The other day Greg and I went for a walk. The conversations on these walks are almost always initiated by Greg sighing loudly and saying how he wished he was flying again. Then he says some variation of "I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see when I'd be called back". He's kind of like a broken record. We still have no indication of when or if Continental will call the furloughed pilots back. Right now it's even looking like a merger with United could happen at some point, which is scary. The outgoing Continental CEO was against the merger (Greg really liked the guy), but the new one actually has a legal background in mergers and acquisitions, so it's looking like he might want to help the whole deal along. If a merger with United happens, I don't know if Greg will ever fly for the company again. United has tons of pilots furloughed- all the way back to guys that started at the company in 1998. So if they merge seniority or give United the upper hand (which they always seem to get), than Greg would be so far down on the totem pole under their furloughed guys it would be hopeless for him to get to fly with them again.
My main worry is still having kids. Greg's 37 and will be 38 in a couple months. At this point it's looking like the soonest we'll have our first kid will be when he's 40, so he's going to be even older when/if we have a second kid. I also still have no idea whether we'll have trouble getting pregnant or not either, so it makes me really nervous to keep putting the whole process off. My instincts are telling me that it would be a good idea to do this soon if possible. I just don't want to wait forever to start a family. It'd be nice to have kids when we're relatively young and less complications can arise. I feel like we're ready in all other aspects other than Greg's job situation.
I told Greg again that he probably needs to really start planning on an alternate career. He agreed (I don't know if he'll actually DO anything about it). I've said it before and I'll say it again, but I figure he should start planning as if he's not getting called back or getting hired to fly again, and if he does get called back- great, but if he doesn't have the opportunity to fly again he's got a real shot at an alternate career. These jobs he's been doing this past year are just to hold him over til he gets to fly again (truck driving, van driving), and I think he's making a mistake to not really pursue an actual career type job because we don't know what kind of time line we're dealing with, and the longer he continues to do a job like he's got at the hotel, that's just more time taken away from time he could be accumulating in a career type job. I know initially he tried to find some jobs like that, but after a while of it not materializing he resigned to just applying for pretty lowly jobs. I feel like now the job markets is slightly better and he should try again to find a job that would allow him to apply his smarts. I do want to say though, that I am really proud of him for doing what he had to do for us and not being one of those guys that said "No, I won't do anything else but fly" or "I won't do _______ (fill in the blank) because my standards are too high". I also think people with that attitude are making a huge mistake. The reality is that the job market does suck and flying jobs or any sort of jobs are hard to find. Greg tells me that there are still some furloughed guys who haven't found jobs and are in dire straights because of it. And a lot of them have kids/families to support. I feel like if Greg found work- even if it's not ideal work, than they can too. They're just not going outside the box. While I want Greg to continue to look for better jobs, I am glad he's doing SOMETHING right now, even if it's on the lower end of what he's capable of and what pays well. These dudes need to wake up and realize that ANY job is better than no job and they should do something to bring in money.
Last night he called to tell me that his boss told him that they decided not to train him to work the front desk at the hotel. Initially when he started he was kind of excited at the prospect of driving the van and getting tips, but also at the prospect of working at the front desk when he has down time, which he has a lot of. Some nights he only has two runs to the airport, so that's like 7 hours worth of time he has nothing to do. He would like to contribute, especially since the front desk is often really busy. We don't know the reason that his boss opted not to let him work the desk. It may be because other desk clerks don't want him there, it might be because the other van drivers don't want to, we don't know why. It was a blow to Greg's ego though, because he's got a business degree and can fly friggin airplanes, but the hotel people don't want him applying any extra brain power other than driving the van. He was also sort of hoping they would see he was smart, capable, and responsible and working the desk might also lead to a management opportunity or promotion of some sort. I told Greg this is why he needs to be looking for a job that is not minimum wage and entry level. Hopefully this kind of wakes him up to that reality and prompts him to keep applying for other things while he does this in the mean time.