Monday, November 22, 2004

The Waiting

Tomorrow is an important day for me and my family. It's the day I disclose at work my headache condition and leave myself totally exposed for whatever repercussions management may have for me. I'd first mentioned the headaches on my physical in the mid '80s. They asked for specifics and I told them whatever I felt would help them to understand the headaches and how I coped with them. There wasn't any medication then. It's probably more the use of medication the past several cycles and my failure to disclose that than the failure to mention the headaches on subsequent physicals which will cause me problems. I met with my union president this afternoon and we discussed a bit about how we'll approach Garry with this news tomorrow. Garry is the number 2 man at our facility and we've known each other for nearly 20 years. I'm somewhat confident Garry will go to bat for me but I'm afraid this whole issue will quickly be elevated out of his hands and into the hands of somebody who doesn't know me.

I've been working with a Flight Surgeon out of Colorado the past few months in an attempt to try and gain immunity for me from the FAA but we've gotten nowhere. The FAA isn't interested in granting amnesty/immunity to anyone because they fear the precedent it may set. I somewhat understand that but at the same time they're in effect forcing many people like myself to remain underground and that's not a good thing.

I considered remaining underground for the remainder of my career but should my condition be found out by means other than me disclosing it I would likely be fired with no grounds for appeal. That simply isn't an option anymore...not that it ever was. It's a different FAA today than it was 5 years ago. There is no love lost between controllers and management and I don't think I could've picked a worse time to try and resolve this.

Anyway, that's what's been on my mind for 90% of my waking moments for the last few months. I really have to get this situation resolved and tomorrow is a big step in that direction. I lay myself at the mercy of the FAA courts and hope that they will find some compassion within them and direct it my way.

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