My sister's job has her flying quite a lot, so as a former FF I sympathize with both of you. Just not a lot of joy to be found flying these days.
Here's hoping your next long flight gets you bumped up front, next to a fascinating and pretty woman who loves your witty banter. : )
My work bitch from last week, a bit of irony:
Customer wanted some machine inspections so they had me write up an estimate. Actually, I've done this same thing for the past four years; all I've done is change the date and number on the estimate and sent the same info each time. New sheriff in town so they finally got around to making it happen.
This is a big place so the paperwork train is quite long. Someone in purchasing emailed over a purchase order (PO) and a contractor package. The package is this 13-page piece of legalese that asks me to sign my life away: what's your employee safety training program? Send a copy of your safety training schedule. Send copies of your safety certifications. Etc.
Then it went into insurance requirements: worker's comp of $1 million, business liability of $2 million, biz umbrella of $1 million, and car insurance of $1 million. Yeah, that's a million bucks just to drive 30 feet from the street to park my car in their parking lot. I'll guarantee the owner - and all of the employees - has much less coverage than that. So $5 million total coverage.
Holy crap - I'm a one-man show. I don't have worker's comp since I'm self-employed, no safety training program since it's just me. And my insurance coverage is nowhere near $5 mil total. Ended up emailing back saying temporary, one-time coverage of those amounts would cost more than my total service estimate. Not gonna happen, but hey, talk to the OEM and see if they'll contract me for the visit so I fall under their umbrella; last time I went there, a few months back, was under the OEM.
OEM said okay, so off I went. And why not? They charge more than I do so the OEM made money simply by shuffling some paperwork and mailing an invoice after I did the same work I could have done - for less - under my own coverage.
I got to the final machine last Thursday and started the inspection by testing the safety circuit, the thing that shuts off all the motors in an emergency situation. Hmm, the motors still run when I trip this safety - that ain't right. And I can start the motors with this cover removed. Not right, either. Spent a couple hours troubleshooting and it turned out that over 90% of the safety circuit was bypassed. Found out one of their employees miss-wired a replacement switch, and that mistake bypassed nearly all of the safeties.
I showed the maintenance manager what I found. "Not sure how long it's been like this, but it's fixed now." He was not pleased - he told me that testing the safeties is part of the scheduled maintenance so it's obvious someone had been shirking that simple 3-minute check.
Well, then. The contractor you can't hire directly because he doesn't have enough insurance is the guy who saved you from a potential million-dollar injury or death lawsuit. Umm, I'll need to see copies of YOUR insurance coverage, and also need to inspect YOUR training program. Hahaha.