Airline Captain: It’s all about the prestige.
Yeah, it’s all about the four stripes. A lot of stuff changes the day you put them on and move into The Center of the Known Universe.
First, there’s the instant recognition from coworkers. They know the reality behind the symbols of authority and reflect that in their very manner. No one resents that you’ve moved to the top of the dog pile; in fact, they fairly burst with enthusiasm for your good fortune and want you to know that.
Oh, we kid, don’t we, on the flight deck? Of course, you have to “keep it light,” right? And the circumstances dictate a gracious demeaner no matter what. I mean, everyone’s looking to you for leadership, and so they grant respect. As a captain, you have all of the authority in the universe once you’re in the air: “you da MAN.” Yes, we kid face to face, but behind the captain’s back we know there’s a silent respect we can’t see–but you sure can feel it. Eventually.
Yes, you get paid to lead and don’t worry, with the increased responsibility there are perks for you, the leader. First, the posh accommodations that say “welcome to your restful hotel.”
There’s your room! And the floor outside will be vacuumed for you without fail at about 6am. We’ve been waiting for you!
So, you’ll get a sanitary rest, at least to the naked eye, so you can be ready for the next day’s flying and of course, “leadership.”
Rest is crucial, everyone knows, so the standard is a good eight hours–or at least until the vacuuming starts at dawn–and then a hearty breakfast.
Here you’re likely to see the captain out having a thoroughly nutritious meal, balanced and calorically sensible. The challenges of flight dictate that those at the controls are properly fed and watered.
Other crewmembers might have lower nutritional standards
and that’s fine. But you, “Mr. Captain,” must lead by example.
Because you want to make a good impression on the traveling public, who also look up to you for reassurance.
Further, you have to be confident to earn the respect of the Cabin crew,
plus that of your fellow pilots
who are secretly happy about the fact that you have the four stripes, not them, although they do love to joke around. Never mind that it could be–SHOULD BE–them in the left seat now occupied by your sorry lard ass, no one’s bitter.
Well at least they seem happy, so why would you think anything different? In fact, the friendly banter is what affirms the captain in his spot atop the flight deck hierarchy.
So you lead on, ever at the helm, with the tacit backing of those who support you. It’s their job to trust the captain and support his leadership, come whatever challenges may descend upon their flight. So you just have to know that they’re “there for you.”
All the pilot banter aside, no matter what it’s the look of sheer admiration you get from the little kids, the one that says “wow, you’re the pilot!” that just keeps you going.
Well, after a day in the sky, on top of the world, it’s time for the captain to grab his luxury wheels
and head home to the humble yet swingin’ abode his second ex-wife allows him to have without taking him back to court for more alimony.
That’s pretty much “the big picture.” Yes, that fourth stripe makes all the difference in the world to those who wear it. Those who don’t, however, probably know “the big secret.”
But really, why tell that to anyone considering aviation as a career. Why not just let it be a surprise?
This little device ought to be good for a few fistfights in the cabin. Apparently, you as a passenger put these snap-on clamps on your tray table and magic: the seat in front of you can’t recline. Good for you, bad for whomever’s sitting in front of you, and bad for the cabin crew who must referee the ensuing argument: “What do you mean I can’t recline my seat?!!!” Let the games–and the lawsuits–begin.