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I recently had to pick up a friend from the airport.  She’s a time traveler extraordinaire.  In that…she’s extraordinarily bad at time traveling.  In trying to travel -1.0hr, she actually traveled +1.5hr.  But anyway, that’s not the point of this post.  The point is, while I was circling the airport (airport police frown, even scowl, upon your waiting curbside for longer than a few minutes) waiting for her to finish time traveling, I realized that I should quit my current job and become a professional airport circler.  I would be really good at it.

Maybe you’ve never heard of the profession of airport circling.  Well, I’m not surprised.  It’s a pretty small and exclusive field and there are few openings for a professional airport circler.  It’s a bit like astrophysics, in that you really don’t have many job openings in the field over your lifetime.  It’s also a bit like stock car auto racing…only you aren’t really racing against anyone else, there are no rules for having a “stock” car, and the track you circle isn’t a dedicated track but the airport, generally the arrivals circle, but sometimes it can be the departures circle.

Anyway, there are different variants of circling that a professional airport circler needs to be familiar with, but the finish is always the same: you pick up a specific passenger.  Rarely do you have to post the quickest lap time in a mostly empty airport.  It happens, just not often.  It’s hard to find an airport that is mostly empty now.  More often than not, you’ll be running something of an obstacle course, with lots of other drivers, taxis, and buses on the track where you have to avoid them and pedestrians, while still post a good lap time.  And you have to be able to do this on the spot at different airports.  You really don’t have any time to practice.  If you’re lucky, you might get one practice lap right upon entering.  But more often than not, you have to be ready to post good lap times right from the beginning.  It can be a pretty high stress job.

Now, I think I’m pretty well qualified for the job.  I’ve circled lots of airports in my time.  I’ve had a lot of experience circling the obstacle course as well.  Why, just this last time when I was picking up our time traveler extraordinaire, LAX was a mess of an obstacle course.  I had one practice lap and my posted lap time was about 15 minutes.  After that, my lap times averaged about 3 minutes, which was very good.  If you’re lucky enough to have a practice lap, you really need to make sure to pay attention to the flow of traffic and such.  Otherwise you’ll just forever be stuck at 15 minutes.  Anyhoo, besides LAX, I have circled SNA, ONT, LGB, DFW, and ORD.  With DFW and ORD, you also need to know how to navigate the toll booths, which I can do.  I have had experience with CAI as well, but I wasn’t driving.  I did circle it several times and I’m pretty confident I could post a very good lap time there.

I’m pretty sure this would be a good career choice.  I definitely should quit my current job and become a professional airport circler.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Airport Friend « Life's Homilies on 28 Oct 2011 at 11:35 pm

    […] I’m still not a professional airport circler, though. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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