I like a good nap. Especially when I’m working. In fact, if it weren’t for my ability to fall asleep with my eyes open I would probably never be able to hold down a job. I’m sure sleeping on the job ultimately hurts my employer’s overall productivity. But, caring about that kind of thing takes so much effort. All the more reason to get some rest I guess.

The same can’t be said for people who direct America’s commercial air traffic. Whereas I nap at work because I’m generally lazy and unsympathetic to my boss’ bottom line, these people have all the reason in the world to get some rest. If they don’t snooze then someone is going to die.

“Five instances of sleeping controllers have been reported since late March. The latest incident occurred just before 8am on Saturday at a busy regional radar facility that handles high-altitude traffic for much of Florida, the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea.

Several other countries, including Germany and Japan, permit controllers to sleep during breaks and provide quiet rooms with beds for that purpose.

Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation of Alexandria, Virginia, said: “Given the body of scientific evidence, that decision clearly demonstrates that politics remain more important than public safety. People are concerned about a political backlash if they allow controllers to have rest periods in their work shifts the same way firefighters and trauma physicians do.” – THE GUARDIAN

But they stopped short of allowing controllers to sleep on their breaks. This makes sense because… hell, I don’t know. I stopped trying to understand the right wing a long time ago. Like the homeless junkies on skid row I like to stare in wonder at them but, once they start babbling, I just walk away and pretend they don’t exist. If only air traffic controllers had some kind of organization that allowed them to come together and demand better work conditions.

Somehow, when their plane is plummeting towards the ground at 600 mph, I don’t see even the most ardent pro-business goon saying “I’m still glad their union got busted! I die happily knowing that profit and commerce won’t be interfered with by workers and their rights!” Although, admittedly, that would be kind of funny.

I say give air traffic controllers whatever they want. Naps. More money. Mountains of blow and meth. Shit man, when I’m at 30,000 feet my air traffic controller is one of two people I want to be absolutely happy.

The other, of course, is my stewardess. Because when the plane crashes in the middle of nowhere I’m going to need someone to start a new race of super humans with. And I don’t want to already be on her bad side. That’s just the kind of sensitive yet shockingly fertile man I am.



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