It's a Hobby and I'm Happy With It That Way

This happens about 3 times a week - on a slow week.

Jerkizoid Co-Worker: I hear you’re a pilot

Me: Yep

JCW: So… does that mean you’re going to change careers?

Me: Nope

JCW: Why not? (you know, I always wonder if this means they want rid of me…)

Me: Everybody needs a hobby

JCW: But… don’t you want to be a real pilot?

Me: I am a real pilot

JCW: You know what I mean… don’t you want to be able to fly anywhere you want?

Me: I do that already. At least, I fly wherever I can afford the gas to get to.

JCW: Well, yeah, but you love to fly… don’t you want to do it for a living?

I think… geez, do I want to work for shit wages ('cause that’s where pilots start), be treated like a not-glorified busdriver, babysit spoiled executives on charter flights (hey, I do that already in the office), be told to do something unsafe or I get fired, subject myself to multiple flight tests and medical exams each year, piss in a bottle for my employer, or maybe risk getting hung up - or under - powerlines spraying chemical on crops or flying banners around worried the engine will quit and the damn oversized flag on my ass will pull me down and kill me, or get puked on by flight students and passengers…

Me: Nope

JCW: but if you love flying how come you don’t want to do it for a living?

Me: You like driving, don’t you want to be a professional truck driver?

JCW: That’s different.

Me: No, it’s not.

JCW: Yeah, but if you were a real pilot you could, like, fly to a foreign country or something.

Me: I am a real pilot and I can do that now

JCW: You know what I mean.

No, actually I don’t know what this sort of person means. I don’t think I want to know.
Other unfavorite stupid shit:

“That’s not you flying. You did that photograph in Adobe photoshop”

Well, fuck, I think if I faked it the focus and lighting would have been better. Drugs… for people who can’t handle reality…

“I don’t think you should be allowed to fly by yourself, or with passengers. I mean, you should have a real, commercial pilot with you”

Well, in that case, why don’t I taking fucking United, huh? What a pisser - after going through the expense and hassle of training, and the fucking trifecta of tests to get the license, no one believes I’m deserving of exercising the hard earned privileges. This is usually followed up with

“I don’t think you’re qualified”

Well, honey, the fucking FAA thinks I’m qualified, and it’s their opinion that counts.

“Hey, co-worker, what do you know about what’s required to fly safely?”

Blank look. “Well, nothing really. Never thought about it.”

“Then I don’t think YOU are qualified to hold an opinion on my goddamned license. So shut the fuck up.”

“Your husband lets you fly?”

Huh? I don’t ask his permission to drive on the freeway, either. Bascially, hubby knows not to stand between me and the airport when I’ve a mind to go flying.
“You’re going to give this up when you have kids, right?”

Do the guy pilots get that line, or is it just us girls?

“I think you’re irresponsible”

Well, fuck, what can you say about that one? I think you’re a goddamned nosy busy-body.
“You shouldn’t be doing that. You don’t need fly”.

I don’t tell them not to do THEIR hobbies. I don’t need to drive a car, but apparently that’s OK. I don’t need to ride a bicycle, but that’s OK. I don’t need to pick my nose, either, but it feels good when I do it.
“You’re selfish. You should take the money you spend on flying and do something useful with it, like giving it all to charity.”

Uh, yeah… right after you donate your golf allowance.
“I don’t think those little planes you fly are safe.”

Well, I’ll upgrade as soon as you buy me that Boeing 777… On second thought, no. You aren’t qualified to have an opinion.
“I’m afraid of little planes. I wouldn’t want to go for a ride with you.”

What the hell makes you think you’d be getting an invitation? If I wanted to transport assholes I’d work for the airlines.
“Aren’t you afraid to be alone in a plane with a man you’re not married to?”

You know, I just plain don’t hang out with people I don’t trust. Also, given the confined quarters of a cockpit, it’s extremely unlikely anything naughty could happen without someone sustaining severe injuries. I’m not quite sure what they expect to happen at 5000 feet during a flight lesson.
More recent addition:

“Aren’t you afraid of getting hijacked?”

Not when I’m the only one in the airplane. See above comment about people and trust

You know, I wasn’t aware that commercial pilots just got to fly wherever they wanted. Kind of an unnerving thought for anyone contemplating a commercial flight:

“Hi, folks, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome to Flight 123! Flight 123 was originally scheduled to be from Atlanta to Cleveland, but then I said, ‘Ah, fuck it! Who wants to go to Cleveland?’ So, everybody, WE’RE GOIN’ TO CANCUN! Woo-hoo! We’re gonna par-tay with the senoritas, hey amigos?!?”

Voice from Business Class: “But I have an important meeting in Cleveland! If I’m not there, we lose the Fleeberman contract, and I’ll be out on my ass!”

(Or conversely: “Hey, all you vacation-goers who are trying to get to Cancun–sorry folks, but the wife wanted me to pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, so we’re gonna have to go to Cleveland instead.”)

Oh my God – I was laughing so hard I could barely click the quote button.

:: still laughing, Scarlett wipes the tears away ::

Goddamn it Fleeberman get your ass in here! I though you said that Buckner from the agency would be here by now. That’s it, they’re off the account, and you are FIRED!

[sub]Fleeberman, hee hee, great name [/sub]

Yep…that’s what happened on my last trip. The pilot just decided he wanted the milk and bread so we went Cleveland instead. Those commercial pilots are so LUCKY, anywhere they want they can go.

MEBuckner …that was great. I laughed until I hurt. This entire thread is great.


Yep, that is how I handle my job, too. Just like the pilots do. I do mammograms. So when I’m sick of boobs, this is how it goes:

Me: I saw 15 sets today and that’s my limit.

Patient: But I have a lump!!

Me: Sorry, I’ve got a quota.

Patient: But, but…it hurts.

Me: Well, I said I’m sick of tits but if you really want me squish them in this mood, I guess I can.
Yeah, like we can all just do what we want, when we want. I knew I should have been a pilot.

Nosy people, piss me off too. Why can’t they just let you enjoy your free time the way you want? You don’t tell them how to spend their playmoney. They probably enjoy smoking, drinking and going to the movies for their hobbies and you aren’t telling them to donate their extra money to charity. Why, oh why can’t people just leave each other alone???

Can you fly a pontoon plane?

Broomstick, M’lady, you’re far too kind to your co-workers.

As recently as january, I invited someone I work with to participate in a bit of a flying lesson themselves- Grabbed them by the scruff of the pants and threw then in a pond. (this was not at work) If I remember correctly, you work in a high-rise- perhaps you could invite some of your co-workers to the same type of impromptu flight training.

“now, flap hard, and sort of tuck your neck in when you hit the glass, otherwise you’ll have a nasty case of whiplash. It’s almost twelve stories to the ground, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it by then.”

Based on attitude alone, you can probably easily pull this off. Let me know so I can watch. Otherwise, as it’s none of their goddamned business what you do on your own time, might I suggest vigorously inviting them to pound sand up their kiesters, and demonstrate at least one method.

Damned nice rant, by the way.
Lyra: My god, you’re a-a-a CIVIL LIBERTARIAN! And I love ya for it. Yat tit squeezin’ maniac!



hmmm… actually, you might have a difficult time getting gigs with a name like Tit Squeezin’ Maniacs.


Spectacular rant. Going by the thread title I was going to come in and post something about photography, but you totally outclassed any possible reply.

Damn your rantitude!

A harder time than the Circle Jerks or Alabama Thunder Pussy? (real band names) (sorry for the hijack)

As to the OP, I get that all the time about cooking – how many chefs get to cook whatever they want, whenever they want without commercial considerations, without regard to the time and profit involved? That’s why the root meaning of “amateur” is “lover”, it just isn’t the same for pay.

And your rant was great, thanks for the laughs!

MEBuckner - I think you just hit on why so many of my co-workers are afraid of flying. Their entire experience is with commercial airlines, and they’re afraid the pilot will go a-wandering with them strapped in the back. :rolleyes:

Lyra - it’s not the smokers/boozers/gamblers who are giving me grief. After all, they also have expensive, potentially dangerous past times. It’s the Puritans. You know - Puritans, the people who are scared to death that someone somewhere just might be having some fun… Bunch of “I know better than you” types who, because they choose to walk around swaddled in bubblewrap and believe everyone should do the same. No joke, one of this crowd told me once that she didn’t believe white people should be allowed to play golf because all that sun exposure increased their risk of skin cancer and it just wasn’t fair to ask society to pay for their recklessness. For some reason, though, she doesn’t like Mr. I-lost-an-election-to-a-dead-guy Ashcroft and I can’t figure out why - he doesn’t believe people should be allowed to breathe without proper training and official permission, either.

Needless to say, these folks get cornered and forced to listen to my scarier flying stories … heh heh heh :smiley:

Billy - flattery might get you a plane ride. “M’lady”?

Anyhow, remember I work in the Chicago Loop in a corporate culture where even swearing is frowned upon (damn!). There are strict limits on what I can do to my co-workers and still remain employed. >sigh< So many ideas… so little opportunity to use them…

One of the worst of these “do-nothing” busybodies is retiring at the end of the month! YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAA! This is the chick who, no joke, had a stroke when they moved her desk from one part of the floor to another. Told me once I shouldn’t have a certain picture on my computer wallpaper because the height visible through the plane windows made her dizzy. So I replaced it with a picture of an airplane without windows - or walls, or doors, or floor… basically me strapped to a flying telephone pole.

Wikkit - go ahead and rant about photography. Just 'cause we started with flying doesn’t mean it has to stop there. In addition to happy amateur photographers and cooks I also know a couple people who have a blast writing fan fic but aren’t interested in jumping through the hoops to becomes a professional, published writer (I’ve done that. It’s surprising what a headache that can be)

There’s this weirdness that you can’t have just a hobby anymore… you have to do everything on a professional level. Mind you, my conduct in the air is done with seriousness where required, and when flying into busy airspace I am expected (and do) conduct myself “professionally” in the sense of following the regs and being precise. That’s just being smart about flying. But I am quite happy flying little airplanes and have no desire to “move up” to bigger, faster, and more expensive. Not interested in jets. Just having a good time. Why does that freak people out?

Oh, wait, I get it now - I’m exceeding my Happiness Quota and they’re afraid that if I have a happy life there won’t be enough happy for them

Likewise, I ride a clunky, coasterbrake bike and wear jeans and a t-shirt instead of some spandex “bike outfit” while riding. (It’s not because I’d look bad in spandex, either). I don’t need to screw up a nice, cheap hobby and exercise by buying a thousand dollar (or more!) bicycle with more gears than a semi-truck and spending way too money on some itchy, stretchy, psychedelic colored outfit bought just for biking.

I was visiting a climbing wall for awhile, but everyone else there was turning it into some cut-throat competition. AND talking about how torn up their hands were getting doing this or that manuver. Holy shit, I make my living with my hands, I can’t afford to fuck them up, much less brag about it. Let’s be honest about this - I was just happy to make it to the top of the wall a couple times, forget competing at this shit. Really, the best part was rapelling down. Now, if they had some sort of lift to get you to the top of the wall so you could just slide down the rope all day…
About those bandnames… If the Butthole Surfers* can get gigs, so can the Tit Squeezin’ Maniacs


As a pastry chef, I can totally relate to this. I was one of those people who, for the longest time, said that I would make a great chef. Eventually, I did go to school for it and have been working in the business for a while. I am someone who did take her hobby and made it a career.


Turning a hobby into a career is not for everyone, nor are certain hobbies the best to turn into your life’s work. To be honest, I love-love-love what I do, but the pay and the hours suck to no end. Some people wouldn’t be able to handle that, nor do they begin to be able to understand that.

Where I’m working now (finally!), even though there are certain things on the menu I have to produce faithfully to recipe, I’m also allowed some freedoms in producing specials. I’ll tell you, though, that’s a rare thing. I’m lucky to have landed a place where I have the amount of freedom I’ve got now.

Seems the logic is if you like doing something,
you should do it for a living…

hm… :confused:

doh. :smack:


Oh, and Scylla - why the interest in “pontoon” planes? Got something in particular in mind?



I’ve got a friend with a pilot’s license who, due to his limited financial means, can’t afford to fly nearly as much as he’d like. One year a bunch of us chipped in and for Christmas bought him flight time at one of the local airports. He occasionally talks about wanting to get a job flying, but I don’t know how serious he is about it.
My very first flight ever was in a private plane; a friend in college was a radio tech for the FAA and was able to use one of their planes (I have no idea what model, but IIRC it was a four-seater) to fly home for Thanksgiving one year. He was looking for someone to share gas costs, and it sounded like a nice break from the train I usually rode.

When I read this, my first thought was the scene in Blazing Saddles when, faced with the angry mob of townspeople, Bart puts his gun to his own head and says, “Don’t anyone move or the n***** gets it.”

I hear you, Broomstick.
My husband and I are both volunteer firefighters. I guess you could call it a hobby, although I never though of it that way. Anyway, we get the same stupid frigging questions.

“Don’t you want to be a real firefighter?”
I am a real firefighter.

“No, I mean one that’s had real training and all that.”
I have had ‘real training and all that’. Just the same as the paid firefighters. It’s required by the county. It’s not like I just walked in off the street and they slapped a helmet on my head. I had classroom training, simulated training, and was a probationary member for a year. JUST LIKE THE “REAL” FIREFIGHTERS!!

“But what about when you go to a fire. What if you don’t know what to do? I guess you just wait for the real firefighters to show up, huh?”
I do know what to do, moron. That’s what I had the training for. I can lay hose. I can pump water. I can put a fire out.

“But don’t you and your husband want to join the county squad and be a real firefighter?”
I AM a real firefighter! I have a regular job. So does my husband. If he quit his job, and joined the county, he’d cut his pay by three-quarters. He likes his “real” job. So do I.
There’s a lot of political BS that goes on in the paid department. I like being a volunteer.

It’s like they think anyone who washed out of “Real Firefighter School” ends up being a Volunteer Firefighter.

I’m afraid, mon ami, you’re what is known as an “enabler” in this situation.

If the people in the OP are really saying the things that you quote, and they don’t have the ability to fire you, then you need to tell them to “shut the fuck up, Unclefucker” or to “cram it with walnuts”, or both (depending on the situation; I’d have to look at my Toastmasters notes to see when to use which, and I already shoved those, along with that goddamn Steven Covey book, up someone’s ass already…and I’m not getting it back…but I digress)

I wouldn’t take comments like “I don’t think you’re qualified”, “You shouldn’t be doing that. You don’t need fly”, or “I think you’re irresponsible” from any pencil-necked geek who couldn’t send me packing. What sort of freaking bottom-feeders do you work with???

I think the worst possible one is either “Your husband lets you fly?” or “You’re going to give this up when you have kids, right?”. This actually borders on something that you could say creates an “unpleasant and uncomfortable work environment” for you, and if it is said by a boss, them we all know where those statements lead to…investigations, depositions, lawsuits, and finally buying that jet that you wanted…but then again, as they tell you:

“You’re selfish. You should take the money you spend on flying and do something useful with it, like giving it all to charity.”

I’d use the rolleye smilie, but really, there is no emoticon for what I am feeling…

Jesus jumped-up Christ, girlfriend, I think you need to stand up for yourself! You have two middle fingers; you should use both of them (or the index and middle, if in the UK) with extreme prejudice!

[sub]OK, I see on preview that you said that “swearing is frowned upon”, so you’ll have to do something other than that. Sorry, I think the phallocentric “husband” comment is what got me riled up more than anything…[/sub]

But you know, there’s all sorts of ways to insult people deeply without swearing, and to make them part like the Red Sea as you walk through the office. I learned a lot of that here, in the Pit.


Not really. I just figured that if you could fly one of those you’d be both a real pilot and a real captain of a boat.

It’s kindofa twofer one deal, and a childhood aspiration of mine that I doubt will ever be fulfilled.

Have you gotten the patronizing “Do what you love, and the money will follow” line yet? The fucking POSTMAN was giving that line to my husband when he saw him working in the garage/woodshop. You know, maybe flying it just a hobby for you because you don’t have the GUTS to make it a career.

Thanks, buddy!