LOL- I came across this post and find is amusing- this is what I will be doing in the USAF!
Truth is…the job can, at times, suck! Even for those of us who LOVE it. We're not appreciated by those we protect. We save more lives on a daily basis than any other profession. Pilots seldom understand or have an awareness outside their own limited perspective and even go so far as not to listen to control instructions at times.
Everything we say is recorded, and we're responsible to back it up in a court of law should the unthinkable happen. We're responsible for knowing more rules, numbers, functions, and facts than humanly possible. No mistakes allowed!
We're generally cocky. And that's okay because we're in control. We control everything in our environment. It affects our personal life in more ways than most people can even imagine. Our spouse will not understand us or our job. We don't bring the job home- but we will bring the stress.
We will have crash dreams. We will control traffic in our sleep. You can't imagine the stress. We can never again tolerate a read-back error at a drive thru restaurant. Indecision is unacceptable in any scenario - especially from those you love. We generally have a lack of tolerance in communication. We expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say. Life is black and white (yes...it is...there is no gray) for a controller. Driving will never be the same again - we use the rules of anticipated separation. It's okay because it's legal.
Controllers come in two varieties: the home schooler/Bible thumpers and the drunks. There's something "not right" about ALL of us. We either look 10 yrs older than our age or 10 yrs younger. We know all the different variations of the word "stress". And we criticize any aviation movie that's not accurate.
Most of us are on blood pressure medication. We never get normal sleep because our mind never stops. We work while you sleep at night (and on Christmas too). We never have "normal" days off. We rarely have a "normal" social life but generally make up for it by "going too far" when we relieve the stress. We can't participate in all of our kids' school activities. Our friends don't understand that we can't leave work for "lunch" or get off early. People will think that we're the guy on the ramp with the lights.
We will be the last person a pilot talks to as we hear the terror in his voice before he crashes. We will never forget it. We'll relive it again and again. You won't make the money that we do. You may have the house and the cars, but we have the clothes, the watch, the shoes, and the attitude. You need us that way, you want us that way. It's in our DNA.
In our world we're unbelievably hard on each other (ridiculously hard). The requirement for thick skin is an understatement (no crying allowed). When one of us fails we will laugh at you (and laugh hard we will). When one of us succeeds we won't acknowledge it (it's your job...so what). If we're laughing on the radio and you hear us, chances are.....we're laughing at you!