Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ehh...better of two evils

I work in an industry that is 100% based on seniority. Whoever has been here the longest has a better quality of life.

On the day I was hired each pilot was assigned a seniority number based on birthdate. Whoever was the oldest in my new hire class (about 35 pilots) got the next highest company seniority number. The numbers were then handed out in order of age.

Seniority can be really complicated as there is company seniority, domicile (where I am based) seniority and aircraft seniority.

When hired the pilot who was hired along with me was 15 number junior to me company wide but just 1 number junior to me on the aircraft.

We both had a good time the first year. We both were able to stay local in Dallas. After the first year though the economy began to change. The company needed to shift the number of pilots around the system.

Initially we were both pushed out of our current aircraft (a jet) and into a lower paying aircraft (a turboprop). When the time to go to training came, I was able to hold my seat in the jet, but he was not. The difference...1 aircraft seniority number.

Rather than take a major paycut on the turboprop, he decided to become a commuter and transfer to the jet in Chicago. He began commuting in March. Since then he held a set schedule for flying for 2 months, but recently had to deal with a reserve schedule. I fly a reserve schedule. This means all I know is what days I have to be available for work. I don't know what time I will start flying, stop flying or where I am going.

He has had a decent time. He spends $175 a month on a crashpad. A crashpad is an apartment shared by a number of commuting pilots.

I told you that to tell you this. I might be joining him.

The last two times my airline shuffled pilots around, I was able to hold on to my seat, by 1 number. Next time I don't think I will be as lucky.

Yesterday I was talking with two pilots on my plane who are slightly senior to me. They ran the numbers comparing flying the lower paying turboprop in Dallas versus commuting to Chicago on our jet. The difference is at least $600 a month minimum. That's a good chunk of change. I am still pondering it over, but right now I am leaning toward heading to Chicago. If things go the way I think they will I will be in the group of more senior reserves and possibly a low end line holder.

It's the better of two evils.

On an entirely different note, my mother in law is leaning toward buying a Mac. Finally. I recommended a 24 Inch IMac with the Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse. This was there will be just 3 cables coming out of the computer, power, internet and the printer. Next time I visit I will set it up so all she has coming out is just the power cable.

The best prices for Mac's IMHO is at Here is a link to the computer I think she should buy.

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