Originally Posted by ClutchCargo
Then why oh why did you pick aviation?
My father grandfather and brother are all pilots. I took aviation as an elective in college and got an A without even trying. As with universities today aviation was promoted as another profession similar to that of doctor and lawyer. The university constantly paraded guys in their 20's in front of the class wearing major airline uniforms and driving new corvettes. We all were infused with the expectation of a coming pilot shortage that would assure us of getting hired at the major airline of our choice.
Without any other information to go on it seemed like a good investment so I abandoned my original major and switch to aviation. I was a natural and passed every class with A's or B's without hardly trying. I worked several jobs to pay my way through school and training and completed every rating in minimal time. The entire way I held the dream of making it to one of the west coast airlines that existed at the time. Upon graduation I had passed 727 flight engineer school and was ready to go to work.
Soon after the recession of the early 1990's hit. I spent the next 8 years living in my truck to keep the dream alive or in an employer provided hut in the Alaskan bush. After a while you become so invested that the idea of quitting is more painful than the prospect of continuing on a failing path. I stuck with it holding on to the promise of a hiring boom that never came.
You know the rest. In the beginning I was as passionate about aviation as the next guy but after years of hardship and disappointment it began to fade. The worst part is that most of my peers fell by the wayside long ago. It probably would have been easier if I had a few peer success stories to cling to.
I climbed the ladder a long way only to find that the job at the top was little better than what a mailman earns. I wish APC was around 20 years ago. I was there and sacrificed for a long time. I wanted a rewarding career but what I got was a humiliatingly impoverished adventure instead.
On the dirt ramp in Alaska I showed my resume to a legacy airline captain and asked him what I should do to improve my situation. He took a close look at it then asked me "who do you know" (in the airlines)? No one, was my reply. Then he handed back my resume turned his head and said "not now, not ever" and walked away. Years later I had a similar experience at job fairs.
Out of my graduating class of 20 two made it to a legacy. One of the two quit to take a desk job. The other wishes he could quit. We were cannon fodder. Never had a chance.