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Going It Alone

For the most part, we work in a single-pilot environment. It is not an unusual occurrence to find ourselves flying alone, bereft of company save the odd mosquito, and left to our individual thoughts and devices.


July 18, 2007
By Geoff Goodyear

"He never is alone that is accompanied with noble thoughts" – John Fletcher, 1579-1625

For
the most part, we work in a single-pilot environment. It is not an
unusual occurrence to find ourselves flying alone, bereft of company
save the odd mosquito, and left to our individual thoughts and devices.
I find this occasional solitude quite pleasant and I look forward to
truly solo flights. Not having the responsibility for passengers
provides the opportunity to relax a little. It is a rare occasion that
one will get into a protracted argument with oneself. I have seen it
happen … but mercifully it is rare and the drugs they have these days
can work wonders. It does bring up an interesting point for discussion,
though.

We behave differently when colleagues or clients
accompany us than we do when we are alone. I cannot support this
statement with any scientific doctrine or publication, but basic
observation would suggest that this is true.

While on a job away
from base I sauntered into a local restaurant one Sunday morning and
was the only one there. After several minutes of waiting alone at one
of the tables someone spied me from the kitchen and came rushing out to
inform me that this part of the restaurant was closed on Sundays but
the coffee shop just down the hallway could serve me breakfast.

The
individual disappeared back into the bowels of the kitchen, presumably
to prepare food for patrons who would be asked to depart before eating.
After having apologized for my unauthorized presence, I got up to leave
and seek out the coffee shop. I was now alone, left to my own devices,
in that peaceful state of grace that flows from neither following nor
being followed. I sauntered to the exit, comfortable in my lone
existence and confident in my eventual ability to feed myself. I then
made a hard right turn and walked right into a closet. There was a loud
crash of coat hangers, the heavy-duty aluminum ones, as they swirled
about my head and momentarily restrained me like some hapless animal
caught in a snare. So much for a state of grace!


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