What’s Something About Your Job We’d Be Surprised to Learn?

[This is a Dinner Table discussion. If you don’t know what the Dinner Table is, read this.]

About a year ago, there was a popular Ask Reddit thread that asked people who work for airlines to share tidbits about their professional world that passengers didn’t know. By scanning through the thread for a few minutes, I learned a bunch of new things, including the following about a pilot’s job:

  • Pilots are asleep for much of the time on a flight—sometimes even both pilots simultaneously (but pilots are never allowed to eat the same meal in case of food poisoning).
  • When planes have a hard landing in bad weather, it’s not because the pilot is bad at landing, it’s because he’s intentionally coming down at a sharper angle to avoid hydroplaning.
  • DT - JobIf there’s a hijacking or something else bad happening on the plane, pilots leave those wing flaps that slow the plane down in their up position even after the plane has stopped. That signals to the airport that there’s an emergency in the plane.

Fascinating. And all it is is an ordinary person talking about their job and revealing some behind-the-scenes facts.

No matter what you do for work, you spend a large part of your life in a world most of us don’t know much about. Tell us something interesting or surprising that we don’t know about your (current or previous) job or the industry you work in.


Tim’s Answer: I got a bit carried away on this one and turned my answer into a mini post.

Note for the future: I’ll write my own answer to many of the Dinner Table questions, but there will be some weeks when I won’t, either because I’m in a panic about the upcoming post I’m working on and don’t want to take too much time away from it, or because it’s a personal question that’s best answered with a degree of anonymity. In those cases, I may answer the question under a different name below in the comments.

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