I am a Nothing, there I've admitted it. I am an ATCO2, and that is pretty much it. I used to be an OJTI, but I was utterly appalling in that role so I binned it and I don't think anybody even noticed. I don't want to be a manager and I don't want to follow a manager. I don't want to be detached to the Pay Section so that I can see what a tough time of things they have and I most particularly do NOT want to have anything to do with the SORT Office, who make making a mountain out of a molehill the absolute epitome of a Fine Art. I am a Nothing.
I am an ATCO2. I am a damn good ATCO2, but that really doesn't seem to be enough these days. I need a 'handle', something to be known for. Not my 'air traffic voice' sadly, unless being The Female Twenty First Century Derek Jameson is enough to elevate me to the realms of the infamous... no - well, perhaps that is for the best.
The reason for my post is this; I am (believe it or not, and I really wouldn't blame you if you chose not to) a quite experienced controller within the northern confines of the London TMA. And the other evening I had cause to be discussing life, the universe and Management in general with an even more experienced / scruffier north bank controller. I have known him for a few years and, owing to the fact that I also look like The Female Twenty First Century Derek Jameson, we have nothing whatsoever to talk about apart from work and the endless list of plastic surgery appointments that we would appear to be happy to go halves on.
Anyway, the point is this (that makes me sound like Al Murray - I promise you I am SLIGHTLY better looking than he is - if the light is good), I was wondering why there has never been a system put in place at Swanwick (TC - where the REAL controllers are
) whereby pilots are detached to a controller or a sector for an entire shift, much the same as when a scummy old ATCO has the audacity to try to cadge a FamFlight with a flight crew of any description.
I would like to know whether this has ever been suggested at all and also whether anyone else thinks this would be a good idea. I'll have you know that, if it IS a good idea, I am probably giving up my chance of obtaining a celebratory ipod for taking 'ownership' of it. Let's be honest though, in this day and age that's like taking delivery of a celebratory gramophone. Good old NATS - fingers always on the PULSE.
For our pilot friends, I am talking about an entire shift of following a controller (protected from Management by their own particular ATCO's cloak of indifference) and seeing just what a fantastic team of professionals gets you from A to C (Via B, because we are TC controllers and we are awesome). As a side note, I don't mind kissing goodbye to the ipod but I would be rather keen to take an active role in assigning each particular pilot to their most appropriate ATCO. I warn you now, if you bear even the slightest resemblance to Jon Pertwee, you might very well find yourself sitting next to The Female Twenty First Century Derek Jameson - but I will shave, I can promise you. The bits you can see, anyway.