The Cynical Owner: So, you want to be an airline pilot?

Before I get to the flying thing that the title of this post eludes to, I want to say a few words. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a blog. About 10 years ago I didn’t like what was going on in my town, so I used a blog to do some venting and express my opinion. I learned that it is extremely gratifying to be able to lay out your thoughts in a careful manner without the pressure of an immediate audience. Thoughtful insights can be communicated somewhat more succinctly when words are put to “paper” slowly and carefully; then edited for maximum impact. So here goes… some thoughts from Mike Doble: The Cynical Owner:

So, about that flying thing… Have you ever walked into an airport with your wanderlust tugging at you to go somewhere and ask the airline if they would hire you as a pilot? What? Really? You wouldn’t just walk into the airline and tell them you like to travel, so why not hire me? But I really love aviation! I know that airplanes have two wings, and engines, and you have to put fuel in them, plus you should always change out the blue water before takeoff! Hire me! Show me what I need to do! I’ll make a great pilot!

It ridiculous isn’t it? Nobody would think it’s reasonable to have you take control of their multi-million dollar flying machine without any formal training and without any experience. I have news for you, in the hospitality industry people walk through the door nearly every day and ask me to entrust my multi-million-dollar business to them with zero professional experience and zero formal education. It goes something like this: I’m bored with my current profession. I LOVE craft beer. I HAVE to eat, so I need to make money. This is the perfect fit for me! Make me a brewer! Make me a bartender! I can DO it!

It doesn’t matter if they walk through the door and ask to be a server, cook, bartender or brewer. My first question is about education, then experience. Always being polite I ask the typical questions about training, past jobs, etc. My typical response is that we hire professionals to fill professional positions. Are you trained as a bartender? Do you have some experience as a bartender? Oh great! Bartending school, and five years’ experience! That’s great, then we can hire you to be a bartender. Same goes for brewers, and cooks, and every position. “I love craft beer.” Is a plus, but it is not a job criteria. Yet, it’s the first thing out of most inexperienced job seeker’s mouths…

Yes, sometimes I do hire people that are educated and with a strong desire to learn. But they must have one criteria: caring. I can’t teach people to care, but I can teach them to [eventually] serve, brew or bartend. I hope those people with zero experience or training that I do hire, appreciate the time, effort and service hits I take while they learn the ropes. Invariably the un-initiated end up crying in the bathroom when a service goes south, and I have a guest that may never return. This happens repeatedly while they learn to cope with a demanding public that expects perfection from our staff no matter what kind of day they are having.

So the next time you want to travel because you’re fed up with your career, don’t go to the airport and ask to fly the plane, just buy a ticket! But if you must fly, start at the local flight school and work your way into that multi-million dollar jet! You’ll be happier, and nobody will be harmed along the way.