Some Insight on Aerospace Physiology and Information Technology in the Air Force

I was in the military for 9 years and started out as an information manager which is equivalent to secretary or the best buy geek squad in the civilian sector. I filed papers, fixed printers, installed software updates, unlocked people’s accounts, sent out mass emails regarding system patch installs, answered phones, and took a lot of slack from people in general. I was everyone’s sounding board when it came to their computer and printer malfunctions but was not the person who broke it. I had to apologize time and time again for something the “network center” did or the user of the computer “accidentally” installed. This job was not rocket science but definitely wasn’t for the simple minded either. One needs to be current on software and hardware installation and proficient in the latest or previous operating systems and applications (e.g. windows 98, word, excel, printer mapping, slaving devices, imaging drives, etc.) You must also know the ins and outs of computer temperament: if one computer malfunctions when doing “xyz” it doesn’t mean the same model computer on the other side of the room with the exact same operating system is going to have the same malfunction on any given day….computers are very inconsistent and require patience.
Some things to remember:
1. If a computer is malfunctioning for the individual and the technician shows up, the computer will magically start working again…give it some time and it will usually malfunction again.
2. The customer will never be patient enough to let you work on their computer properly, they have gotten used to working on their device and think they know it like their own child. Be patient with them and assure them it’s in the right hands to be fixed.
3. You will never get a thank you for fixing a problem but always know you deserve one. Throw your own party, have a slice of cake with your coworkers, and give each other congratulations for the hard work you put in.

Aerospace physiology:
I trained for 8 weeks to become an overrated instructor/teacher and have nothing to show for it. This career can be exhilarating but can also leave you a nervous wreck. I was not fond of lecturing in front of 30 to 35 adults about surviving in the elements, ejecting from an aircraft, night vision, and whatever else and here’s why:
Each person has their own experience and can “trump” your lecture or make you feel inadequate as a teacher leaving you unprepared to refute their opinions.
The lecture only covers what’s in the book and you can never be prepared for EVERY possible question or scenario so, if you are a perfectionist like me, it can make you very neurotic.
People will always judge you on the way you look, speak, teach, draw, and answer questions….this is very nerve racking because like anyone, I just want to be judged on the content of my lecture.

Here’s what you learn to do in aerospace physiology:
1. How to operate a hypobaric and hyperbaric chamber for treatment of decompression sickness, foot sores, embolisms, and teaching people what hypoxia feels like.
2. How to make people less air sick in a barany chair by spinning them 3 times a day.
3. How to make a proper parachute landing fall when dropping from a parachute.
4. How to properly eject from an aircraft in an emergency.
5. How to schedule personnel in a weekly scheduling database
6. How to disassemble oxygen equipment and work on individual components to fix malfunctions

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