Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Blast From the Past

It's a kind of Throwback Thursday type of post.
I'm not sure why, but for some reason I've been thinking about air traffic control lately. It could have to do with the bill in Congress that has to do with shifting air traffic to a non-profit corporation, or maybe it's just recent contact with a couple of controllers. A recent lunch caught me up on the all the latest tower news.

As expected, my contacts with former coworkers have become fewer and less often. When I was working and someone retired, it didn't take long before life went on without that person and they were seldom brought up in conversation. I expected that to be the case with me and those that retired at the same time as I did. There were four of us that retired from the facility in Dec '14 and Jan '15. Three more retired during 2015 and one left to take a promotion.

For a while Chris and I were meeting with two other couples for dinner, but it has been several months ... and life goes on.

As a controller, I rarely did anything outside of work with other controllers. Our relationships were really centered around being air traffic controllers. I was pretty certain that when that ceased, so would our relationships.
For the most part, that has been true.

There are a few people that I think I will continue to stay in touch with, and a few others that I will probably be in touch with less often. It is a little sad, but it is just the way of things.

I can honestly say that I do not miss it at all. I am also glad that I was able to retire prior to a changing ATC structure. I'm not saying that it won't be a better way of doing business. The way the FAA has been managing it over the past few decades has been terrible. Staffing is at critical levels and will probably get worse before it gets better with so many controllers eligible or soon to be eligible to retire.

I do see things that make me think of different people and some of the conversations that we had and occasionally send a text message. But there really aren't too many instances when I think of work or the people there. I stopped by the tower once when I had to drop Hannah off at the airport, but that has been the only time.

Life goes on.

I'm enjoying my days -- especially when the weather is nice enough to get out and walk. I managed to walk 100 miles in January and will make another 100 miles in February, even with 2 fewer days! Some days are nice enough to sit out on the deck, and we've managed to cook out a couple of days. I'm motorcycle shopping online and hope to make a purchase before April. Baseball season is only weeks away and all will be right with the world.

Well ... I guess there is still the election year politics, strife in the Middle East and all kinds of other issues, but my world is pretty quiet.
This blog is my main form of interaction with others on most days ... and I am really okay with that!

Tomorrow will be a new day and we're going to take a weekend road trip. I'll report back later.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

Your old work life can fade into the background very quickly.