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It’s Not That I Think We’ll Crash. I Just Don’t Care

June 28, 2013

(Photo credit: freerepublic.com)

Comedian Ron White tells the following story,(Language warning behind the link)

I flew all the way from Flagstaff, Arizona to Phoenix, Arizona because my manager doesn’t own a globe. On the way there, we lost some oil pressure in one of the engines, so we had to turn around. It’s a 9-minute flight…can’t pull it off with this equipment. Everybody else was panicking, but I’d been drinking since lunch, so I was like,

“Take it down, I don’t care. Hit somethin’ hard, I don’t wanna limp away from this.”

The guy sitting next to me is losing his mind; apparently, he had a lot to live for. He turns to me, he says

“Hey man! Hey, man! Hey, man! If one of these engines fails, how far will the other one take us?”

“All the way to the scene of the crash! Which is pretty handy, ’cause that’s where we’re headed. I bet we beat the paramedics there by a good half hour.”

I estimate I’ve flown close to a million miles in my life. I’ve been to some exciting spots; Japan, Singapore, India, mainland China, Fargo, ND. I’ve had my share of hard landings, “sudden loss of altitude” events and other terrible travel stories. They don’t bother me. I’ve worked with guys who fly more than I do. I’ve discovered that the true road warriors, the guys who can pack in 20 minutes and sleep through the worst turbulance typically aren’t nervous flyers.

Of course, that seems obvious. You wouldn’t be a doctor if you fainted at the sight of blood. You wouldn’t be an IT consultant if airplanes made you nervous.

When we first formed the WordPerfect Swat team (How I Saved The EPA, Don’t Tell Pete), we pulled the best engineers from several different groups. The SWAT Team was WordPerfect’s on-site support group. We were all young and inexperienced. Just how inexperienced became clear when Steve had to make his first cross country flight from Utah to New York.

Two days before the trip he approached our manager

Chuck?

Yeah, what’s up?

About that trip on Friday. . .is there any chance we could take the train?

Steve had never been on an airplane before. They upgraded him to first class. The next time I needed to go back East I asked. Nope. Apparently the upgrade was for travel-virgins only.

Today Steve thinks nothing of jumping on a plane to see one of his many consulting clients.

And IT Consultants are technical. We understand the technical details that go into designing an airplane. . . oh and most of the ones I hang out with don’t drink.

So, why are we so confident? It’s not that we have any more trust in the plane than our fellow passengers. And, unlike Ron White, it’s not that we’re drinking ourselves into a stupor. As computer consultants we tend to look for problems and solutions. If a problem doesn’t have a solution it’s not really a problem, it’s a worry. And we aren’t the type to worry about what we can’t control.

And that’s the key word: Control. Sure the plane might crash and we certainly hope it doesn’t, but if it is going to crash there’s nothing we are are going to be able to do about it from seat 12E. Might as well assume it’ll be fine and sleep through it.

Rodney Bliss is a blogger, author and IT Consultant. When not on a plane he lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with is lovely wife and 13 children.

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2 Comments
  1. Haha love that Ron White bit, awesome post… and 13 Children?! Wow.

    • Yeah, I had the topic in mind already and then realized his “Scene of the crash” fit perfectly.

      I don’t talk about it much in this blog, but 10 of my kids are adopted from all over the world. (13kids.wordpress.com is my non business blog.) Some of those exciting locations I refer to in this post were to go and pick up kids.

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