Flying about for a living, one month in.
When I was in training, one of my instructors informed us that this job would likely change us. So far I have noticed the following:
1: Days of the week
In my previous life, this was a relevant issue. The closer to Friday, the happier the day. End of story. Now the only reason I have to care is bus schedules. There are no days of the week anymore. Just five convenient days and two inconvenient days.
2: Hours of the day
At one time I was ignorant enough to think getting to bed at 1am after a night of fun and games and then having to wake up at 7am to shuttle food about whilst listening to Pandora radio, drinking diet coke and smoking freely in my little Toyota Corolla was an extreme misfortune.
Fast-forward to current reality:
Sleeping from 10pm to 1:30am, having only 20 minutes to flush the death from my face depending on how many other girls at the crash pad need the bathroom that early. Catching a 3:45am shuttle from La Guardia, which speeds through Manhattan over bumps and pot holes. You can not sleep for fear of getting a concussion. My only impression of Manhattan thus far is: CITIBANK, CITIBANK, DUANE READE, BAGELS, DUANE READE, BAGELS BAGELS BAGELS!!!! That is all I have seen of it. That, and the library/museum type building that makes a cameo in "I am Legend".
I might have been more excited about this if I were not headed to a 5:30am Newark standby. Maybe not.
3: I CAN SLEEP ANYWHERE. Seriously. Challenge me.
Gone are the days where I shied away from crashing on a friends hardwood floor with a single 12 year old twin fitted Power Rangers sheet and an anonymous beer soaked Celtics hoodie for a pillow. Crunched up in the passengers seat of a two-door sedan in a sketchy parking lot: I got this.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in this one month: Sleep when you can, sleep hard,
SLEEP FOR THE WIN.
While it sounds tough, conversely I feel like I've never enjoyed sleep quite this much until now. And on an even more positive note, death has become at least 50% less scary to me. Because it's just like sleep, right? Who the hell doesn't want that? Forever? SIGN ME UP!!!!
At an LAX layover this month, I slept straight through a 3.5 earthquake.
This morning at Newark, I slept on a Lazyboy with a 5lb hardcover book on my face to block out the light, through at least three crew briefings happening three feet away from me. I think the only reason I woke up was due to the fact that my nose got caught in the spine of the book and I was on the edge of asphyxiation. Had it not been for the amazing globe-trotting benefits of this job and the wonderful people, I might have let it happen. But I awoke, I conquered. Which basically means I switched to an eyemask regardless of how much it might mess up my eye makekup, and moved to the sleep room which I didn't know existed in Newark. All the while with giant grey ink stains on my forehead. This is SURVIVAL.
4: The Value of Release to Report:
Or was it report to release...either way. On reserve days you are free game for scheduling. With my lack of seniority, I'm like a drunk driver on the 4th of July in a red Porsche going 120mph on route 3.
THEY OWN ME.
So on reserve days, I've learned that it is important to call scheduling to lock in the trip that they've given you.
Even if it's Newark standby at 0530. Because then at the very least you know that they can't switch it up on you, and you have until approximately whichever hour to drink wine in order to put yourself to sleep as to wake up at the ridiculous hour they are demanding of you. Release to Report = Securing my wine time. This small step provides me with a small semblance of still having control over my own life.
5: The Value of HOME:
I know this is because I'm just out of the gate after spending 2 months in Atlanta...but when I'm commuting home and see that Boston skyline I could literally die of happiness. Although it is probably
the easiest commute to the NY base, it's not so easy when you actually live in Carver, and still have not found the employee parking lot. This means the easiest way for me to get to Logan is the P&B bus, which has free parking but costs $20 one way. Ouch.
The value of seeing familiar faces, knowing where I'm going and being able to sleep in relatively late for at least a day is the best thing in the world to me right now. And oh, did I mention? The Bruins OWNED IT. I have never loved Boston so much in my life.
This doesn't nearly sum it up, but I've got another 5am report to deal with so it's time to shut things down. The good news is I get a layover in Hotlanta, which is my home down south. #1 Priority: Revisiting Joe's sports bar.
Boston, wait for me. I'll be back soon.