We don't talk enough...

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 12:18:10 pm »
As a current facility staff member who works division, I'd agree with his assessment (or opinion).  The number of ATM meetings and collaboration with division has gone up in recent history.
Meetings are only as good as the people who attend them, and the resultant actions taken. Thus far, I haven’t seen any meaningful evidence that ATM feedback that goes against the grain is particularly well-received, despite our best intentions. It feels more and more that those of us who dare to uphold providing a quality service to the pilots alongside the being inclusive and having fun goals of the division get noses turned up at our efforts.

The overwhelming sentiment that I keep hearing from above my proverbial pay grade is “Why bother getting better as long as we’re having fun?” That’s not why I signed up to do this, and it’s certainly not why I signed up to instruct or to lead a facility. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe in participation trophies.

You and I aren't always going with the grain.  While I'm not party to your conversations, I can tell you that I know division at least listens when I speak up.  They don't always agree, nor do they always do anything as a result, but they listen, which is the most important thing.  Even when we argue, it's generally respectful, and we can always move past it.

Also -- Fun is important.  Arguably more important than anything else.  Without it being fun, there won't be anybody left.  The key is to make "better" more fun.  How do we accomplish both?  That's what we should strive towards.  That being said, you were the one who just a few posts back brought up the volunteerism point.  Volunteers need inclusion and fun first and foremost if we want to keep them around.  The majority of the demographic isn't folks who have delusions of this being a way to impress the FAA.

By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?
Matthew Kosmoski
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org

Dhruv Kalra

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 12:26:29 pm »
By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?

Trust me, there are plenty of delusions about what our standards are vs. said federal agency. I agree that the target demographic isn’t here to aspire to that standard; we don’t even come close to demanding that level of proficiency. That misconception needs to be taken out back and shot.
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man

Josh Glottmann

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2018, 01:13:16 pm »
By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?
Some of us have different aspirations that your own. And some facilities have different aspirations as your own. To say that people in this division should not partake in realism if they so desire, is a disappointment. You diminish the value of other people's interests by making these egregious statements.

If I said "by the way, if people want absolute fun, I hear there's a bouncy castle and petting zoo they can go to," think about how that would come off to someone that wants to have fun.

Meg Bruck

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2018, 01:14:42 pm »
One question that I've been asked a number of time is why the teamspeak/discord information for each artcc is such a closely guarded secret. Currently this list is only available to ATMs/DATMs. Why not all staff? For that matter, why not all of vatusa? I understand the necessity of keeping the general public (ie non-vatsim people) out of our servers but most of the servers I've been to have public channels for socializing and member-only channels for controlling. Especially as more and more artcc's move to discord, why not open artccs to neighbors near and far, and pilots?

I don't think another platform for communication is going to solve any of the problems described above. The cultural change we seek is behavioral, not technological. To DK's original point, we need to talk to each other more. A friendly ATC chat while controlling can do wonders to improve relationships between artccs because it is a personal interaction. And it's through these small personal interactions that we develop an understanding of each other.

Ok, going back under my rock now.  See y'all after winter. :D
Meg Bruck
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Josh Glottmann

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2018, 01:25:59 pm »
I'd like more transparency in the division regarding the state of VATUSA. We haven't held a townhall in quite some time and I feel like I'm out of the loop in terms of what is happening at the division level. I know that I, as well as other members of my facility, have questions and concerns about how the division is operating. I call question to sudden and frequent staff changes. As an outsider who is not a staff member (and does not have access to staff related forums), I cannot tell if this division is being run into the ground or not. While this division may not be a dictatorship, there are enough obscurity and lack of public forum that it is impossible to differentiate what is going on at upper levels from that of an authoritarian regime.

Regarding communications between ARTCCs, I find no issue in how ARTCCs are running right now. I have 8-10 ARTCC's teamspeak/discord information and find it fairly easy to just hop in and have conversations as desired. My ARTCC frequently sees guests from other ARTCCs participating in conversation.

Ryan Pitt

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2018, 02:05:18 pm »
By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?

I strive for realism to a certain extent. I don't control to have fun necessarily, but I do have to enjoy it enough to stick around.

Ira Robinson

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2018, 03:48:01 pm »
I'd like more transparency in the division regarding the state of VATUSA. We haven't held a townhall in quite some time and I feel like I'm out of the loop in terms of what is happening at the division level. I know that I, as well as other members of my facility, have questions and concerns about how the division is operating. I call question to sudden and frequent staff changes. As an outsider who is not a staff member (and does not have access to staff related forums), I cannot tell if this division is being run into the ground or not. While this division may not be a dictatorship, there are enough obscurity and lack of public forum that it is impossible to differentiate what is going on at upper levels from that of an authoritarian regime.

I promised myself I would stay out of this.  I don't speak for the Division and I won't speak for #1 or #2.  And although I have more than a couple of opinions on what I have read here I am going to limit myself to this one question, because i feel the answer to it is important and may in some way go to the heart of the matter.

Josh, you said you feel out of the loop.  There isn't enough transparency.  We should have more town hall meetings, and the lack of a public forum troubles you and, you know what, it should.  So let me ask you, if there truly is a lack of a public forum why haven't you asked your ATM the questions that trouble you?  You have questions and concerns why haven't you brought them to your ATM?  I could go on, but each point ends with why haven't you brought your concerns to your ATM?   He is the point person for your ARTCC.  He has, or should have, the answer you seek and if he doesn't , he knows who to speak with to get it.  Your ATM is supposed to do more than just kick people off the roster because they haven't controlled enough last month.  He is your representative to the Division.  You want a democracy?  You got one.  Convince your ATM to keep you informed. Convince your ATM to make sure that all of the new guys get trained.  Convince your ATM to bring to the Division any questions, problems, or good ideas that he thinks will enhance what we do. Convince your ATM to sit down with the ATMs of the surrounding ARTCCs and develop a plan for sharing information and creating good time events.

You want democracy?  You want a town hall meeting?  You want to meet with the Division to find  out what's going on?  No you don't. You want a town hall meeting because it's easy to roast people, policy and plans in a group setting than argue with your ATM about something he already knows about and maybe even agrees with. 

One last thing. Is a town hall meeting an important piece of this puzzle?  It is. But it is because it's a public relations requirement and not because anything good ever comes out of them. 

I'm done here now.  Any ARTCC staff member who wants me for whatever reason need only ask.  Anyone else can sit down in their ARTCC and get the news from the ARTCC town hall meeting.  Uhmm... you do have them right?   Your ARTCC isn't being run into the ground is it?


« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 04:00:03 pm by Ira Robinson »
Ira Robinson
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Dhruv Kalra

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2018, 04:30:25 pm »
You have questions and concerns why haven't you brought them to your ATM?  I could go on, but each point ends with why haven't you brought your concerns to your ATM?

Probably because his ATM just got fired...
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2018, 04:33:34 pm »
By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?
Some of us have different aspirations that your own. And some facilities have different aspirations as your own. To say that people in this division should not partake in realism if they so desire, is a disappointment. You diminish the value of other people's interests by making these egregious statements.

If I said "by the way, if people want absolute fun, I hear there's a bouncy castle and petting zoo they can go to," think about how that would come off to someone that wants to have fun.

By no means did I say that nobody should partake in realism.  Great misquoting and misrepresentation of my comment.
Matthew Kosmoski
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2018, 04:34:16 pm »
You have questions and concerns why haven't you brought them to your ATM?  I could go on, but each point ends with why haven't you brought your concerns to your ATM?

Probably because his ATM just got fired...

His ATD is the acting ATM.  He still has an avenue.  Chain of command, as previously described.
Matthew Kosmoski
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org

Dhruv Kalra

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2018, 04:36:03 pm »
His ATD is the acting ATM.  He still has an avenue.  Chain of command, as previously described.

That's one of the issues at the forefront of the discussion here. ATDs haven't proven themselves to be immediately approachable by rank and file controllers.
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man

Ryan Geckler

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2018, 04:38:43 pm »
Quote
I promised myself I would stay out of this.

You didn't do very well there.

Josh, you said you feel out of the loop.  There isn't enough transparency.  We should have more town hall meetings, and the lack of a public forum troubles you and, you know what, it should.  So let me ask you, if there truly is a lack of a public forum why haven't you asked your ATM the questions that trouble you?  You have questions and concerns why haven't you brought them to your ATM?  I could go on, but each point ends with why haven't you brought your concerns to your ATM?   He is the point person for your ARTCC.  He has, or should have, the answer you seek and if he doesn't , he knows who to speak with to get it.  Your ATM is supposed to do more than just kick people off the roster because they haven't controlled enough last month.  He is your representative to the Division.  You want a democracy?  You got one.  Convince your ATM to keep you informed. Convince your ATM to make sure that all of the new guys get trained.  Convince your ATM to bring to the Division any questions, problems, or good ideas that he thinks will enhance what we do. Convince your ATM to sit down with the ATMs of the surrounding ARTCCs and develop a plan for sharing information and creating good time events.

Josh doesn't have an ATM to report to. Because his ATM got removed. For reasons unknown to most, if not all, of us. Speculation can run wild in a situation where your regular members don't know what's happening to those that are supposed to be leading them. And now, it's resulted in a situation to where it feels like there maybe something personal that caused all this to happen. But what do I know? I'm just a controller in the dark.

Quote
You want democracy?  You want a town hall meeting?  You want to meet with the Division to find  out what's going on?  No you don't. You want a town hall meeting because it's easy to roast people, policy and plans in a group setting than argue with your ATM about something he already knows about and maybe even agrees with. 

One last thing. Is a town hall meeting an important piece of this puzzle?  It is. But it is because it's a public relations requirement and not because anything good ever comes out of them.

Got it. We'll just go and sit in our own kingdoms and scheme up some cool things to try. God forbid we try and collaborate with others and make find improvements that we can make to have a more connected division.

But nope, it's apparently just a PR stunt, so let's pull up the drawbridge and fill the moats again.

Quote
Your ARTCC isn't being run into the ground is it?

My facilities staff hasn't been randomly fired yet, so maybe it is, maybe it isn't? How would I know?
Ryan Geckler - GK
Former VATUSA3 | Division Training Director
Minneapolis ARTCC | RW Miami ARTCC

Jackson Gilliam

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2018, 04:46:56 pm »
By the way, if people want absolute realism, I hear there's some federal agency that'll pay you for absolute realism.  Can anybody confirm?
Some of us have different aspirations that your own. And some facilities have different aspirations as your own. To say that people in this division should not partake in realism if they so desire, is a disappointment. You diminish the value of other people's interests by making these egregious statements.

If I said "by the way, if people want absolute fun, I hear there's a bouncy castle and petting zoo they can go to," think about how that would come off to someone that wants to have fun.

By no means did I say that nobody should partake in realism.  Great misquoting and misrepresentation of my comment.

Yeah, but you basically said that if you want to participate in more realism, you should take it elsewhere (to the FAA in your case).
Jackson Gilliam
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Dylan Lundberg

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2018, 05:12:47 pm »
Here is my two cents:

Consistency is key. Taking feedback from anyone who attends the town hall meetings is key. Coming up with plans to address any concerns that are brought up in these meetings is key. (Listen, Discuss, Take Action).

Although, I think there is an unrealistic expectation that VATUSA staff need to take action immediatley because ATM of XYZ facility said so. I'm sure there is some sort of discussion that goes on after these meetings between VATUSA staff to discuss how they ought to proceed. Transparency comes into play when they believe they found a solution, and implement it. I feel that there is another unrealistic expectation that VATUSA needs to tell all of us what they do to discpline others. Quite frankly, I don't feel that is any of our business. If VATUSA feels that a user broke policy, or whatever the case may be - they are in the position of dealing with the issue as they see fit. Let them.

What do I want people to get from my post? I want them to understand that just like us ATMs, DATMs, TAs, ECs, FEs, I1s, Mentors, heck - even pilots - is that VATUSA is a volunteer job. They volunteer countless hours to lead the division. It might take them a little bit of time to interpret the feedback and discuss ways to address it. This isn't a simple feedback that a pilot ARTCC management would get and address by sending an email. This is a division with 19,000+  members (according to division statistics, weather or not they are active) that the VATUSA staff need to please. We all know it's not easy pleasing people in our own facilities (if you're a staff member). It's not all about the 1,084 of us that work the scopes. It's about the overal 19,000  members that they need to find a way to please that wish to enjoy this network, specifically in VATUSA. Yes, it would be nice to see every member smiling, being optomistic and enthusiastic  in this division. However, it's a lot easier said than done. What I also see a lot of is a majority of the membership are quick to jump to conclusions on issues based on what they hear, and they often like to jump to social media and voice their concerns. I get it. But, don't be the guy that complains and watches - be the guy who does something about it. Be the guy that reaches out to your direct supervisor for clarification  (weather it be your ATM, your ATD if you are an ATM, or even the division director if you are an ATD, and so on..)


Some of you noted that there are so many staff changes. That is something that happens whether we like it or not. Does this indicate a problem? Maybe, maybe not. This is up to whoever is that members direct supervisor needs to survey and address.

This is a two way street (or should I say airway.. 8) ?) How can we expect VATUSA to be transparent, hold more meetings, etc. if we aren't transparent, or half the members who are calling for another town hall will likely not attend (maybe I'm right, maybe I'm not, who knows!)

What would I like to see from VATUSA:

- Develop AFFs (Areas For Focus) based on feedback
- Come up with a plan
- Execute the plan


What am I saying?  I'm saying put yourself in their shoes. You are now in charge of 1,084 controllers, and any pilots that have an active USA membership. You have to deal with the emails that come through daily, support tickets, etc. Oh, did I mention you get an annual salary of $0? Right, good luck!

Dylan Lundberg
Air Traffic Manager
Honolulu Control Facility


Dhruv Kalra

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Re: We don't talk enough...
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2018, 05:28:07 pm »
What am I saying?  I'm saying put yourself in their shoes. You are now in charge of 1,084 controllers, and any pilots that have an active USA membership. You have to deal with the emails that come through daily, support tickets, etc. Oh, did I mention you get an annual salary of $0? Right, good luck!

I’m going to respectfully disagree. As VATUSA Staff, 1 and 2 are in charge of 3 ATDs, each of whom is in charge of 7-8 ATMs, each of whom is responsible to their controllers. 3 is in charge of the 22 TAs, who oversee their instructors. 5 is in charge of the 22 ECs. The simple fact is, the hierarchy has not been respected and promoted. I’ve received wildly conflicting opinions on how to interpret VATSIM, Region, and divisional policy from my ATD and USA1. If the division staff isn’t on the same page, compliance and cohesiveness within the ranks falls down.
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man