Hello Lockheed Martin Flight Service. A phrase many pilots have heard when they call in for a weather briefing. A lot of people though don't really understand just how difficult and mundane it can be to do weather briefing all or most of the day. Sure specialists make a lot of money, but a lot of people take for granted just how emotionally and mentally draining doing the same thing over and over again can get. I figured I would try and post what it's like.
You get to work at say 5am and go to the morning briefing. Then that is done you go to a workstation and sign on to brief for anywhere from 5-8 hours a day depending on how much time you get on the radios or flight data.
You get all set up and click the available button. "BEEP... OHIO" "Good Morning Lockheed Martin Flight Service" Hi this is N12345 I need to file 3 flight plans and get a full standard weather briefing for each leg"
So you talk non stop with this pilot for 10-15 min filing them and giving them a weather briefing. All the while you have a million things you have to say and do to avoid failing the brief. You finally get to the end and you are getting tired of talking. "Ok thank you so much for the brief" You hang up and 5 seconds later "BEEP... Kentucky" So you haven't even gotten to catch your breath and another call has dropped in. "Hi this is N34567 I need to file a flight plan and get a full standard weather briefing".
Once again you talk non-stop for 10-15 min and then at the end of the brief the pilot hangs up. 5 seconds later BEEP... New Jersey. Imagine doing this over and over and over and over again ALL DAY LONG, 6-8 hours a day on average. It can be hard to imagine if your not doing this but trust me, it gets extremely mundane, boring, and most of all tiring.
With the recent layoffs briefing has become non-stop. You get almost no time between long phone calls before another one drops in and you have to start all over. By the end of the day many specialists are very cranky and extremely burned out from the repetitive and mundane nature of briefing.
Money isn't everything for everyone. There are people that have left recently to take jobs making half of what they made in flight service because briefing non-stop was driving them crazy and they hated it with a passion. Some people are content with the money and have families to support. They may hate the job, but its good money and its good enough for them. I commend those people for their hard work and sacrifice. Others despise the job and would gladly take something paying way less that they enjoyed. I also commend these people for putting their happiness ahead of money.