Friday, May 1, 2009

Walk on a Glass Deck 103 Stories Up? No Thanks, I'll Pass

My first Job out of the Navy was contracting as a Field Rep. for NEC America doing test and turn up on Sonet ADM equipment for multiple telcom companies around the country. Most of these telecommunication switch rooms are located in high rise buildings in all of our major cities.

The phone company technician or manager that would be assigned to me would always insist on a tour of the facility which usually included a elevator ride to the top of the building.

One problem.... I hate heights and have a odd phobia of elevators. So to be a good Representative of the company I would just suck it up and sweat it out as they insist on I taking a look over the edge to see how high up we were.

Most people don't understand my phobia, since I am a submariner who is completely at ease at test depth, which common folk consider dangerous. People don't realize that they are exposed to a lot of danger in there daily lives, like driving and flying which the danger is lessened by training, safety standards and proper operation. The danger of diving underwater on a submarine is mitigated by pretty much the same principals. Since a very small percentage of the population every get to experience a submarine ride, the thought of someone doing it for living is to much to comprehend.

I contribute some of my fears and phobias to the control factor. I feel I can control my fate on a submarine because I am a qualified participant and operator. For instance I dislike flying as well, but I would love to be a pilot. If I was properly trained and piloting the airplane, I would be more comfortable and enjoy the experience of flight because I am now in control of my fate.

Well back to the whole reason of today's entry, if you attended Great Lakes RTC for Boot Camp, there is a good chance you might have run down to Chicago after graduation and toured the Sears Tower.

The Sears Tower one of the tallest buildings in the world is a breath taking experience if you like heights. I remember taking the fast turbo elevator ride, which I despised all the way to the top with a few of my new shipmates from boot camp and slowly going to the edge to look down over the city of people ants. Now they have built a glass bottom observation deck to walk out on and look down to get the full experience of falling from a 103 stories up. I'm sure adrenaline junkies will love this, but I think I will pass and stick with the scary world of the deep.

Sears Tower to open glass-bottom Skydeck in June

Here is Another one I might have a problem with too...

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Tourists walk on the glass-bottomed Skywalk that extends 70 feet over the edge of Grand Canyon West's Eagle Point in northwestern Arizona

Sure hope the glass holds, thats one heck of a last step.

"Hey little Jimmy, put down those rocks! What have I told you about throwing rocks on the glass skywalk!".


Unknown said...

I'm right there with you on that one...... I hate heights but I'm putting in for a Pilot program. When I tell people that, they are like "WTF?"

Anonymous said...

Marty Bauer would do it...Rick Croghan would... Lt. Ballinger would..