Some people are so dumb.
I got a call today from an unidentified helicopter pilot who’s “just about to get” his CFI. He called my number and asked to speak to a pilot who happens to own another helicopter charter operation in Washington State. When I told him that person didn’t work for me, he seemed satisfied to talk to me.
He wanted information on cherry drying. He’d heard about it and he wanted to do it. I told him that if he wanted to be a cherry drying pilot, he needed a helicopter.
“So you get a helicopter and then you can do cherry drying?” he asked.
I decided I wasn’t going to give him very much information. “Yes.”
“Is that what you do?”
Long pause. He was evidently expecting more. Then: “So you have a helicopter company?”
“How many helicopters do you have? Four or five?”
“No. I have one. I can only fly one helicopter at a time.”
“Oh!” he sounded surprised. “So you’re just a tiny company.”
I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say that the word tiny applied as a label to my company by a 200-hour pilot rubbed me the wrong way. I probably should have hung up on him there. But I decided to feed him some of my patented sarcasm. “If it makes you happy to say that I have a tiny company, fine.”
He wasn’t quite bright enough to pick up on the sarcasm. “Well, it doesn’t make me happy,” he said, sounding more than a little baffled. He hurried on. “So you have a bunch of pilots and they fly that helicopter.” It was a statement, not a question.
“No,” I corrected him. “I am the only pilot. One helicopter, one pilot. Makes sense, no?”
“Oh. And you do cherry drying?”
I was getting very tired of the conversation. “Yes. I come here and sit around for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for weeks at a time. When it rains, I fly. That’s cherry drying. And believe me, it isn’t for low time pilots.”
Perhaps he [finally] began to sense the hostility in my voice. Suddenly, he was done. I guess he realized that I wasn’t going to hire him. He thanked me for my time and hung up.
I wonder if he ever found the person he was looking for.