...because when that person asks what Steve does for a living he doesn't just say "I work for xxx airlines" he says "I am a pilot for xxx airlines."
One night while in Sanibel, grandma watched the kids while Steve and I went to the Lazy Flamingo. Of course we got some beer, and then decided on "The Pot". Our pot consisted of steamed oysters and steamed clams. We had fun drinking, talking, and breaking into the oysters and cracking open the clams.
Even though we weren't really there for dinner, eating "The Pot" made me hungry for something else. So, I asked the bartender for suggestions on popular appetizer choices. Lindi, who was sitting to the right of Steve, heard my question and chimed in to urged us to try their peel and eat shrimp. Which, were very good!
For the next 1/2 hour or so, we talked with Lindi and her husband Roberto. After about 10 minutes of talking they asked Steve what he did for a living, and he said "I am an airline pilot for xxx airlines." Instantly, I knew that Steve liked them.
You see, when Steve offers his occupation, a ton of questions usually follows. So, when he said "airline pilot" I knew that Steve was willing to open up to conversation and was happy to talk about flying.
As it turns out, Roberto loves aviation. The conversation would have continued for a good while, I would assume, but Lindi had a bit too much wine and was in desperate need of going home. Lindi kept pushing to go home, so the conversation, which just started, ended pretty quickly.
I am pretty sure that Steve and Roberto would have talked for hours and hours...no exaggeration. Even on our 24 minute walk home, which we timed since we were walking so fast and Steve was proud of our speed, Steve said "I really liked Roberto" a couple of times.
On the flip side, there are some people who would just love to pick the brain of a pilot, and when they know what Steve does they make a point to talk about it.
Right before we left for vacation we closed on our mortgage refinance. Our closing agent, Ray, was a nice man. We settled into our dining room, and started to sign away. About halfway into the paperwork, Ray pulled out a document, which must have had Steve's employers name on it. Ray asked "so, what do you do for xxx airlines?" "I am a pilot," Steve responded.
Ray's next question was "what equipment do you fly?" When someone uses the word "equipment" you know they know a thing or two about a thing or two.
Steve said "the 737".
And then Ray asked "the 300, 500, 700, 800, or the 900?"
Now, you REALLY know that someone knows a thing or two about a thing or two when they know the different types of 737s out there.
Apparently Ray just loves aviation. As a young teen he would go to the airport and hang out and walk around the terminals all the time just to be part of it all. I know Ray would have loved to talk to Steve for a long time, but we were there for a closing, and Ray respected that.
I would tell that Steve was happy to talk to Ray. Ray's face lite up, in a way, when Steve said "pilot" and Steve could probably tell that too. It isn't every day that you meet a pilot, and I am sure that Ray was anxious, in a way, to talk to Steve about all things aviation.
I think that any airline pilot finds their job mundane, when it comes to the day-in day-out type stuff. Hell, any job can get mundane. So, I think that when Steve is around someone who still finds aviation magical, it is refreshing for him. I even think it may rejuvenate him a bit. When Ray made comments about how neat it must be to travel all the time, ect, Steve didn't respond with this true thoughts of "yeah, I guess it is nice, but I would rather be at home with my wife and kids." Rather, he responded with "yeah, it really is neat." Because, you know what? Flying is really neat. It is pretty magical, if you think about it. It gives people so many opportunities to see and do so many wonderful things....which will probably be the topic of my next blog post: the neat things we get to do with a pilot husband/daddy.