01 January 2010

2009, A Personal Review

Does it seem to you 2009 passed quickly? It's been an odd year for me, and although I've been busier than I'd like, from my viewpoint the year hasn't passed quickly. There are normally four pilots assigned to my base at my EMS job. Two pilots work 12 hours/7 days, then two pilots work the next seven while the others take that week off. Working 7 in a row can be tiring sometimes, depending on flight frequency and weather, but being able to take seven days off without using vacation is wonderful. But with the exception of a short stint for a couple months this year, there's been a problem at our workplace for a little over a year now... we've been short a pilot at our base. Obviously, that means we've had to change our schedule dramatically. We've gone to six-day shifts, working days one shift, nights the next, with a three day break in between. The result is that instead of our normal 42 hour workweek, we end up working 56 hours per week. Yes, that extra time is at time-and-a-half, which means my W-2 will be fat this year. But the three days off between shifts leaves little time for travel, and taking vacation puts a real burden on the remaining pilots who are already working 56 hours/week. It's been hard, and there's no end to it in sight right now.

The year has been a mixed bag for our family.
We remain healthy, thank God. My son lost his full-time job early in 2009 and was fortunate to have several part-time jobs to keep his head above water. The new year finds him going back to work at a job he's THRILLED with, although it required a move to Los Angeles... a place I'm convinced people only live because they are stuck there. (I joke, sorta.)

Sara Jean has now been a self-employed house-cleaner for almost thirty years. She loves her work and the people she works for, and the business allows her to mold her schedule around mine when we want to travel. Her hands and wrists are beginning to cause her trouble. I'm sure what she is experiencing is repetitive-task injury, and I'm just as sure she'll have trouble with arthritis or some other joint problem as she ages. We are having to take a close look at the possibility of her retirement and the impact that will have on our finances.

I have always been outspoken. I'm warned by superiors that I can be "intimidating" to fellow employees. I accept that as true. I'm getting old, but I've been flying helicopters 42 years now and I do my job well. I get angry with those that don't do their job well, don't do their job enthusiastically, and those that impede me from doing my job well. I've analyzed this situation for years and have come to accept the fact that I'm just a complete JERK, socially. I forgive myself for that. The election of Bozama was a trigger for me, and this year I decided to take one more step...
My life is growing short, and I don't intend to allow idiots to degrade it... (please note, the above work schedule has focused my mind on "quality time"). Be an idiot in my presence and I'll do my best to make you go away. Henceforth, to the extent I can, I intend to enjoy my life by sharing it only with non-idiots. This means many so called "friends", family, and acquaintances will be on probation until they find the "Non-Idiot" button. The results of this action? You'd be amazed at how my blood pressure has dropped.

So what does the future hold? Regular readers know I'm worried. Our country's leadership is doing everything it possibly can to devalue our currency. They seem to be doing everything they can to punish wage-earners and reward strap-hangers. They are making it as difficult as possible to keep work here in the U.S. by increasing taxes and passing stupid regulations to increase the cost of doing business. I think talk of an improving economy is a lie. I think talk of an improving housing market is a lie. I think we are in big, BIG trouble and it is just a question of time before "difficulties" start. If this health care catastrophe passes, the damage may be irreversible.
I continue to "Hope for the best, while planning for the worst."

And to that extent, I'm surrounding myself with true friends, and separating myself from idiots.
How 'bout you?

Theo nails it!


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

At work, there are some idiots, but mostly younger kids who just need some guidance and schooling.

Personally, I've never been much of a social animal hence I have few friends and don't miss many. My wife is also my best friend. I too have little time for idiots hence my slim number of true friends. Very slim.

I believe that 2010 will truly be an economically-punishing year and, at this rate, there will be no avoiding that outcome.


camerapilot said...

Hey you,
Nice to have some time to laze during a 2 week holiday hiatus from this current film I'm finding myself on.
Funny, while resting i got a call to work on another film, a friend needed help so I went. Laying around the house was driving me crazy so I booted up and found faces as young as my daughter staring back at me in the early morning light.
Yes, I have forgotten more than they know and at times they screwed up. My response was that I laughed about it and they did too because they knew that they had gone about something wrong. They were there to please and I was glad to see that they cared about their work. I knew that they were not slackers. Seldom do slackers set alarm clocks for 0300.
The Country.......
My grandmothers people had the whole American Army/ 7th Cav searching to destroy them with the support of the great Capitol Hill.
Our wars......
Sounds like another campaign on the Plains to me, we know what the outcome will be. History repeats.
The great Black/White father will promise and then he will fade away.
Just before grandmother died I asked how did it feel to almost be a 100 years old. She giggled, then whispered "too short".
Look around and see the little things. The things that man does don't usually make much sense. Look at the animals and the way they go about their lives.
Don't forget why you wanted to fly.

the golden horse said...

I feel your pain on the fear of the future of this country.
Just consider youself very lucky to not have had the Big O in your back yard this past 10 days. That is 3 trips here in the past 16 months Tying up traffic like you can't believe. Multiple trips with the planes for the passengers and for the multiple cars. How many Cadillacs Escalades does it take to haul a family? No less than 20 plus motorcycle escorts also.
Great use for our tax money.
Displacing locals and people on their vacations with places being closed for hours so the "family and friends" can get theirs.
With him showing distaste for our military, he still rushes to the Marine base each morning to workout and then to the Marine golf course for a round.
$6000 a night for a house and blocking off huge portions of the beach to the people that live there.
And this administration is telling us to tighten our belts and that they are working hard to get this economy under control. Go tell it to someone else, please.

Thanks for letting me vent. It happens every time there is such a visit.
I feel better now.

OlePrairiedog said...

Keeping Family and Friends close is hard work sometimes. But now is certainly the time to forgive some picadillos and gird our loins. I get really PO'ed at some of the stupidity of some of my co-workers, but bite my tongue knowing that their behavior is noted by many. Let them stew in thier own juices.
I have a plan, I have several choices of hideyholes, I am ready to make some sacrifices to insure my "clan" of family, friends, in-laws and outlaws survive and prosper.
So you are right, GB. Take no prisoners, but maintain your health and peace of mind. They just aren't worth the effort sometimes.

Greybeard said...

You kinda make my point my friend-
Not only is it a waste of time trying to reason with the unreasonable, but while you are trying to reason with them the problem is getting worse, and you're trying to be nice to those that are causing the problem!
(It's obvious pretty quickly if you are making a dent, isn't it?)
No more.

Clint said...

Great Post!!

I'm trying to rid my life of idiots too. However, it is frustrating to know that those idiots, who might one day become parents, will produce more idiots. I have tried fruitlessly, like you, to reason with these people, but when your fundamental values are divergent to begin with, than no amount of reasoning will do any good.
I'm only 32 but I also need to get my blood pressure down.