Who has the most stressful job and how do they learn to deal with it?

Who has the most stressful job and how do they learn to deal with it?

Which job do you think involves the biggest amount of stress? Doctor? Police officer? No, it turns out, air traffic controllers have to go through an immense amount of stress. It is because they are constantly attacked by a huge amount of information and their mistakes cost a lot more than just their job. However, scientists noticed that some of them somehow learned to manage their stress levels incredibly well.

If a doctor makes a huge mistake he might get into trouble, but situations where one decision might have lethal consequences are actually pretty rare. Police officers have even fewer situations when they can ruin everything with one mistake. Meanwhile air traffic controllers have high levels of stress from the minute they come to work till the time they leave home. Every small mistake can cause delays and chaos and bigger ones can instantly kill hundreds of people.

Then there is all the information you can to deal with when you’re controlling air traffic. What’s the weather? Which flights are going to be delayed and by how much? What’s the situation in every airport that is in your territory? And then there is your team waiting for your decisions and trying not to bother you with their own problems. So it is a perfect medium for stress to build up.

Some people quit very quickly, while others remain good sane air traffic controllers for decades and don’t even look stressed. What is the difference between a successful air traffic specialist and a one who quits very quickly? Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University professor and author of “Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst”, says it is the ability to turn off the stress.

Everyone is really stressed in air traffic control centre. However, those who have to quit their jobs there due to stress feel stressed all the time. They go home and are still thinking about their difficult time at job. Meanwhile successful air traffic controllers are stressed while they’re at work, but as soon as their shift is over they relax and start thinking about dinner. Sapolsky says it is because they can maximize their signal-to-noise ratio.

What is here to learn? If you’re currently very stressed about an exam coming up or meeting an important deadline, you should learn to take a break every day and not to think about your efforts at that time. It is easier said than done, but it is a skill that is definitely very useful in life. Worrying about something now and being relaxed later will make you healthier and better at what you’re trying to do.

5 weirdest professions in car industry today: what the heck is a car sommelier?

5 weirdest professions in car industry today: what the heck is a car sommelier?

Car manufacturers are probably the most respected employers in the world. In fact, major automotive companies are always among the Top10 potential employers in Germany and it is easy to understand why. Car manufacturers are always trying to improve ergonomics and safety in the workplace, are reliable, and stable. And they pay higher salaries than the average. However, some of the jobs in the auto industry are a little odd.

When you imagine yourself working at an automotive plant, you think you would be sitting by a computer all day or actually assembling cars. But there is much more to it than you’d imagine. SEAT, a Spanish car manufacturer, just revealed the five strangest professions in the automotive industry. While they are bizarre and probably not included in the dreams of people seeking to work in the industry, these jobs are crucial to a successful car manufacturer.

It takes 2,500 kilos of clay and up to 10,000 hours of scraping to create a single clay model. Image credit: SEAT

The clay sculptor. Before a new model enters production, it has to be perfected in many ways. And of course, a majority of the designing process is carried out by computers. However, when car designers reach a certain stage in the process they need to see the end product in flesh – in a brown muddy flesh, to be precise. So they make life-sized clay models of the cars which they are going to produce.

The process requires 2,500 kilos of clay, giant CNC machines to sculpt it and a human sculptor, who may spend 10,000 hours patient scraping it. It is a tedious yet very important task, because clay models essentially lock the design. It is the last opportunity to fix mistakes and see how the car will look like when it hits the streets. One could just wonder if no one did a clay model of the Fiat Multipla…

Each car is driven on various surfaces to detect unwanted noises. Image credit: SEAT

The first driver. When the car is finished, it might as well be handed straight to its new owner. However, no one knows if all these parts have lined up correctly. So a new car has to be tested. Specialized drivers test them in six different types of pavement, including cobblestones and uneven surfaces in order to detect unpleasant noises that the car might be making. The first drivers also test horns, lights, brakes and other essential components.

You didn’t know those exist, did you? The job of a car sommelier is to ensure that pleasant new-car aroma. Image credit: SEAT

Car sommeliers. Sommelier, of course, is an expert at fine wines. One of the ways of experiencing these fermented beverages is smelling them. You know where I’m going with this. Car sommeliers are responsible for the smells in a new vehicle. They have to test every material used in the interior of the car, to try and detect unpleasant smells until the owners get to enjoy them.

The process involves heating up the car, or separate elements of it, to temperatures around 60 degrees Celsius. Then people smell those different materials and evaluate their odour. Car sommeliers cannot smoke or wear perfume, and they perform over 400 tests in the SEAT factory every year. Like that new car smell? Now you know who is responsible for it.

Seat design takes a lot of trial and error. Image credit: SEAT

The seat tester. Everyone who gets into a car uses its seats (unless it is some sort of hostage situation we don’t want to talk about). And so they have to be very comfortable. SEAT employs specialists who test various materials, padding configurations, seat shapes and so on. People of all shapes and sizes must feel comfortable in the car. Also, seats have to be safe in case of accidents – headrests have to be designed and tested to provide maximum support in case of an accident.

30 metres of seams are needed to fully upholster an entire car. Image credit: SEAT

The car tailor. The car interior is constructed out of many different pieces of fabric and leather. Imagine endless colour combinations and you will get why SEAT worries so much about car tailors. They are responsible for making the interior look and feel nice. Everything you touch has to ooze quality. It is such a big task that these creations are actually crafted two years in advance before a new model is introduced to the market.

There are many different professions involved in making a car. Nowadays, car factories look like laboratories with  research rooms and various experiments. People with lab coats walk around automotive plants every day and electron microscopes surprise no one. Wouldn’t you want to be a car sommelier? That would be something cool to brag about at parties.

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