I could tell the knock of a pilot on my office door. The ones who knocked. Most just slipped in and closed the door behind them and sat down and talked.
'I've got a job offer with Qantas,' they would whisper. 'But I've got a ROSO and I want to know how to get out of it. Can I get out of it?'
Military pilots had a Return of Service Obligation. Nine years of Air Force, Navy or Army flying after graduation from Pilot Course. The taxpayers want a return on their million dollar investment in jet fuel and tyres.
'Resign and find out,' was my advice.
The Air Force Act said that an officer could resign at any time and the Governor General had to accept the resignation unless there was a war on or the officer had a ROSO - in which case the Governor-General could choose to say 'No'. Only the Governor-General had that discretion.
'But will they let me out of my ROSO? I've been told that I can't resign if I've got ROSO left.'
'You won't know until you decide to resign.'
Everyone wants the Answer.
The Engineer is asked to answer a bridge. Every passenger in every car, truck and train and every pedestrian on the walkway each day after it is built repeats the question. Each journey brings the Engineer closer to the answer.
The pilot is asked to answer the landing. She finds out along with her passengers as the wheels slam onto the tarmac at the end of the flight.
The lawyer is asked to answer the liability. She learns it along with her client as the judge reads out her verdict at the end of the trial.
Ask a question and get an answer. Yes. No. 27. Liable. So what?
There are no Answers - just Decisions that advance us towards where we want to be.
Only charlatans market Answers.