Goodbye to 4am starts! 

Goodbye to 4am starts! 

One year ago today I finished with my job in Ireland before I headed to the USA and a whole new life. I worked with the Dublin Airport Authority doing what they titled Passenger Services as they didn’t want to call the role exactly what it was, Passenger Security Screening. It was a kind of stressful job, always being tested, always on the go and dealing with the public who are also stressed about travelling is never easy. Add in shift work with 4am starts and it was challenging at times. 

But in saying all that I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the Airport. I always tried to be nice to passengers, my fellow workmates and to always smile my way through the 12 hour shifts. Sometimes it wasn’t easy but working with some great people helped. I can say this now, but we did work with some absolute nut jobs who shouldn’t be allowed within a mile of the public, we had managers who couldn’t manage a game of snakes and ladders and an employer who talked a good game but couldn’t match the talk with actions. 

On the flip side of that there were managers who were always fighting the good fight for staff and passengers to make the job better and passengers more relaxed as they passed through security. My fellow team mates were a great bunch and I am grateful to be still in touch with them even though I live 3500 miles away. I hope to meet up with a few of them in December when I am home. 

One of my roles within my job was producing a staff newsletter full of security news, staff news and announcements as well as fun items. It gave me a great insight into not only how the security branch of the airport worked but how all the parts came together to make sure the airport ran smoothly. Airports really are little cities and it takes a lot to keep all the moving parts rolling. 

I don’t miss the 4am starts, the 12 hour night shifts but I do miss my many friends and interacting with the public on a daily basis. So the next time you go through an airport, remember these people are working to make your journey safe and smooth. Even the grumpy staff are trying to do that and I always enjoyed counteracting their grumpiness with extra doses of smiling and pleasantness. 

So to all my ex colleagues in Dublin Airport, it was a pleasure working with you and hope to see some of you in December. And I will remember to have liquids out, belt off, pockets emptied and laptop/tablet out as well. 

Its not difficult….but can be lonely

A bit of a thoughtful post today. As I have stated recently, I am only 3 months in the USA and still can’t work as I await paperwork to clear. As a new immigrant to the country and someone who had either been in school or work constantly since I was 17, not working is difficult but with structure and support from loved ones it can be done.

I worked for Irish Rail for 3 years, the Irish Defence  Forces for 23 and Dublin Airport for 2, as well as attending college in the last few years, so I have always been busy. I did take 8 months off back in 2011 when I retired from the military and that was more to get what I had planned going and every day had a certain amount of structure.

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Me while serving in the Military

Its very easy to fall into a life of day time TV, which i hate, or just staying in bed till noon. Neither of those options appeal to me so a plan was needed. As we have 2 dogs that helped with any plan as they love to go on walks. Also I love to drive my wife into work so that means most mornings we are out the door by 7.15am.

My day starts once I drop Leanne to work and come home with the dogs. A quick walk around the neighborhood is followed by breakfast and a mug of tea. I now have a subscription to Lynda.com which allows me to learn new skills with the aid of video online lessons. Normally i will do 90 mins at a time, 2-3 times over the day, depending on what else i need to do.

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Walking the dogs

The real difficulty is loneliness, being on my own most of the day it takes discipline to make sure I keep at what I am doing. The dogs keep me company but its a chat with someone that I miss the most. I do keep in contact with friends at home via Viber but there is a 5 hour time difference s that can be difficult at times. I am lucky as i have a few things on my side, firstly I have the support of my lovely wife, secondly i am quite disciplined to keep at what I am doing and finally daytime TV sucks!

If you are in the same situation as me, make a plan, stick to it and have structure for you day. Yes take a day off, go for lunch but have a plan of what to do. In a few short months I hope the paperwork comes through and I can start following my dream of being self employed as a photographer, but for now the planned and structured days of being at home and a house husband will continue.