Ab-Initio Air Traffic Control Course

The first day of my course was REAL interesting.

Due to my previous employment I was well and truly comfortable by this stage when it came to moving interstate. Over a period of four years I had moved

  • Sydney to Melbourne
  • Melbourne back to Sydney
  • Sydney to Perth
  • Perth to Melbourne
  • Melbourne back to Perth again
  • Perth back to Sydney
This isn't including the time I spent at sea. Constantly on the move, we spent most of our time out of Darwin.

So I was comfortable with the move to Melbourne. What I wasn't real comfortable with was what I experienced on my first day on course.

Walking into the room (I was close to the last one there) I was confronted with twelve strangers, my classmates. I was quick to realise that professionally I had nothing in common with these people. And to be brutally honest, I had nothing in common with a few of them socially. The ages of my classmates ranged from 21 all the way up to the mid 30's. One theme that seemed to be common amongst them was that they all had some sort of experience in the aviation industry. Those who read the introduction will know that I did not.

This made me very uncomfortable. The conversation in the room consisted of who flew what type of aircraft, how many hours, so on and so on. I began to doubt whether or not I should even be there and wondered why they gave me the job in the first place. The conversation went on, I sat in silence. I was an outsider.

About 15 minutes later our instructors entered the room. It was typical that these "aviators" already knew them. I did not. They introduced themselves anyway and at that point the course began.

Our very first task was known as "ice breakers". Each student would take it in turns of introducing themselves to everyone, giving a short story of where they come from and their previous experience. Socially amongst my friends and family I am apparently known as quite a confident individual. The truth is, deep down I conceal many hidden issues and lack quite a lot of confidence. Public speaking being one of them. I hated my first day.

The rest of the afternoon was all about settling in to the college. Most of the first week was about that actually. Orientation I think they call it. That and bonding sessions with the other classmates.

In the end I did find a couple of people I could relate to. Two of them in particular are still good mates to this day and attended my wedding last month.