Futures Trader Turned Airline Baggage Handler

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by RXIS, May 18, 2013.

  1. RXIS


    Uh, seriously??


    The Futures Trader Turned Airline Baggage Handler
    By Ben Paynter
    December 05, 2012

    As an independent trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group’s Chicago headquarters, Bruce Bere exchanged futures contracts. He started as a pit runner and then became a desk manager at a small firm before entering into business for himself, e-trading his own portfolio of futures and options from an on-site office. By early 2011, the 25-year-old was making at least $75,000 a year. But in March 2011, Bere abruptly stopped trading and took a job as an airline baggage handler for United Airlines at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “I have always been a big aviation geek,” he says. “I got the job because it allows me to be around airplanes, which my friends give me crap for.”

    Technically, Bere’s title is “ramp agent.” He’s in charge of parking, loading, and helping airlines push back from the gate. Instead of a sport coat, he now wears a reflective orange vest. He earns the standard $10 an hour. And while he enjoys working around the giant aircraft, Bere isn’t shy about boarding them, either. “I wanted to see the world,” he says.

    Non-revenues—“non-revs” for short—refer to the industry practice of letting airline employees fly standby, any time to anywhere, if there is an unoccupied seat available. In the year and a half since he joined United, Bere has personally logged 116 flights covering 158,344 miles; that’s about six and a half times around the earth. Total airtime: 402 hours and 20 minutes, to be exact. And Bere is exact. He keeps meticulous track of his trips on a website that tracks everything from what class seat he’s assigned (often economy) to what seat position (it’s often the window). “People say non-revving is either a good system or a terrible system. It’s all about what you make it,” he says.

    United allows employees to trade shifts, so he’ll often work doubles, freeing up several days in a row for travel. According to his own statistics, he then flies most frequently on Tuesdays, a slower day for commuters so the planes are less booked—though sometimes, he admits, the gamble doesn’t pay off and the planes are full. “Things can change rather quickly, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the risk. It makes for a fun, puzzling little game. If you can’t get nonstop, you can try to go through another hub or city. I enjoy that,” he says. Plus, it beats paying full fares.

    Thanks to United’s fairly lenient non-rev policy, Bere can also take some designated family members with him. He and his wife, Lauren, who works as a nurse, have had several spontaneous “date nights” in Montreal, Seattle, and Boston. For a recent wedding anniversary, the couple hopped over for a short visit to Madrid.

    As for the downside of his new career—having to throw luggage in the harsh Midwestern weather—he’s fine with it. While he’s still in his 20s, the physical work appeals to him. “On certain days when it’s pouring rain or a blizzard, do I miss being inside? Absolutely,” he says. “But there are pros and cons to every job.”
  2. Sounds like a bright fellow. Probably tired of being tied to a screen all day.
  3. Good for him.

    He was making "at least $75,000 a year". After being in the business for a few years that's not worth the time and stress. He saw the writing on the wall and got out instead of hanging around churning or bleeding like so many others do.

    He has a job he likes and he gets to pursue his dreams of seeing the world. Kudo's to him.
  4. LMAO, what a piker.

  5. The market will always be there if he wants to go back.
  6. Good for him-- the guy loves to travel and this is a way for him to indulge in that passion--- its good to love something, anything-- the money will come later. I applaud this guy for phucking money and going for his love--- folks that don't understand will never have any $$ or passion, just misplaced greed and fear.

  7. nitro


    When all of my bots are fully active, I plan to travel around the world, "trading" [monitoring] from cafes.

    This adds a new twist, get a job like this allows you to stay fit, travel free to those same countries that you were going to go to anyway, and still feel like you are part of the real world. It is not for the $10/Hr, it is to feel normal, to stay connected.

    Why not?
  8. A buddy of mine used to get a couple of beers in him and insist money is all that matters. It was sad. He's a construction contractor, and this was a decade or so ago. He's since learned otherwise. Had no choice.
  9. He's scheming to do a massive "Rio de Janeiro" spread before a non-farm payroll report release. :eek: :D :p :) :cool:
  10. MrN


    If a person has the wisdom at a young age to see that materialism beyond health, wellness, and clean air/water is largely a trap, it is a wonderful idea. If you can add to those basics only needing to be around people whose company you enjoy, you basically have it made.

    The real problem with this perspective is that when you have kids, you see that the place you live will determine which kids will be around your kids- and is largely segregated by economics. It then becomes clear that you need money for family, quality of life, beach houses, private schools, etc.

    At times I wonder, in a strange way, if we just shut a large part of the consumer economy down, if ultimately over time everyone would be better off. Less pollution, less stress, less obesity, less need for debt fueled bubbles, less fake jobs, etc.
    #10     Jun 10, 2013