Thursday, October 19, 2006

A flight department isn't all about Caribbean sunrises and fine restaurants. There's a lot of work that needs to be done before we even get near the airplane to jet off to our resort locations. My motivation is to keep everything running smoothly for the bosses, and also to avoid federal prison should we get audited by Transport Canada. Together those are fairly powerful influences, so I got down to work today.

For example, this is what I have done today:

1. Searched for more details regarding a new avionics package for one of our aircraft. The hard part is that it has to be upgradeable for the future, and that adds an order of magnitude more complexity to the project. As long as I can sneak an Xbox into the installation, I'm a happy guy.

2. I coded and paid nearly 3 inches of stacked invoices. Three hours later I did the exact same thing again due to a screwup in the accounting department, but this time I used Roman Numerals 'cause I'm mean. We spent $MMDC,LXXXV.XLV on hotel rooms in September, nearly $DCC more than in August. Now that I think about it, this might explain the severed horse head I found on my desk this aftrnoon.

2a. I drank a lot of coffee and thought about taking up smoking tobacco.

3. I updated contact information with various suppliers and aircraft charter coordinators, identifying myself as the new point-of-contact for my flight department.

4. Called customer support and resolved a technical issue with our flight planning software.

5. Called different customer support people and resolved a technical issue with our online flight-booking software.

4a. I called the original customer support people various expletives when our flight planning program displayed the same incorrect behaviour after it had supposedly been 'fixed'.

6. I filed maintenance invoices and work orders for both our aircraft.

7. I called our aircraft mechanics and discussed various upcoming maintenance projects, and coordinated the dates of said projects to fit within our flight schedule.

8. I went upstairs to accounting and apologized as I noticed the error mentioned in 2. was caused entirely by me. I brought a flower I pulled from our office garden and everything, but I guess some people have serious anger issues.

9. I did some minor housekeeping on our Ops Manual in anticipation of an upcoming amendment. I also added a couple of things in there just for giggles. I can't wait until the first person notices that our SOP's now state that "All flight crew shall conduct their duties while dressed as polar bears" and "All communication with passengers shall be done in rhyme"

10. I spoke on the phone with 3 different people who want 3 different charter quotes. No big deal there, but gosh I sure love the people who have never chartered a jet before. They say they want to go to Vegas for the weekend, and are shocked, SHOCKED when I tell them it will cost a wee bit more than going commercial. Then they get hostile, call me a crook and hang up. I hate being called a crook by some skinflint who wants a jet for the price of a Greyhound bus ticket.

11. I called Jeppesen Maps in order to fix the fact that they mail us an extra copy of all our maps and charts. That wouldn't be a big deal, but they also bill us for the extra, unneeded copy and that's not cool.

12. I ate lunch and took the car to get the oil changed. On that note, I tried Mr. Lube, Jiffy Lube, Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart, and none of them will touch a hybrid car for an oil change, so I had to get it done at the Honda dealership. $85 later, I stumbled out of the dealership with fresh oil in my car and a fresh hole in my bank account.

13. Continued to unpack my office cubicle after moving it to another part of our office. Our parent company continues to expand greatly, so space is at a premium. My new cubicle is, shall we say, more cozy than my previous one.

14. Ordered our 2007 US Customs decal online, so we can legally fly across the border next year.

15. I scheduled interviews for a job opening within our fight department.

16. I looked forward to the next time I get in the air.

17. I went through all our old training records and removed old outdated exams and such. Not much fun there, except for the part when I noticed on a license that one of our pilots' middle name is Clarice. I hope he likes the dress I'm buying him for his upcoming birthday.

18. I bought some commissary supplies for our commissary locker in the hangar, and for my kitchen shelves. Wait, forget I said that last part. I also got some bottled water with our logo on it, which turned out to be a LOT cheaper than I had initially feared. I know it sounds like a stupid little thing but it's actually pretty damn cool. I visited the planes and made sure they were fully stocked with blankets, engine oil, customs cards, blah blah blah. We have a guy who does this once a month, but I feel like our 2 jets are family, or at least pets, and I enjoy the occasional afternoon of quality time with them in a calm setting.

So how was your day?


Aviatrix said...

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard,
The autopilot is set, now we can afford
A few moments to list our inflight delights.
We have pretzels and beer, bagels and Sprites.
If you have any questions, ask the crew, please.
We're dressed all in white, per our new SOPs.
Despite thick furry coats and vicious-toothed jaws.
It turns out that due to the nature of paws,
We look very smart, but can't lower the gear.
So prior to landing, please finish your beer,
Read the safety card, as discussed in the demo.
The ops manager should be expecting a memo.

Anonymous said...

Sulako; book those massages NOW, ge the deep work of Rolfing or Hellerwork ( seriously they will erase the residue of all that office work). Better than caffiene and certainly better than smoking, I can't believe you threatened that!!KM

zb said...

so how was my day? pleasant, thoroughly pleasant.

it's an off-day.

i took my bike and spent about an hour watching the demolition of a huge office building in the south of my city. they do the demolition in the nice, traditional way, i.e. they bang a big metal ball against the concrete. seriously, there is nothing more relaxing than watching the wrecking ball go back and forth. before you start smoking, you should definitely consider some quality time near a demolition site. i mean it.

i went to an electronics shop and got some spare parts for my newly aquired tektronix type 453 oscilloscope. it's from 1965 and runs almost like new. if maintained well, it's as good as a well-kept dc-9.

then, i got a bunch of records and cds at the shop that's also the office of my favourite record label. lots of weird stuff, but also johnny cash's american v and the new calexico record.

spent the afternoon and evening at my electronics bench to take care of the 453. yes, i am a geek. but, you see, yesterday was a day of hiking in the alps, so it was o.k. to sit and work with the great ancient machine.

listened to one of my favourite radio shows. a full hour of sarcasm.

read blogs and had much fun. especially with aviatrix' rhymes above. PWA as in piloz with attitudes comes to mind.

straight outta weasel
crazy stick-shaker named a-trix
from a gang called
pilots with attitudes

when called from the laundry
dartin' off to the runway
squeeze the yoke
pop'n'chips are hauled off

you too, boy, if ya fly long duty
authority are gonna hafta come and get me
off yo ass, that's how I'm goin out
for the punk motherf#ckers that's showin out

still did not re-organize the numerous piles of cds in my apartment, which will be hard when i need to find stuff tomorrow while preparing my own little radio show...