Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prepare For The Worst, Hope For The Best

My day started off ok.  I made a smoothie with Stoneyfield vanilla yogurt, blueberries, cherries, some raw granola, chia seeds and a little vanilla whey protein.  I drank that along with some Chai (instead of coffee), just to mix things up. (I have pictures, but it'll have to wait til later!)

This morning I heard the news that a new airline merger may be happening, between ASA and Express Jet, two Regional airlines.  I saw that a few pilots wives were nervous about it in some online forums.  I ended up getting into a conversation about airline mergers with my friend (not in the airline industry) about it.  And I proceeded to get really ticked off! 

I haven't really written about airline related stuff lately, because not much has changed.  Greg is still flying for the same company.  He is home a couple days a week and flying a couple days a week, same old same old.  He is still on furlough status at Continental though and still follows the news about the merger and looks to see if there will be a recall and when.  The Continental and United merger is still being worked out and we have heard different scenarios in terms of how things may turn out with the pilot merger.  Possibly all CAL pilots will come back first if there is a recall.  Possibly a 1 to 1 recall of CAL/UAL pilots.  Possibly the seniority will be awarded based on hire date, meaning that even if CAL pilots were recalled first, once UAL guys are called back they would be senior to the existing and recalled CAL pilots if their date of hire at United was prior to the CAL guys hire dates.  Continental is supposed to have another big pilot bid come out within the next month, and we should know more then.  I never hold my breath with this kind of news, because things usually seem to take longer than they predict to figure it all out and let everyone know.  We probably won't know anything for a while still.  I hope for a recall, but I am in no way thinking it will happen or planning on it happening.  It very well may never happen.

When this blog was conceived, almost a year ago, my feelings about the industry were like an open wound.  It didn't take much to irritate it.  Now, almost a year later, most of the time I have a strange peace with the state of where things are.  I just feel like it is what it is.  I've learned not to put much of my hopes into thinking the airline industry will do good things for us.  I got tired of it letting me down all the time and just became focused on other things in my life instead like my social life, running, yoga, my VERY cute puppy, my husband, and blogging about healthy living.

I realized today that my feelings about the airline industry are still really strong though.  My friend started giving his opinion about how airline mergers do/should work, what makes sense, how it will likely happen.  I told him it's very silly of him to make statements about what will happen, should happen, or likely happen, because in my eight and half years of experience with this industry, the one thing I have learned is that it's completely unpredictable.  You can't ever predict what will happen.  A lot of the time what happens is the opposite of what you think will or should happen.  Companies that are seemingly doing fine one day collapse the next.  Companies that are chugging along on their own suddenly merge with another.  Planes are sold at a moments notice and suddenly 100 pilots are no longer needed.  This stuff happens ALL THE TIME.  I have seen it, been a part of it, and lived it.  My husband has stood at crossroads where he has had to decide between two airlines to work for and picked the one he thought to be more stable with the better future and picked wrong.  I just know that you can't bank on anything for sure.  My friend said it was a pessimistic way to look at an industry, and I say, well, I think it's NECESSARY to be pessimistic when it comes to this industry.  I think you have to be to survive it.  You have to always think worst case scenario, because if you think you can just float along and think that your experience with the airline industry will be all roses and butterflies, you are going to get your heart severely broken.  Maybe that's a weird way to live, but it's about surviving.  I really think I keep a pretty positive outlook in the other areas of my life, and I've just learned to not put all my happiness stock in this industry, because it is too volatile.  I do HOPE for the best though.  I will state it again and again, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I think that's all you can do to survive the industry. 

With that I will now eat my banana snack...


Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

I don't know if you've seen Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story," but it has a segment in there about pilots and how incredibly overworked and underpaid they can be. The airline industry does seem to be an unpredictable mess :(

I'm sorry you have to live with the uncertainty!

Brittney said...

@Julie- Yes, I definitely have seen it and the part about the airline industry is pretty accurate. There's a huge misconception that pilots are all well paid and easy/great careers. We've experienced mainly the opposite of that! I'm glad some people are starting to understand it!

KatieJones said...

Oh girl....I dont even have enough time to give my thoughts on this subject.

For three long years, Josh has been on reserve with ASA. EVERY SINGLE MONTH he talks about "blah blah blah there is a good chance i will hold a line next month".....NO.

Now he is all excited about the merger but you know what? I'll believe it when I see it.

Kirstypie said...

Thanks for your perspective! My husband is aspiring to be a pilot, and it's been tough since he finished school a year ago to come to the realization that there are no jobs out there, especially for a recent grad with very few hours. I like how you have decided that your happiness does not depend on his career. I just have to believe it will all work out and enjoy my time with him while I have him at home.

Joanna said...

You seem to be handling all is very well. You have to do what you have to do to get through all this. I keep thinking about all the CAL furloughs, and how stupid it is that they can't recall the, what is it, 146 guys? That seems like such a small number to a huge company, but would make a huge difference to each pilot.

Brittney said...

Thanks Joanna! I try to handle it the best I can. It's obviously still a really sensitive topic for me, but I feel like I have coping down to a science now and my attitude in general is much more positive now because I focus on other things. It does suck though, and you are right, to each of our 146 families, recall would be HUGE. I wish the company recognized that a little more.

Runblondie26 said...

I like your saying better, I tend to go with "Prepare for the worst...then you won't be disappointed."

Nah, things have been pretty good for us as far as regional life goes (knock on wood). This change could be good, bad, or indifferent. It's not like it's under our control.

I've regained a sense of peace since the announcement. As you already know, it's not worth wasting your energy over.

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