Sunday, February 06, 2005


"I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. " - Henry David Thereau

It's been quite a while since I read my fellow bloggers' offerings, if I could still be considered a "fellow blogger". I haven't played poker in a good long while, other then the occasional home game against truely terrible players, and I've contributed not at all to the discussion, but I hold out hope that I'm still embraced by the community.

This post won't be much about poker, except to mention that once all of the things going on in my life sort themselves out I'd very much like to make another run at it.

So, what's it all about? Those two and a half people still reading my mental blatherings know I work for the airline industry. The endgame on this whole thing might play out in the next couple of weeks, as United has said they're going to make their decision soon... Which could mean anything, really. The staff in Chicago have reported, and the management here has confirmed, that there is a "Transition Team" from United wandering around the Chicago operation. One could logically surmise that if there exists a transition team there's likely something to transition. Management has been remarkably silent about this, except to confirm that which they cannot hide. That, and the mass exodus has begun. We're seeing about 4 or 5 openings a day being posted, and it's not like we're growing, so again, deductive reasoning suggests that these positions are being vacated, not created.

I have decided to leave this industry I love. It's a difficult decision, but it's become clear that this isn't the industry I grew up around. It's now getting to the point where your typical airline employee makes less then a McDonalds manager. The people you see on the ramp throwing bags and servicing the airplanes? They'd make more money at WalMart. Even pilots are getting shafted. Given the amount of training and money it costs to become qualified to be an airplne pilot, it should amount to more then $17,000 a year to start. It's getting worse too. The only thing keeping the industry from becoming dangerous is the fact that pilots have pride in their work in spite of what amounts to indentured servitude by management.

Anyway, I've been going through the process for the better part of two months to work at a police and fire dispatch center in suburban Chicago. Why the change?

Previous to this airline gig, I was in the I.T. industry for around 7 years, most of that time as a contractor. I spent an average of 6 months at any one job. Some of the time the contract ended, some of the time I was offered a substantial raise to move. Anyway, I did a lot of moving around. Once the industry collapsed, the market went from employer saturated to employee saturated. A job I used to do now requires a Master's degree, 20 years of experience and a Master MCSE certification, and pays 2/3 what I used to make. The point being, I've spent my entire professional career looking over my shoulder, wondering when the pink slip will come. My move into the airline industry was supposed to solve all of that, but alas, after 9/11 this industry too is in the process of imploding. I'm 32, I have a wife and I'd like to start a family. I can do none of that if I have to worry about whether my next check is my last check. I need stability. Public service can give me that.

The waiting is killing me, though. I'm in the final stage of this whole deal, having done enough tests to qualify me for crypto clearance, I have made the cut. Now the final step of the process, the background check. It's taking forever. Part of it is my fault. I filled out my application with the same information I filled out my previous applications with. I figured I passed a police and airline background check, both equally thorough, with this information, so in it goes... Well, a lot changes in two years. I got at least 3 phone numbers wrong due to changes, closing, moving and one was plain stupidity on my part. I called up the person doing the background check and corrected all of this information, but it's supremely embarassing to have sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth on this application, only it's not correct information... Duh. So now, in my typical style, I'm worried sick about it. Did I get this right, what are they going to think about me getting the information wrong, where are they in the process...

Clearly I'm being irrational about this, but when I think about why, it's seems I'm counting on this job more then I initially thought. The truth is, there is a very real prospect that this job I have now is at the worst, gone in 4 months, and at the very best, a dead end career. I will never see the inside of a major airline dispatch center, and I'll never make more then $55,000 a year here, and that will be 15 years from now. I'm not greedy, but I would like to give my kids a decent shot at higher education and still have a little left for me and my wife when we retire, considering Social Security will be relegated to the history books by then.

In short, I just want a phone call.

And a spare $50 so I can make another run at the Party tables... See? This site isn't COMPLETELY devoid of poker content! Oh, and a copy of Ed Miller's book. That'd be nice.

But for now, I just wait. and wait.


At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, Might be willing to help you out there. Stay tuned.


At 10:00 PM, Blogger The ICP said...

Thanks, Decker! I really appreciate it! If you want, contact me at .

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Maudie said...

Good luck with your 'transition' - being in the employment and training industry, I know change is difficult. Hope you get the job you want!

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Best of luck.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Brodybanky said...

Maybe all of this work stuff is a sign that you should quit it all and focus on the more important things, like Poker. Or maybe not.

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