Just a few days ago, while on the last day of a 3-day trip, I had to work from Washington-Dulles all the way out to Vegas, then one more leg back to Chicago. Literally 5 minutes before we worked that last leg back to Chicago, the phone in the Jet bridge rang.
"Are you Jeremiah?"
It was scheduling, telling me I was to get off the plane and work to sacramento, then san diego, then back to vegas and stay there for the night.
Apparently a flight attendant, while at the airport about to begin her day, got a phone call and got bad news about some medical tests she had. So she called in and went home. Luckily I was right next door and there was another FA on my flight deadheading (just take a ride, not work, for positioning purposes) to chicago. No more, she had to work.
Every couple months I'm nothing but a puppet. 15 or so people sitting in a room in Dallas hold the strings and do pretty much whatever they want with me. Literally, I'm nothing but a name and number, and they send me wherever they want to. And once they send me somewhere, they will pull you in a heartbeat because you are on reserve for the month. (not the entire month, just your days) And crazier still, they trust me to do what I'm supposed to. Which sometimes is unwarranted.
Beverly, a girl in my crash pad, was telling me last night that they got re-routed in Vegas, and they were supposed to Deadhead from vegas to San diego. So they get off their plane, lose track of time, and end up missing their deadhead.
On reserve they give you a 2 hour callout...meaning once they call you, you have 2 hours to get there. So what do they do when they need someone sooner??
Last night I sat airport standby, which is basically sitting around at the airport for 5 hours so they have someone there...ready to go should they need you. Luckily we have a giant flight attendant lounge underneath the airport concourse, complete with vending machines, wireless internet, leather couches, 1 big screen tv and 1 flat screen, all with satellite tv.
You sit down there and wait. Watch tv, talk with people, the other 2 people on standby (they like to keep an entire crew, or 2, down there at a time)and browse the internet. You actually forget that there is an entire world just 10 feet above you busily flying to different parts of the country, going about their lives, while you sit there and literally waste yours. If you go up to find something to eat, its kind of like coming out of a movie theater.
"where did these people come from? whats going on? when did it get dark outside? what???"
Luckily last night it was thursday, which meant premier night of one of my favorite shows: The Office. Couple that with the Cubs on TV losing to the Marlins...AGAIN, So I was pleasantly entertained for evening.
So after my 5 hours was up and I hadn't been used, I called scheduling, they released me, and I went back to my crash pad, just to sit on reserve today all over again. I don't sit around very well, so luckily they gave me a trip for the next three days (philadelphia-providence) to keep me busy.
I'm not on reserve next month. I'm back in control of my life.