I’ve been hanging onto my job while going to flight school, and it’s worked really well so far, since they’ve been cutting everyone’s hours badly, and when I put shifts up for trade, they get snapped up pretty fast. I’m only working about one or two days a week at the moment, and I don’t really need another job.
The old job is security – I can still go back to it at any time, so when the dispatcher job at Harv’s Air, my flight school, was advertised, I thought, well, it’s not permanent, and not guaranteed hours – I don’t think I can afford to give up the other job for this one and I don’t want to overdo myself with two jobs. That’s what I told my instructor when she encouraged me to apply.
They found a couple, but they were looking for one more. Generally, dispatchers at Harv’s Air are their own students, often one’s either working on their instructor rating and hoping to become instructors at Harv’s Air, or who already have instructor ratings, and are just waiting to be bumped up to instructor status when more students sign up, or another instructor moves on in the world of aviation.
The main examiner called me into the office though and told me, while they had a bunch of applications, they weren’t from students, or anyone who had a background in aviation, and that they preferred to hire students, whether they were planning on moving into instructing or not, since there’s so much about aviation they don’t have to train new employees on if they’ve got the background. We discussed it, and they can schedule me just for the days when my instructor is working, so I can schedule lessons around it, and not have to book time off the other job that I wouldn’t already be giving away the shifts for lessons. It seemed win/win – I get to spend more time around aeroplanes, and get paid for it.
They’ve got lots of students. I don’t know if they asked any others before me, but I’m still chuffed that they approached me when I hadn’t applied. I’ve only been there three months, but then, I’ve been there a lot in those three months – they’ve had plenty of time to get to know me and my work ethic and personality. I guess they thought I’d be a good fit.
Which is awesome, because the environment always seems so friendly, and the business in general seems very well run. It’s won awards for being an awesome flight school, and it’s apparently nearly unheard of for a flight school to be owned by the same person as long as Harv’s Air has (around 30 years, I think). That says a lot about a business. A lot of schools have a high turnover of instructors – apparently 100% in six months is not uncommon. It’s also common for flight schools to go under after students have pre-paid large sums, and students are out the money with no recourse. Harv’s Air is really stable as far as flight schools go, owning all their planes, and even the airport itself at the Steinbach location. All around, I’m sure it can only be a good place to work. And who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind about not wanting to be an instructor. I have a habit of falling into jobs and then ending up good at them.
The most ironic thing is the job is organizing who’s taking planes out, getting planes ready, refueling them, bringing them out, putting them away – basically Claire’s job at the opening of The Eyelet Dove. And I’m taking it for the same reasons – to spend more time with aeroplanes, even if I’m not flying them. It’ll be good experience, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of industry stuff that’ll be important to know in the future – things you don’t learn in ground school.