Sleepy Air Traffic Controllers.

Lots in the news lately about air traffic controllers sleeping on the job. When I was in the Navy, I had a roommate in the barracks who was an ATC. Learned that it has one of the highest stress ratings of any profession, and that they are responsible for more human lives in one hour than any doctor over the course of that doctor’s career.

Back in the day before I earned my curmudgeonly street cred, Ronny Ray-gun crippled the ATC union somehow. I was just a young whippersnapper, violating the lawn-space of my local neighbor curmudgeons, and really am not familiar with the particulars of how he did that. Hell, I’m not really sure *if* he’s to blame.

But I do know this: ATCs have to be mentally alert throughout a pretty long shift, can’t let anything distract them from that glowing screen in the dark tower at far remove from the rest of the bustling airport.

So, what’s their scheduling like? Are they shuffled from shift to shift, with little time between to adjust to time changes? How many are in a room at a time? Oh, sure, we need to cut costs, can’t pay two people to sit in a room in the middle of the night. Betcha there’s at least two people on duty in missile silos at all times.

Can anyone give me some factual information? Any ATCs out there wanna speak up and tell it like it is?

Oh, and that whole thing about Michelle Obama’s plane aborting landing due to a near collision? It got within 3 MILES of another craft about to land. It was redirected, the landing was not aborted. Shit like that prolly happens every frickin’ day, and we don’t hear about it because A) it wouldn’t have been considered newsworthy if some poor schmucks got caught dozing in the wee-smalls of the night, and B) those planes weren’t carrying the smartest, bare-armed, healthy-diet-promoting, gardening first lady ever.

I would SO love to see Michelle Obama run for president. She’s way too smart to be relegated to the veggie garden.

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