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They got me…

December 1st, 2007 · 2 Comments

I was all scheduled to have the weekend off to spend with my wife and daughter. That, lately, is a luxury I haven’t had because of my juniority at the company. But with Christmas on a Tuesday this year, I was able to get a nice line for December of three-day trips with weekends off that paid pretty well at 105 trips-for-pay. I even managed to get a line with an overnight in Burbank on Christmas Day! Life was going well this Friday afternoon as I sat watching a movie with my little girl while it rained outside.

It was going well right up until the point I answered my cell phone.

I’d been trying to get a hold of my mom this morning. I left a message or two for her, expecting she’d call me back when she got in. Her number is unlisted, for some reason, so it comes up as “RESTRICTED” on my caller ID display. So when the phone rang and I saw that, I figured it was her.

It wasn’t Mom. It was Crew Scheduling calling to tell me that they were running through the Junior Available list for Saturday/Sunday flying.

“Guess what!?!” the nice lady on the phone said.

“What?” I asked.

“We’ve got a trip for you tomorrow out of Phoenix! It starts at 11:55am Central Time and has an overnight in Las Vegas!”

She was so cheery about the whole thing.

“I’ve had one day off after a three-day and I’ve got another three-day starting Monday. I can’t possibly be legal to fly Saturday and Sunday,” I said.

“The computer says you’re A-OKAY!” she replied, still oh-so-perky.

They got me.

By answering my phone, I automatically accepted the assignment. I have no recourse, according to the CBA between the pilots and the company. I have to go to work on my days off. Of course, I’d made all kinds of plans to do all kinds of things. I was going to make breakfast for my family tomorrow, work on the house a bit, take my little girl to her dance class, go to watch my Kings play tomorrow night. All down-the-tubes now. I guess this weekend is my time in the barrel. It happens to everyone from time to time, and fortunately not very often. I’ve finished packing for five days away from home and resigned myself to the fact that I’ll be getting up at the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow to head to Phoenix.

The up-side to this is that I get time-and-a-half for being junior-assigned. That basically means I’m making fifth-year Captain wages for the next two days (about $1,200). That’ll make for a great paycheck in January! 121.5 trips-for-pay (which will be a monthly record for me)! But is it compensation enough for the extra time away from my family?

I’ll let you know when I see the paycheck on the 20th of January.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Micah // Dec 1, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Do what we air traffic controllers do. Tell everyone to leave messages. Then call them right back.

  • 2 Sam // Dec 5, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Just wanted to say I really enjoy reading your blog. Hope you keep up the regular posts.

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