The same night as The Bacchae closed, I learned of the likely demise of The Four Olives
Later that night (well, actually it was the wee early hours of the morning), I had to discuss the imminent termination of training for my trainee. He's nearly out of training hours on ground control, despite our creative accounting of his training time. It's too bad, because he's one of the most dedicated trainees I've ever seen, and he's a great employee - other than his inability to do the job. I don't think I've ever worked with someone who wanted something so much, and worked so hard, and yet was still unsuccessful. A little over a month ago, I told his supervisor that I didn't have anything new to say, and had run out of new ways to say the old stuff. And it was old stuff; we were dealing with the same issues in May that I'd first written up in November or December. His other instructor has maintained for quite some time that he wasn't going to make it here, and early on I felt it was too soon to make that call, and in fact felt obligated to take the other side just to balance the training team, lest it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the meantime, we've had all the other instructors on our side of the schedule work with him some. This served two purposes: One, there was the chance that one of them would be able to make a difference; and Two, if not, then we would have corroboration of his inability to handle the traffic. All of this will come into play later this week when we have the training team meeting. It's been understood that his hours could be extended if he was showing progress at the time that became necessary, but it's now that time, and he's not showing the promise that we'd need to carry on. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to reassign him to one of the smaller airports in the basin; his family home is here in LA (about the outer markers for the 24's and 25's - how convenient is that?), and I think he's got the potential to do the job - he's just not ready for prime time. This brings up another recent development, concerning one of our previous wash-outs who was assigned to another tower in the LA area. This person has apparently made themselves rather exceptionally unpopular by spouting off about how 'that's not how we did it at LAX'. Never mind that the reason that this person is there in the first place is because they couldn't do it at LAX. As an instructor, I will say that there's not much I want to hear less than how you used to do it where ever you used to be, especially when you're using it as an excuse not to do it the way you're expected to do it here and now. I know it's human nature to compare something new with something familiar, but even so. The common viewpoint among ATC instructors is that what you did before doesn't matter; it's what you're doing now. Show me that you can do it my way first, and then I'll more amenable to listening to how it's done elsewhere.
Music stuck in my head for the better part of the last week: Blue Rondo a la Turk by Dave Brubeck. The opening minute or two seems to be on an endless loop. The only escape will be when it gets replaced by some other ditty or sound clip. Before this, it was one of the songs from The Bacchae; apparently the recording sessions were enough to finish that off.
Between the stuff at the theater, the restaurant, and the quick-turn for the mid-shift, I completely missed Father's Day. Fortunately I got a card in the mail last week, but I had hoped to call on the day. Last time I was back home, I gave my dad his Father's Day present early, as I had it in the truck at the time: a metric crescent wrench. I'm not making that up - it really was an adjustable wrench with metric markings. Who'd a thunk it?! Next year, I'm gonna get him a bottle of prop wash!