Sunday, August 21, 2016

Where's Brandon Been?

Yes I’m still here!

There’s a reason why I haven’t blogged in a long time and I can’t wait to share the details with you all. 

Starting on 9/6, I will officially wear the uniform of a Delta Air Lines pilot!!!

Now you might be asking “what does that have to do with Brandon disappearing from the public eye for so long?”

Let’s take it back to the beginning.

Those of you who know me well know that I’ve wanted to be a pilot for a Legacy carrier for a long time.  Starting just after I completed my first Ironman in late 2013, I began taking the steps necessary to do that.  I began attending seminars to learn how to write a better resume.  I reached out to old contacts asking for letters of recommendation.  I was focused in my goal to leave my current employer, and was willing to do everything it took.  I paid the money to attend job fairs and get the face-to-face time necessary with these airlines.  While I generally found the job fairs to be tedious and somewhat frustrating, they were also valuable.  I believe that as long as you are working to better yourself in the employment arena, you are ahead of your competition. 

In late May, I got a call from Frontier Airlines asking if I wanted to come in for an interview.  I heartily agreed, even though Frontier was not where I wanted to be for the rest of my career.  Deep in my heart, I knew that.  But that being said, I figured I could use it as a stepping stone, and let’s face it, it’s not my current employer.  So I scheduled my interview for June 24th and began the tedious process of getting ready for my interview.  I signed up for a company called Emerald Coast which specializes in job interview preparation.  I was determined to get hired by Frontier.

Within a week of scheduling my Frontier interview, I got an email postponing my interview.  I was unsure why they were doing this, but I didn’t mind.  I had Ironman Boulder to think about as well and sure didn’t want to miss Boulder.

The old adage is “when it rains, it pours”.  Whoever came up with that is sure right, because on June 8th, I got an email that would change my life.  I was actually done with a 2 hour ride and met T at Starbucks.  I was randomly checking my email and nearly dropped my phone when I saw the email from Delta asking me to schedule an interview.  I showed it to T to make sure it was real, which of course it was.  I took a few seconds (minutes, hours) to compose myself and then I called a few friends at Delta to ask advice.  They told me to get ready to buckle down, because I was about to go through Hell to study for this thing. 

The next day, I got my interview scheduled for August 2nd.  With the date firmly locked down, it was time to study.

I was able to reschedule my Frontier interview for July19th.  I decided I would study for Delta and go into Frontier with that.  I figured if I was studying for Delta, it would be good enough for Frontier, but studying for Frontier would not be good enough for Delta.  Here’s a small smattering of everything I was studying:

-       Turbine Engine theory
-       Weather theory
-       Advanced Aerodynamics
-       Navigation
-       Federal Regulations
-       Human Resources
-       My own background information

Lost in all this is the fact that I was still training for TWO Ironmans!  If you remember, in 2013, I was studying for Ironman while I was upgrading to Captain.  I thought this was going to be the same experience, but holy good Lord was I wrong.  Upgrade to Captain was a regimented 9-5 schedule and allowed a lot of flexibility.  2016 involved a full-time job commuting ¾ of the way across the country to fly tough schedules.  Through the whole process, I was exhausted.  I tried to find the balance but this time finding the balance was much more difficult.  I called Coach Corie way more often than I should have to cry and complain about my life.  She helped me as best she could, but I think her ultimate stance was “get the job, worry about the rest later.”

On July 19th, I interviewed at Frontier.  I won’t bore you with the details, but I was hired.  It was an incredible feeling to get the job and I was very relieved.  At the very least, I could leave Republic.  Unfortunately, the start day was August 8th.  That meant that if I was to do Ironman Boulder, I would have to show up the day after at Frontier a sunburned, shuffly mess.  Nonetheless, I accepted the class date and bore down on studying for Delta.

On August 2nd, I interviewed at Delta.  Again, I’m going to spare you the details, but let’s just say that when I got handed the “Red Folder” that signified the Conditional Job Offer, I about collapsed with happiness!  I’ve had various demons chase me throughout the years, and to know that I had exercised them yet again was an incredible feeling!

Day 2, August 3rd, involved a meeting with a psychologist that went well, and I received the class date the following week.  The day after finishing Ironman.

So anyway, that’s where I’ve been.  My Ironman Recap is coming very shortly.  I finished that as well, so seriously, it’s been a good summer. :-D 

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