Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dark Marshall

I didn't see a marshaller yesterday while taxiing in after my second landing. I just headed for where I had parked before. Just as I was about to shut down I saw the marshaller, in front of an open hangar, waving what appeared to be two dark sticks. I don't know whether he had lost his flashlights or the batteries were dead or he hadn't been equipped with any, but it was the darkest marshaller I've ever had at night. I don't think he even had a reflective vest on. Certainly not the new super-bright kind. Maybe I should get one of those vests to wear when I'm walking around a dark ramp at night. Dorky but safer. I think I've determined that the extent of a person's nerdiness is a function of their willingness to sacrifice trendiness for practicality. Tape on the glasses is really the ultimate expression of that: tape is available right at your desk for almost free. Frame repair involves an optician appointment and a lot of money. Once your nerdiness reaches a certain nadir, the tape is a no-brainer.

I shut down and saw we were quite near an ambulance. I hoped he hadn't got us mixed up with an expected medevac, but then a King Air taxiied up and the ambulance went out to it, and he was unsurprised when I just asked for fuel.

Oh, and there is no tape on my glasses.


Sarah said...

Dark Marshall

Sounds like a movie! ( cue Don LaFontaine voiceover )

Perhaps your marshaller had darkness creep up him, much as you did wearing sunglasses at night.

Tape on glasses is indifference to style. I knew a guy once who would tape his glasses to his face so they'd stay on when he did aerobatics. Just one piece, up his forehead. It looked silly but worked pretty well.

Grant said...

After having the arms on several pairs of sunglasses break from the pressure of the noise-cancelling headset, I've discovered that tape is a great fix. Keeps the glasses on my head, but flexes enough to allow the headset to seal. Where's my NERD badge!?

Sarah said...

Yer wearin' it, Grant. :)

Sulako said...

That sounds like my home FBO! I nearly ran over a ramp rat a few weeks ago one night while parking - our ramp area has poor lighting and he was nearly invisible in the darkness, with his back turned, clearly focused on something else. My worst fear in aviation is that I might injure someone while in the course of my duties, so I was pretty pissed, and complained to the FBO management that his batons were non-existent. Management told me that the lit batons kept getting lost (politespeak for 'our guys steal them') but they purchased 6 more pairs that day. They were all gone 5 days later.

My question is: wtf do people do with stolen marshalling batons? Boss cars around on highway 401? Take them to raves and wave them in time to the techno beats? Maybe they just take them for the expensive D-cell batteries contained within...

Jim said...

Sully - No idea what anyone would do with a stolen set of marshalling batons. Some people take things, just because they can. Or maybe because they have value on eBay?

In any case, it is easy to solve. Issue everyone with a set of batons. Write your name on them with this Sharpie. Bring them to work. No batons? Go home, no pay, buy your own replacement.

Except they are probably unionized, so someone will complain.

Someone opened a bicycle courier company in a third world company, and gave the kids free bikes. It was predicted that the idea would be a dismal failure since the kids would sell their bikes and sisappear with the money, therefore the only stipulation was that - if they lost their bike - then everyone's pay is withheld to buy the replacement. Sure enough, after a few days some kid "lost" (sold) their bike, the pay started to be witheld, and the kid came to work a day later having found his "lost" bike - after the other kids had beat the crap out of him.

zb said...

Sulako, the thing with marshallers and batons sounds much like the story about engineers and oscilloscope probes. I firetrucking hate to go in the lab and find that the scope is useless again becuase no probes are around. And the lab is downstairs, at the end of the long hall, behind the test boxes for all the robots.

Aviatrix said...

I'm still laughing, a week later at "Boss cars around on highway 401?"