Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rat vs. Rodent



This will only appeal to a select few, but James Fallows has a blog entry that brought a smile to my face.

I started my illustrious aviation career as a lineboy at Spartanburg Downtown Airport in South Carolina. The job is known by several different titles (lineboy, lineman, aircraft handler, aircraft refueler, etc.) but my favorite was “ramp rat.” It’s the lowest position on the proverbial totem pole at the airport. You refuel aircraft, wash them, drag them in and out of the hanger and whatever other grunt work needs to be done. It was a great job for a teenager. It wasn’t too hard, you got to meet a lot of different people (some important and/or famous people) and it had the “cool factor” of working at the airport. My favorite fringe benefit -- airports are a great place to watch sunsets.

Many a pilot got their start as a lineboy at a general aviation airport. They’d barter their work for flying lessons. I never got the flying bug so I took the money and paid for college. But I did make friends with all the air traffic controllers and the rest (as they say) is history.

Anyway, take a look at the blog and see the differences that can exist in the same job -- the difference between a ramp rat and a ramp rodent.

Don Brown
November 28, 2007

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