I've pretty much not kept it secret from friends and coworkers that I was thinking about pursuing a switch over to doing air traffic control. I graduated with a degree in aviation AND meteorology AND air traffic control, so the option was always there for me to do this, but I chose to go the weather side of my degree when I got out of college. ATC always seemed too high anxiety for me. You always hear about the stress. It kind of put me off of it. When I started working in an air traffic control facility as a meteorologist, I got to see first hand how these guys tick. They're not stressed. They train hard for a job and know how to sit down and do it. They're given ample breaks, and the system is set up for them to be able to control traffic with ease. It has it's moments, but I've never seen one person yet blow up over anything. I think I get more high strung than they do and I just do the weather. #SFO problems. Anyway...about 3 years ago I was really looking to make the switch. Enter the big government sequester, then the hiring freeze, and then some other issues, and the 3 openings I was on a panel for ended up postponed and then ultimately canceled. It's a long story what happened with the opening in 2014, but the FAA really screwed the pooch on some new hiring process they were doing, and less than 10% of all applicants made it through the new screening. I was not in that 10%, and unfortunately I turned 31 later that year and aged out where I could never apply again. I said good bye to my ATC chances, and thankfully, I am still employed and going strong in the other half of my degree field. Fast forward to this year, and it so happened that congress took note of the new hiring and to keep a long story short, they found the FAA did it improperly and said people like me who aged out because of it could get one more shot to apply. I wasn't going to bother, but I ended up putting in for it last minute. About 25% or so of applicants made it through this time, and I was in that group for this round!
Long process, having to re-take the air traffic aptitude test again (that I took 3 years ago), and a lot of waiting, but I've finally received a tentative offer letter of employment for the FAA as a controller. Problem with all of this is, there is a good chance I could be placed in the FAA academy for a 4 month stint starting by the end of Sept. Right smack in the home stretch of my pre surgical treatment. There is no second go with the FAA. You don't like the class date they give you? See ya, thanks for your interest! No bs'ing with them. So, if I get a class date for Sept, it's take it or else. A few options though. 1.) Go back in to ortho pause or take the braces off completely and push surgery back into 2016. 2.) Flat out beg the FAA to push an academy date back for me until late spring 2016. I'll need that long to recover and be back to normal for what is already a grueling process to get through there. If I go in to ortho pause, that is going to make life difficult too. I won't be able to fly back and forth to see my ortho for the needed adjustments, so it will be purely 100% a pause with no treatment while I am in Oklahoma. Also, my jaw is set up with such a bad bite right now that the headaches and aches and pains in my face are going to make life suck. The FAA academy is already hell to go through (50% pass rate right now), so having to deal with all of my jaw and face aches and pains will make it that much worse. I am really in a damned if I do and damned if I don't situation here for the most part. But, I am also putting the cart before the horse worrying about all of this. I don't have a final offer letter in my hands yet (but it's pretty probable I am going to get that in the next week), and I also haven't made my final final final decision yet on what I want to do. Do I really want to give up the weather gig that I've worked so hard for? I am incredibly fortunate to be in my NWS position. There are only roughly 80 of us across the country, and it took me a long time to work my way up here. I definitely have a lot of thinking and soul searching to do before I make my absolute final decision on all of this.
So, until then I wait for Tues. I am going to bring this up with my ortho and see what he says and what he thinks the best option would be for me if I end up in this situation. Otherwise, I hope to get some big updates at this appointment. Crossing my fingers for an estimate surgery date!