From Life

How I Got Here

I certainly haven’t been avoiding the topic of where I work, but I certainly haven’t addressed it either. Therefore, I guess it is time to explain how I managed to become an Aerospace Quality Engineer the second I graduated ASU.

While I refuse to read all my previous posts I’m fairly certain I’ve addressed the topic of networking and emphasized its importance. Well, that shit is no joke so I’m going to drop the wisdom bomb again. Networking is the single most important skill I took away from ASU. Meeting the right person at the right time can literally be the reason your career progresses. Mine has done the following:

1. Unemployed
2. Recruiting Assistant
3. Recruiter
4. Recruiting Assistant
5. Lead Recruiter
6. Engineering Intern
7. Quality Engineer

The step from 1 to 2 was literally because I met a woman at a bar playing pool. Steps 2 through 4 were at the same company and I had to step down due to time availability constraints. After being laid off I RAN the recruiting/staffing side of a small company while being in school. After eight months of working there the same lady I met playing pool, and had previously worked for, asked me if I would be interested in an internship at my current company. After a year and a half, and graduating school, I find myself in my current position: Quality Engineer.

If you were unable to gather the take aways from my super condensed three year story here they are: Don’t be afraid to talk to people, and ask them what they do. WORK DURING YOUR COLLEGE CAREER, that is in caps because its stupid massive important. Lastly, work hard and show your worth. Before step one I squandered a job and had to run away with my tail between my legs before they fired my ass. Don’t be a young dumb shit head, be professional, put forth an effort, and don’t burn bridges.

A Months After the Fact

Well happy new year, I guess.

I’ve finished my degree and I managed to pull another semester of straight A’s, thus accomplishing my goal of graduating with a 4.0 GPA. This felt like an accomplishment for all of the 30 seconds it took me to walk back to my car after my en-route evaluation and drive off the campus for the final time. This isn’t to say I’m not happy about it, it just doesn’t produce any joy like I had hoped. It’s not like I smile when I think about it.

Apparently it takes six to eight weeks for them to mail a diploma, which is pretty pathetic considering some employers may not be so willing to hire a new graduate without solid proof of degree completion. I acquired my Quality Engineer position by simply supplying a unofficial transcript and an email from my advisor stating I would finish my degree if I passed my classes. However, this probably only sufficed because I had been working there for the past year and a half.

Checking in and checking out

Here I am again, writing after an extended period of silence when so much has happened. I’ve been offered a quality engineer position at work and have accepted it. I barely pulled out straight A’s again last semester. Bailed on the idea of ever becoming a dispatcher.  Failed another biographical questionnaire. Then as of tomorrow, I have finished my degree in Air Traffic Management.

As it stands I currently have a 90.6% in my enroute class. Tomorrow is my final simulator evaluation. Tomorrow should be incredibly spicy, and yet at I’m overwhelmed by a total lack of indifference. School in my mind is already over, and I’m already bored.

Seeking Control

2-26-17 16:56

I wrote a while back about a resurrection of writing poetry again, but never followed it up with much of an effort. Needless to say it was much like my effort towards writing in here. Life is pure undiluted chaos, and focus must be redirected constantly. Thus, how I spend what little free time I have is critical to my sanity. I started this poem one late night I don’t even know how long ago, and suddenly decided to finish it.

The essence of the writing below is the concept that I don’t feel like I control much of my life. School and work twist and pull me in so many ways that my life at times is too contorted to make sense of. Thus, I find myself envious of those who have dismissed society and live their life free of mundane concerns like money (basically being a homeless hipster). While the romantic inside me can identify and recognize such a life, the logical side of me can’t even comprehend walking across such an unstable bridge.

Life is a track on which we are forced to race,
countless outside influences setting the pace.
Gasping for air and some semblance of control,
falling ever so deeper inside their blackhole.

A byproduct of humanity that we’re forced to bare,
some are enlightened while most are unaware.
Envious of those who live in that ignorant bliss,
too scared to follow them into that blackish abyss.

Such a formidable leap with an unstable landing,
an uncertain future with no idea where you’ll be standing.
To much invested to suddenly turn back,
ready yourself for another lap around their track.

Lost Comms

1/8/2017 18:16

It’s been another four month period of lost communications, and as always a lot has happened. Given the topic at the end of the last post, and the gap up until now, I’d say its fairly obvious that I failed the BQ again. I think this is largely in part the reason I quit writing as it was quite a blow. Even four months later I’m still flabbergasted on how I could have failed it again. Regardless whats done is done and speculating about it only further irritates me.

The candle light of hope is very dim. I have to say with each passing day the feeling of helplessness in achieving my dream increases, as does the acceptance of never achieving it; which depresses me. Actually sitting here and thinking about it makes it real again. Not to say that I haven’t been feeling it the past four months, because I have. It’s just that over the past four months I’ve been so busy it was easier to brush off; especially because I was interning at PHX/P50.That crutch however is gone now, and its time to get back on the horse for the new semester (which starts tomorrow).

Needless to say we have a lot to talk about.

Long Time No See

8/9/2016 19:42

It’s been so long I don’t even know where to begin. For some reason I never felt the need to write even though so much in my life has changed this summer. Now that the 2016 ATC bid is looming I feel the need to put the pen back to the paper.

I guess I’ll start about the new job I just started this week. I finally made the transition from working with aerospace companies to working in one. Getting out of staffing/recruiting is fantastic, I’m so glad to have left it behind me. The morals of that business are so corrupt, but at the same time the people you have to deal with drive you to it. A job that depends on the direct actions other others will almost always lead to  failure. As for what my new job is, I’ll describe that in a later post when I better unstained what it is that I’m actually doing there.

Second, I got my new car. I finally got around to selling the my first car that I’ve had since 2008. To add to that I bought my first ever new car. While this is exciting it is at the same time terrifying. Car payments and student loan payments, life will surely smack in the face when school is done.

Now for more ATC related news: the 2016 bid is currently underway. I just uploaded all the documents I will be submitting with my application. With the new law that passed I will be required to apply under the OTS (off the street) bid; meaning I will have to take the biographical assessment again. I haven’t applied yet. This is because I am still in school, you need to graduate first before you can get around the BQ. I was going to apply tonight but I decided not to as it is open all week. I think I’m being apprehensive about it for multiple reasons:

1. I’m trying to see what other people are saying about it to get a better idea.
2. Taking it is just going to suck, it’s very long.
3. I’m scared to see the results.

Which ever way this bid goes there’s a major downside. If I get picked up, I may have to drop out of school and quit my job, obviously a huge fucking gamble. If I fail I just missed out on a huge hiring bid, the likes of which won’t be seen again again (hiring will take a huge decrease over the next couple of years). The only way this works out perfectly is if I get picked up and get a call time for over a year from now; like thats going to fucking happen. Well I guess theres no reason to pick this apart until I know if its going to happen or not. My next post will likely be the results.

Your Time Has Come

4/27/2016 20:18

Tomorrow marks my graded simulator evaluation for the local control position. This past week was basically taken off of work to refine my skills on the local south position. Followed by taking today off so that I could shake off the weekend rust before tomorrow. While I hope I receive local north, which only has one runway and is considerably easier for me, I don’t at the same time. While other students probably don’t feel the same, this evaluation is an important milestone. A milestone that pushes ones limits and demonstrates ones ability. Succeeding in an easier fashion will fail to do either.

Pushing my mental limits to the breaking point is in large part the reason I wish to become a controller. My sights are set on working at a high level facility, thriving within it, and eventually making my way to the command center. That being said the fear of maintaining my 4.0 GPA is outweighed by a fear of a realization of my own incompetence. I’ve completely enveloped myself to passing this evaluation, and I want and expect nothing more then to tear the shit out of the hardest problem he has.

Oh I also have a commercial stage exam tomorrow too…

Starting To Get Turbulent

4/16/2016 20:25

So yesterday I went over to Mesa Airlines to discuss the details of their internship with my future professor. Good news is it is paid, bad news is it is generally just during the summer. Therefore, with where I am credit wise at the moment I will have to do it on a non-school related basis. Which is obviously more work in the grand scheme of things but it also allows me to intern at PHX which is obviously something I want to do. Regardless, the interning at Mesa seems like a real possibility, but I will have to get rid of my car and get a new one immediately after this semester ends…

On the subject of this semester the pressure is starting to build with finals fast approaching. Local South was proving to be a considerable problem in ATC 431 until this past Thursday when it started to click. I’ll try and write a report as to how to succeed at local control, because its a serious learning curve. Regardless heres what I’m up against over the next couple weeks:

ATC 431- Simulation Graded Eval., Written Final, and the take home test thats 100 something questions.
ATC 332- Final exam
AMT 442- Book review (halfway done), and final.
AMT 214- Stage 3 exam, homework questions on all the chapters, and the final exam.

On top of this I have this Professional Women Controllers conference I will be attending the week before finals. I’ll be writing an article for their newsletter, so I have to find some way to fit that into my school work. Regardless, I need to try and attend this even as much as possible as it is a great networking opportunity.

Troubling Times

4/7/2016 20:12

It’s been a little while since my last entry, and big shocker: a lot has happened. First, I’ve officially been offered an internship at the Phoenix TRACON/Tower. Now you think this would be a cause for celebration as it is where I’ve wanted to do my internship since I started school for ATC. However, given the FAA’s current hiring practices regarding controllers, I have to seriously consider whether or not this internship is worth it. This is because it currently won’t further my chances of being a controller. How fucked is it that I have to question my dream internship for a dream job for something that will help my back up career? Very fucked.

However, this brings up the other bun I’ve got going in the oven. During my writing hiatus I looked up a dispatcher on LinkedIn and asked for, and got a tour of Mesa Airlines dispatching office. I definitely think I’d enjoy working there as dispatching is a very neat and misunderstood occupation. So, I’m currently trying to get another visit scheduled so that I might be able to establish an internship there. Reason being, an internship within dispatching would make me a very viable candidate for a real dispatching position, which is what an internship is supposed to do.

Honestly, if it came down to the two, I’d have to go with Mesa Airlines.

Side note: You have to pay for your internship credits, how fucking ridiculous is that? I have to pay to go work somewhere for free. What a scam this is.

Moments of Clarity

Have you ever noticed the times when the clarity of being able to grasp everything that is going on in your life becomes clear?  Then the tremendous weight of everything you have going on becomes a realization. Just the amount of shit that keeps piling on top of me makes the future look very unhopeful.

For example, first and foremost I’m unsure how next semesters tuition is going to happen. I have filled out my FASFA but the idea of taking out more loans is sickening. On top of that I already have the loans for the money I’ve already spent all of, something like $20k. God knows how paying it all off it going to work out come graduation time. On top of that I need to find some stability in work because I need to get rid of my old car for a newer one, if the motor in that goes I’m royally screwed. Currently it is running great, but I just can’t afford the time and the cost of a major upset with it. However at the same time I don’t know if I can even afford having a car payment again. Combine all this with the fact that even though I have a well paying job I can’t seem to save money and I just don’t see a solution. It’s like I’m tumbling down a steep hill and picking up more speed the farther I get down it.

That was just the financial side of it too. At the same time all the tests I have coming up, the book report I need to start, how next semesters schedule is going to work, and how I’m going to maintain my 4.0 GPA. On an unschooled related note I have my shoulder rehabilitation going, as well as the fact I started a diet this week because I need to shed this extra weight I’ve put on. It’s just amazing, how much shit can a single person handle. Writing about this is making it worse so I think I’m going to stop. Acknowledging and dwelling on the weight of the shit pile on top of you probably makes it worse… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here having a panic attack or falling into depression. It leaves me more emotionless and unmotivated more then anything.