrow — if something needs to be done, it needs to be done, and usually right now.

On the flip side, we are paid well. We have decent benefits. When we unplug our headsets at the end of the day, we are caught up and are generally not taking projects home with us. Our employer is not likely to go out of business.

Our entire day consists of people saying, "Yes, Sir" or "Roger, Ma'am," and people doing what we tell them to do. It is easy to forget that the general public does not similarly respond.

Our job is to evaluate ever-changing and moving traffic situations, and we take those abilities with us when we drive home.

Air traffic controllers are generally excellent drivers. We find it frustrating when other drivers don't recognize unfolding traffic situations that we have already identified. Growing accustomed to the immediate compliance with our directions does not often translate well into personal relationships; couple this with the demanding work schedules and it's not surprising that the divorce rate among controllers is rather high.

The only people who can really understand a controller is another controller. We work hard and many of us play hard. There are a large number of us that are into racing, motorcycles, sky diving, fast boats, etc. We can knock back a six-pack faster than you can say "job related stress" and be ready to go the next morning.

Life expectancy once we retire is sadly shorter than average. This job has come under a lot of scrutiny lately as a result of the actions of an extremely small minority of the workforce. The overwhelming majority of us are dedicated professionals who take a great deal of pride in being a part of the safest air traffic control system in the world. Ask a question, get a great answer.

Learn from the experts and get insider knowledge. What is it like to work as a diplomat in a third world country? While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past several weeks to help get you started.

Account Executive at Crain Communications Inc.

Dating an air traffic controller

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2 Comments

  1. What is the worst part of your job? There are essentially 3 ways to become a controller. Continue Reading Below "Ground, local permission to cross runway 22 with fuel truck," I said.

  2. When he told me later that he had done so I was amazed, but he didn't seem to think that it was much of a big deal.

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