Reserve Life Blues

This job can be strange and wonderful, vexing and taxing, and so much fun. Its a bundle of contradictions. Life in the air and on the ground, always going and sometimes never leaving, meeting awesome people you click with that you then never see again, practically free airfare to anywhere in the world but no time to actually go. People are drawn to being a flight attendant because it feels like you are caught up in an exciting whirlwind of movement, and I’ll admit to being one of those, but sometimes, well, you just don’t go.

I’m on reserve, which means I sit standby either at my apartment or at the airport. I wait for scheduling to call me with a trip and so I freak out every time my phone rings. I only know what days I have off, and once I get an assignment I have no less than three hours to get to the airport.

This is great, because every assignment is a chance for something new. It’s like a game of roulette and depending on where delays are, or extra flights are needed, I’ll be sent there. That’s how I scored a Dublin trip last summer. You also might get the dreaded Cleveland turn as well, but hey, at least you’re back home and on crew rest quickly.

This is also horrible, because if all of the line holders (those that have enough seniority with the company to get a schedule of flights for the month) want to work, and there are not a lot of delays, you don’t fly. This might seem like a dream come true and honestly, I do love that this job enables me to be lazy and watch Netflix all day while still getting paid. However, while I can be quite content whiling away the hours laughing at cat videos on YouTube, I also just miss doing something meaningful.

Being on reserve has come to mean, to me at least, that you are either run ragged and can’t wait for your next day off, or you have too much time on your hands and end up getting ten links into Wikipedia before wondering how you got to reading the definition of bioequivalence as it relates to pharmacokinetics. I think I need to come up with a hobby.

I was thinking baking, as I’ve always enjoyed that, but I bored-eat too much already and having a plate of cookies around will not help in the slightest. Maybe I’ll take up an adult coloring book, or needlepoint. I have seen a lot of flight attendants knitting, but I just can’t bring myself to take that up just yet. I could also try to find a dog shelter to volunteer at on off days, but I’m afraid I’d want to adopt all of them.

It is currently the 24th, the last time I was on an airplane was on the 9th. I have had two assignments of airport standby since then, but didn’t receive a trip from either. Again, I do like having time to myself, but having too much time can be equally as aggravating as not having enough. Being a flight attendant has made me come to realize I do enjoy being busy, even despite my entrenched streak of laziness.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though as summer flying will be starting up again in a couple months. I just have to retain my sanity until then. And with any luck more new hires will be added to my base and I’ll be close to holding a line myself! In the meantime, and would like to help me find something to do, please leave a comment of your favorite hobbies, I would certainly appreciate it!


The view out the window the last time I flew…


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