Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm on reserve this month. Now, I can't complain too much, because I bid to be on reserve instead of getting a line like normal. But... it's different. Interesting.

Pilots have specific reserve periods: am reserve, pm reserve, and high speed reserve. They are only contactable during certain times each day. Flight attendants are, apparently, not so important, so we are contactable 24 hours a day when we are on reserve.

I still have so many days off every month, so I know which days I'm at risk of being called and which days I'm free to go about my business, but on the on days, they could call me anytime from 4am to midnight. It makes life a bit difficult.

One of the requirements of my job is that I do not drink within 12 hours of starting a shift. Since we're on call 24 hours a day on reserve, this means that I can only drink before noon on a day off right before a reserve day. (I say they can call at 4am because Crew Scheduling is usually closed between midnight and 4. If there are delays or cancellations of some sort of shenanigans, though, they could technically call me at 1 in the morning. It's just not very likely. But it does mean that since I go on call at midnight, I do have to stop drinking at noon.) I generally am not up before noon. This means that I generally don't drink much when I'm on reserve.

I am on call Monday through Friday this week. I did not get called Monday or Tuesday; it was like having a couple of extra days off, with the only difference being I was checking my phone obsessively. Wait, scratch that; I'm pretty sure I do that anyway. This morning, though, I got a call at 10.30 saying they needed me at the airport at 12.15 for a flight to Dallas.

Here's the best part: the flight to DFW was my only flight today. We got in just before 4, and we don't work again until 5.35 in the morning. My overnight was scheduled at 13 hours and 26 minutes. That means there was one hour and 26 minutes available for drinking.

Now, I feel I should note that I am not actually a big drinker, not as much as this post makes it sound like I am. But when you are on reserve and you literally don't even have the OPTION of cracking open a beer, well, that's when you want one more than you've ever wanted one before.

So this afternoon I got into Dallas, changed clothes, and came back downstairs to have a couple of beers and some food with one of the pilots.

Ironic, that I had to wait until I was at work in order to have a drink.

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