March 19th, 2016


how avionics engineers keep everything in perspective

Several years ago as a senior engineer on the single engines, I'd be seen storming into my supervisors office to tell him, "Okay sorry BAD NEWS, I told you my config instructions were released but I just got a call from filing group and they're all angry that I used the version of the form with the page numbers on the LEFT SIDE when they updated it last month to have the numbers on the RIGHT SIDE, they're really upset and cc-ing you on an email about how I used the wrong form so I probably got the the entire team in trouble."

And he'd look up and ask, "Is it going to make the airplanes fall out of the sky?"

And I'd say, "Uh... nope."

And he'd reply, "Reply back and say we'll do it correctly next time, thanks for the pointer, ask if there's anything else the new form asks that they need us to send. I'm not going to respond."

He asked this question for every sort of bureaucratic crisis and gradually I got into this habit of working it into all areas of life, not just work. Is my kid's library book late because we forgot that library day is thursday? are we out of bread and having to use hot dog buns for toast? did I open the resealable cheese bag wrong so now there's a gap between the zip-lock part and the bag part so it's not really resealable?

life goes on, aka don't sweat the small stuff, aka...

airplanes are not falling out of the sky.