Saturday, 21 February 2009

Summer's coming...

Yikes, I didn't realise it had been THAT long since my last post. I'm still thoroughly de-thawing after the deepest darkest winter months, which have now passed for another year. Scarily though, it's almost the end of February already.

Work hasn't been that interesting lately. The height of excitement has been watching for clear weather and possible sightings of the International Space Station passing over head. Sad I know, but times are quiet and excitement is hard to fall upon recently. There is only so much youtubing, photocopying and tidying that can be done to pass the time. My bookmarks in Firefox have never looked so tidy and my e-mail is sorted into more folders than ever before. I shouldn't complain though, for in another few months free time will become rare and every shift will be near non-stop work, aircraft after aircraft.

The summer schedule is slowly being pieced together as we find out what movements will be happening and when. The airlines have already known their summer schedule and had it on sale for many months, but we rarely get the final details of it until nearer the time other than our own deduction from airline websites.

There's always a glimmer of hope there will be a new interesting airline or aircraft type to handle, or interesting new schedules but unfortunately year after year it tends to be the same aircraft running almost to the same schedules as previous years, even with the same flight numbers. The faces of visiting crew during last summer will probably once again become familiar, and as such it's always a good idea never to fall out with anyone on bad terms. The aviation industry employs millions, but when you make enemies, it becomes a very, very, small community in my experience. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate! Remember that.

Most scheduled airlines switch between their winter and summer timetables as the time change occurs to summer time. So come Sunday, 29th March, things should at least start picking up in the right direction and by the end of May most airlines' summer timetables will be in full operation, giving me something to do!

Perhaps I'm a bit premature in thinking about the summer in such depth already. I know in the months ahead there will be many endless days filled with sweat and running about, regular stress, disagreements and quarrelling, almost insurmountable problems to overcome, missing passengers, drunk or disruptive passengers, an infinite number of minimum ground time turnarounds... etc etc. But hey, it's part of the job and it can be a hell of a lot fun on good days.

In any other job I've had, thinking about all the possible problems that could occur filled me with dread and a resultant great reluctance to turn up. In this job, I see them as challenges that need to be overcome. I'm looking forward to being able to see how I can use the experience I picked up last summer and during the winter helps me deal with another busy period and the problems it presents.

So bring it on! No doubt I'll live to regret saying that on somedays and return home tired, fustrated and emotionally wrecked, but you have to take the bad days among the good. And like I say, it beats a normal job!