The Pilot’s Food Stamps

My conversation with a pilot in the Atlanta airport:

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Me: Is it difficult to remember the strings of letters and numbers that the air controllers throw at you?

Pilot: Ah, jeeze, not really. I mean, I’ve been flying since I was 15. That’s 22 years now. I guess you just learn after years of practice.

Me: Wow! Since you were 15? So you’re living the dream? That’s impressive. Not many people actualize their dreams.

Pilot: In the beginning, things were really rough. The pay is nothing. I had friends who were on food stamps.

Me: A pilot on food stamps?! That seems wrong.

Pilot: Times are tough. There’s just no money. And when you’re at the bottom of the totem pole you don’t make enough to live.

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