You know, sometimes the news is just too crazy to be made up. As I was flying across Southern California today, I couldn’t help but think of the new workplace rules the FAA has imposed on air traffic controllers:
What rankles controllers most, on a personal level, at least, is the formal dress code being introduced. Some controllers dress as if they work in windowless rooms where visitors aren’t customarily allowed but FAA brass have apparently had enough of flip flops, tank tops and cutoffs. As of Sunday, the glow of the screens will reflect off, as we understand it, collared shirts, dress slacks and shoes and socks.
Now I’m not sure what a starched shirt sounds like, but ATC didn’t seem any different today. With each frequency change, however, I couldn’t help but wonder what the controllers were wearing. Despite the usual ‘evening push’ congestion on the airwaves, I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking them.
It’s probably for the best — I’ve said the wrong thing before and ended up waiting 30 minutes for the ILS. Some guys just don’t see the humor in their job.
Perhaps this whole thing has been engineered by Men’s Wearhouse. They donate a few bucks to the Administrator, and suddenly they’re outfitting the air traffic controller corps with the latest in business-casual finery. But why should they have all the fun? Maybe we pilots could get in on the game, giving tips a la Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
“Diamond One Charlie Kilo, turn left heading zero six zero, vectors for the localizer.”
“Zero six zero, vectors for the localizer, and DiamondStar One Charlie Kilo feels that a herringbone jacket would really compliment that shirt”.