Sunday, June 22, 2008

Does This Hat Match My Plane?

Look, we're all under stress at work in one form or another. If you're a pilot, there are going to be a lot of things to stress out about (I would imagine). You have to keep that big metal tube in the air for an extended period of time, for starters. And if there's bad weather, that could affect your stress level. Or if the flight is running behind schedule, that could have you on edge. Or if you're not sure whether or not to wear your pilot's hat. Wait. What?

According to our good friends across the pond at the Telegraph, over there in my second home of Salt Lake City, Utah, United Airlines had to cancel one of their flights because the pilot decided he was "not calmed and focused enough" to fly the plane to Denver. This revelation coming to him after everyone was already ON the plane. ( I would have twisted right on off. )

One of the passengers on the plane, a one Paul Jacobson, explained to the good folks over there at USA Today, how this unraveled. He said that the pilot got on the PA and said, "Some of you may have witnessed an incident I was involved in at the gate. I'm not going to go into the details, but it was an interpersonal confrontation that upset me significantly to the point where I'm not focused enough to fly you to Denver. I feel like I may not be calmed and focused enough to fly to Denver for another hour." As you can imagine, hilarity did not ensue after that announcement. Apparently, the passengers let out the obligatory groan after learning of this delay (followed by lots of the under the breath cursing and the oh-so rhetorical inquiry, "Are you freaking kidding me?" Sadly, no. They're not. But then things start to get weird.

The pilot, who oddly enough, was not identified, (yet. Just wait. We will know who this tool is soon enough.) had apparently been conflicted as to whether or not he should wear his hat. Yes, his hat. That thing perched atop a pilot's head. THAT hat. In fact, he was so conflicted that he was having an argument with his colleagues about whether or not to wear his hat in front of management. (No word on whether the colleagues were or were not hatless. Repeat, hatless.) doesn' Maybe? WTF?!

I can't believe that the pilot couldn't fly the plane to Denver because he was upset about an argument over a hat. This is because of a hat. (Yeah, an asshat!) Now, it's not management that has the hat hang up. It's the pilots' union. The pilots union has apparently encouraged it's members (ie, pilots) to not wear their hats. This orchestrated hat removal is said to represent the universal symbol for protesting difficulties that the pilots have suffered since United's bankruptcy. It is? NO! Of course it isn't!!

What does not wearing your HAT have to do with being pissy that the company went rudder end up?! Let me see...oh, that's right! NOTHING! It has NOTHING to do with it! Whose crazy ass idea was that?! ("I know! We'll all take off our hats! Let them see OUR hair, for once. We're always staring at theirs. That'll show them. Then they'll know just how much trouble we've had to endure. Phffftt! Stupid bankruptcy. We'll show them though. As we must unite, hatless, as one!")

How many of these precious little snowflakes are employed by United to fly their planes? The answer should be ZERO. Listen up, dude. If you can't handle getting into it with some of your co-workers regarding whether or not you should wear a hat I don't want you piloting the long metal tube that I am on (that sounds worse than it is. I meant "the plane".). I mean, if you're THAT easily upset, God only knows what might happen to you up there at our cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. ("What was that?! Oh, my GOD! It's a cloud! Somebody get the co-pilot in here! I'm feeling weak! I'm rather upset! I need to calm and focus after seeing that cloud! Stop mocking me! It was really big! And white and fluffy! My God!")

United is investigating and the pilots union isn't talking. No word on whether or not they're wearing their hats, though.

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