Monday, March 10, 2008

Riding, Retirement and a Home Revisited

I skipped out of work a couple hours early today to take advantage of some mild weather. I took the pups for a walk then headed west on my bike putting my heart, lungs and quads through some paces. It felt so nice to be out there. I'd have stayed out longer but I had to be back to take Rachel to dance class for 5:00. It's possible that today will be the last time I'll have to take her to class if she passes her road test this Thursday.

I'd like to have taken some time to hose down my bike. It's full of road salt and that can't be a good thing. Every large vehicle that went past me had a cloud of salt dust trailing in its wake and settling on me. I'll spend some time cleaning it tomorrow and have it ready for a ride on Wednesday after work.

Speaking of work...I've been kicking around the idea of bidding on a staff job. Believe me, it's not something I want to do. It's about self preservation. I want to work another five years to get Rachel through college and finish paying off our home so we can go into retirement with those obligations met. I worry about losing my medical and not being allowed to continue working as a controller. Without my medical my career is history. You have to have a medical to bid on a staff job. Once you've got the staff job you can lose your medical and that's not a problem. It doesn't make sense to me either.

I'm at a bit of a crossroads as I really want to just continue doing what I'm doing but I'm not sure that's the most pragmatic approach. I know that some wonder why I don't just pull the plug and retire now. Many newly eligible controllers are retiring much sooner than they'd anticipated in the wake of the imposed work rules and lack of a contract. It would have to get a lot worse around here for me to consider that option. I'm at my peak earning years. Somehow it doesn't make much sense to walk away now. My goal has always been and remains age 56. The question now is do I do that as a controller pushing tin or as a has-been pushing papers?

I turned on the news tonight and the lead story was of prostitution bust at a home on 102nd street and France ave in Bloomington. I grew up just a block from that intersection. It turns out it was Bill Swanstrom's old house. I knew Bill in grade school and used to go over there and play baseball in his backyard.

Bill lived nextdoor to Mike Miner where we used to watch the Monkeys and listen to Snoopy vs the Red Baron...the first 45 I ever bought. Apparently the neighborhood has changed a bit.

2 comments:

John said...

You're already eligible to retire, right? Straight days, weekends and holidays off, if you can stand the paper work, why not? You'll never have to miss an eveing function at school or a family get together on weekends or holidays.

Personally, I'm not the kind to sit at a desk and push the papers or put up with the office politics. At least staff positions are now covered by NATCA!

Sounds like one of those "ask for wisdom" kind of things, eh?

Kevin said...

Yeah...It's one of those situations where my heart is saying one thing and my head another. All I've ever wanted to do in my career is work traffic...you know...just be a controller...like there's something wrong with that. At least that's the impression I used to get from management when they'd approach me about bidding on a supe job.