Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Clip-On Ties

A pilot I know recently got his first airline job and came by to tell us about the process. He was going on line the next day and admitted that he was heading home to try on his new uniform.

The uniforms are pretty much all the same. We all wear black or navy polyester pants, a black or navy polyester tie, and gold or silver barred epaulettes to slide over the buttoned shoulder loops on the white pilot shirts we already own. No one but a newly hired pilot ever grinned in so much delight at the opportunity to wear so much cheap polyester. Third tier pilots don't wear hats. They're traditionally too young to be balding, so they don't need one.

This pilot reported that, given the choice between a clip-on tie and a real necktie, he had chosen the real tie. I laughed, having made exactly the same decision, for what turned out to be the same reason. There are probably valid safety considerations that should have directed us towards the clip-on, but you look at the ties, and then you look at the stores person issuing the uniform, and you think, "If I'm going to wear a three dollar tie, it's at least going to be tied in a real knot."


Anonymous said...

Polyester? Class.

GC said...

Seven years in the airline industry and I have not once worn a "real tie" to work. I hate having things around my neck. When i sit down in the cockpit and the door gets closed behind me, YANK! Off comes the tie!

Also, with my luck, I'd get hung by my tie catching on a pitot tube or something if I had to egress through a window.

Aviatrix said...

You'd think, eh Rich? Perhaps it's intended as encouragement for us not to do anything that might set the airplane on fire.

Anonymous said...

Now, admittedly, this only happens if you have been lucky enough to be at the right places at the right time to end up with one of those rare flying jobs that represent 'the payoff' for all that aviatrix is going through now...

But I relish those moments when, safe inside my flightdeck, away from passengers and company supervisors, I shed the clip-on tie, hang it triumphantly on the side window post, open my top collar-button, and think to myself -- "Wow -- I have the only job I know of where I can earn a six-figure salary, and still wear a clip-on tie! Hoo ooo."

Okay, technically I could have said that years before, but several of the leading 'figures' in that number would have been zeros!