Knowledge is power.
The saying gets thrown around a lot, but we tend to forget what it really means.
Power is a tool, and like any tool, it can be misused.
So what happens when someone knows just enough to think they know it all, and demands to be addressed by a title they didn’t earn?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) funkoramma when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for asking my wife to respect my title a pilot?”
OP began by narrowing down who he wanted to hear from.
“I need the opinions of avgeeks and pilots on a matter involving my wife.”
“I AM COMPLETELY SERIOUS AND I NEED HELP. /srs”
He then gave some background.
“My wife and I (together for 5 years, married for 2, no kids) have an amazing, happy relationship.”
“I can’t recall a single time we’ve ever argued to the point of a breakup or divorce.”
“This issue, however, is causing me to reconsider the health of our relationship.”
“Since my wife and I have been together, I have worked as a manager for a restaurant chain.”
“I am an extremely passionate aviation enthusiast in my free time.”
“I have spent thousands of dollars on flight textbooks, sim gear, and even built my own a330 setup.”
“I have never actually flown a plane or started flight training, but I have considered it for a long time.”
“Even though my skills are not a career, I still consider myself as adept or possibly more knowledgeable than the average pilot.”
“That being said, here’s where the problem arises.”
“My wife and I were invited to one of her male coworker’s house for a barbecue.”
“My wife is a senior software tech for a Covid startup. She’s worked there since 2020, a lucky catch after she was laid off from her previous job due to the virus.”
“It was my first time meeting many of her now-close coworkers due to Covid and working from home.”
“I had assumed she’d talked about me before, but as we were cycling through introductions, I became less sure.”
“We make our way down the line to the host of the party, a new male hire that she has grown platonically close with.”
“We exchange casual conversation, and Greg (host) asked what I do for a living.”
“My wife chimes in with “He manages a [insert fast food chain], it certainly comes with some benefits (I’m assuming she’s referring to free food)”, in a voice that implied nothing was wrong with what she said.”
“I very quickly corrected her and told him that I am a pilot.”
“My wife already knows how insecure I am about my job and how I’d much rather be introduced by my hobby.”
“I’ve earned the title of pilot through my 500+ hours on and sim and thousands of dollars put into my craft.”
“I think it is incredibly disrespectful for her not to acknowledge my skills and training.”
“Just because I don’t have the title of pilot on an overpriced piece of paper doesn’t mean I’m not a pilot.”
“I laughed it off with Greg, told him under my breath that my wife was often forgetful (which I’m sure he’s realized just from working with her).”
“He seemed to brush it off casually.”
“At this point, I’m fuming, but I don’t go much farther than exchanging some nasty glances at my wife for the rest of the night.”
“As we pack into the car to leave, the argument starts.”
“She feels as if I don’t deserve my title as a Pilot because I’m not professional.”
“I told her she is completely insensitive to the work I’ve done and she will never understand what it’s like to study so much.”
OP was left to wonder,
“She’s currently on the couch as I type this. Am I really the a**hole for asking to be respected?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: YTA
Some called out OP for being less than honest.
“This can’t be real.”
“It doesn’t take a pilot (something that you are literally not) to tell that you’re a huge AH.”
“The way you speak about your wife getting lucky with her job as if she didn’t also have to study is disgusting.”
“You even have the audacity to say her coworker probably realizes that she is forgetful when he obviously respects her because they’re close.”
“How arrogant of you to decide you know more than the average pilot when you aren’t even a pilot.”
“What you did is LIE about your profession. Grow up.” ~ illdecidetomorrow
“I work in aviation.”
“I work with pilots in training all day. Even the nerdiest of avgeeks and aerosexuals, with thousands of dollars of sim equipment, suck so hard at flying when they start out.”
“There’s even a phenomenon where those most desperate to fly often flunk out because they are unable to get over themselves for long enough to learn what they need and take much-needed critical feedback (and you sound exactly like them).”
“You sound like a massive tool.”
“If you go around telling people you’re a pilot and then they find out you’ve literally never piloted an aircraft? They’re going to think you’re actually insane.”
“If I was your wife I’d leave you. Imagine calling someone forgetful, belittling someone you should love, to explain that you are a pretend pilot.”
“Your wife is going to have to explain to these people that she is married to someone delusional without taking a professional hit.”
“Get professional help.” ~ Natural_Garbage7674
“You aren’t a ‘pilot’; you pilot remote-controlled craft as a hobby.”
“The specific question wasn’t “what do you do/enjoy/identity as” but ‘what occupation do you use to pay bills.'”
“Claiming to be a pilot in that scenario isn’t just misleading, it’s a lie.”
“You aren’t a pilot for a living, as you don’t pay your bills with it.”
“People who have a doctorate can and should be called doctor. People who bought a toy boat and play with it on the weekends shouldn’t claim to be sailors when asked where they work.” ~ WhoFearsDeath
Others pointed out that words mean things.
“That ‘overpriced piece of paper’ (which, if you were actually a pilot, you would know it’s called a LICENSE) LITERALLY DETERMINES IF YOU ARE A PILOT.”
“No pilot in existence, and certainly no one employed by the FAA, gives a sh*t how many sim hours you have or how much money you sunk into your setup.”
“Unless you take your written exams and your practical tests, YOU ARE NOT A PILOT.”
“YTA, you need to stop lying to people and discrediting the people that actually put the time, effort, and money into becoming legitimately licensed pilots.”
“Sincerely, A LEGITIMATE PILOT” ~ LSB97
“Despite the fact that you’re an enthusiast, as you say, it’s not your profession.”
“Just because you’re embarrassed about what you do for a living, doesn’t mean your wife has to be.”
“She’s probably proud of your productive achievements, like making manager.”
“She’s not proud of your hobbies, that doesn’t provide anything to her.”
“Even if you’re an expert, it’s nothing to her. Now your real profession helps her, so, of course, she’ll favor it.”
“You think that because you study hard and invested money in that hobby, you deserve the title? No.”
“The little overpriced paper is what deserves the title.”
“Because that means you did it under the supervision of an experienced and known professional.”
“It means a community of like-minded professionals has overseen your work and achievements.”
“It gives credibility and good faith that you’ve done so well and has exceeded.”
“You meeting your own expectations is nothing when you don’t have someone to challenge you.”
“If I race by myself, I’ll always win.”
“That doesn’t make me a track star.”
“No matter how hard I train and how much I invest in shoes, gym, training etc…. if I’m not challenged against the pros, I’m not a pro myself.”
“I also think you sound narcissist by claiming you know more than an actual pilot, rookie, or veteran.”
“The fact that you think yourself superior is odd. I would be embarrassed by these statements if I was your wife. Not the restaurant.”
“Next time someone asks what you do for a living, tell them what you do for a living. Not what your hobby is or what skills you have.” ~ Sisterly_Attitude
While the post itself has since been deleted, the point made by many of the comments remains.
The danger in pursuing knowledge on your own is that you have no impartial criteria for the correctness of your conclusions.
There is a reason that medical degrees are earned, architects spend years and years honing their craft through rigorous schooling.
While we can accumulate a vast amount of knowledge on our own, we need direction and guidance to apply that information correctly.
Without that guidance, we have no context for the information we’ve been given and so do not know how to wield it properly.
A combination of WebMD and Surgeon Simulator does not make one a board-certified MD.