Saturday, August 30, 2008

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

uncle ron, deb, and tracie have been telling me i need to write more... and i know i've been slacking, but it's hard to write when i'm flying all the time! they have been working us like crazy the second half of this month, i feel like i'm never home. usually i don't bring my laptop with me on layovers because it's so heavy and then there's the hassle of going through security with it. i decided for this trip though i would bring it because i had 20 hours in fort lauderdale and the weather forecast showed rain, rain, and more rain.

i understand that all the airlines are having difficulties, and as most of you probably know, everyone is making cutbacks. i am "lucky" and won't be getting furloughed because there were enough volunteers to take leaves of absence. i say "lucky" because even though the leaves haven't gone into effect - they start september 1 - i am still working a ridiculous amount. i can not even imagine what it will be like when these people aren't here anymore! don't get me wrong, it's nice to get the paychecks, but as far as my sanity goes... well, it really doesn't exist anymore!

recently i was working a fake four-day trip. we brought the red-eye in from phoenix on the third night, so arrived on the fourth morning. i and another girl working with me were both sent directly back out to work a flight to san antonio - a three and half hour flight after working an almost five hour red-eye. not only that, but scheduling rolled our days off and extended our trip into a six day. we weren't the only ones either. i heard countless tales of three and four day trips being turned into six days. i am really curious as to how we will successfully operate with fewer employees, but i have a feeling it will be quite chaotic!

in other news... on my last set of four days off i was supposed to visit gloria in LA, but the flights were all overbooked. seeing as that wasn't really a viable option, i decided very last minute to fly to dallas and drive my car back to jersey. my roommate, our friend matt and his finace TJ all flew into dallas the next night to drive back with me. dad made dinner for all of us and then tuesday morning we loaded up on pete's breakfast for some roadtrip fuel. i drove 12 hours and it honestly felt like 4 - in every aspect except my numb butt! that night we stayed at TJs house in evansville, indiana. we met up with some of his and matt's friends then woke up a little later than planned on wednesday morning. tj's mom made us a delicious breakfast and we were on our way. that day we had 14 hours to go and we decided to go for it all instead of stopping another night. matt drove most of the day which was really nice for me. the drive was beautiful and i got to enjoy the lush, green scenery!

so even though i haven't been home much since lola came to bayonne, it is really nice to have her there for errands - we have gone to the grocery store and target. i plan to take a trip down to the shore and go visit aunt ro in tom's river. driving in jersey is definitely interesting to say the least! not only are the roads horrible, but who gave the east coast license to drive??

i fixed my schedule for next month to where i have a whole week off! i am throwing a baby shower for my best friend from high school, carin. she's having a girl and i couldn't be more excited! baby asby is due in december :)
then after the shower i'm flying to florida to meet up with the g-rents in panama city beach. it will be a nice little vacation and it also gives me a little reassurance that i will be able to coordinate my schedule for the lamb family cruise next november!
anyway... thanks to y'all who are still reading - now start commenting!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

when pigs fly...

well they do. pigs do in fact fly... on continental airlines.

my most recent trip was to dfw. thanks scheduling. i've only lived in dallas for my entire life - not counting three years in houston - and the fabulous trip i was hoping for turns out to be none other than a dallas layover. it was ok though. i came to terms with the fact that it was no london, dublin or rome, but it was a good chance for me to get some more things without using my days off. plus i got to eat at pete's... and oh yeah, see the fam!

the trip was going to be easy-peasy! i had one leg there, 15 hour layover, and one leg back. of course i get to the airport for check-in and the flight is already delayed. no big deal. around 8:15 we finally got on the plane, even though departure time was still 8:35. we knew that wouldn't happen because we still had to do pre-flight checks and let the passengers board. the travellers traipsed on, all telling tales of their days of travel, cancellations and delays. many families and couples were split up due to being bumped and placed on standby, so i helped and after a lovely game of musical chairs, everyone was mostly happy.

come to find out, the pilots for our flight just left miami and the gate agents hadn't bothered to check on the main component needed for us to make it to dallas... so now we would leave around 11:30. none of us wanted to be stuck on the plane with these people for two more hours so we let them leave their stuff but get back off the plane. some handled it with delirious amusement and others with anger, directed at us of course. needless to say we had an interesting time getting to dallas, but luckily most slept and we arrived around 2:30am.

mom picked me up and i got to meet the new addition to our family, lola the yellow lab. the next day i took care of some errands and ate lunch with mom and kathy at pete's. knowing the weather was bad in newark, i checked the status of our flight and saw that were were now scheduled to leave three hours later, which meant i had time to do some shopping!

when i got to the airport, i was going through security i noticed a ticket on the ground and found the owner who was just about to go through the metal detector. "you're not going to get very far without this," i told him. he was unusually grateful, but then i thought that maybe i'm just getting used to the northeast attitude. he came up to me again after i went through security and thanked me profusely. really. not a big deal. so when he started walking the same direction as i was, i felt like i needed to make small talk.

"where're you headed?"


"oh you're probably on my flight then. i'm going to newark" - "joy!" i thought!

turns out he was scheduled on a later flight, but since we were delayed i knew his flight would also be delayed and he got the genius idea that maybe he could get on my flight. of course, we were still early and no one was at the gate.

"well we have time, can i buy you a drink for saving me?"

(was he serious? ugh. it wasn't a big deal and of course i couldn't drink, i was working!)
we settled on coffee. but of course that meant sitting down and conversation. when i discovered his wedding ring and he mentioned kids, i thought i was safe. he asked me if i get hit on a lot and i used that opportunity to drop a hint.

"no actually. i like it better that way. i'm just trying to do my job and i don't need people bothering me." hint, hint.

i finally see a gate agent at the desk and say i need to head over and check-in. he follows right behind me of course. luckily the rest of my crew was already down on the plane so i thanked him for the coffee and skedaddled, secretly hoping he wasn't able to switch over to our flight.

as luck would have it, he did make it, and not only that, but he was in the second to last row and i was working the back galley. naturally.

so throughout the flight he continues to come back there. ask me dumb questions, go to the bathroom, ask for another drink, ask me to go have a drink with him. what? by this time i wasn't naive enough to think that he was just being thankful and friendly, but i mean didn't we just talk about his wife and kids?

"i have plans with my sister," but i left out the fact that they weren't until the next day!

i thought he had given up until a little later when he came back for another diet coke and asked me why i wouldn't go have dinner with him. so we're moving from have a drink to go to dinner. i. don't. think. so.

as i started to say again that i had plans with my sister, he furthered the awkardness by asking "well, if you didn't have plans with your sister, would you go to dinner with me?"

i am usually not good at these situations, but this was pretty easy.

"why not?" (as if he needed to ask!)

"because you're married!!!"

finally that was it. although i wasn't sure i was safe until i got on the shuttle to go home.

moral of the story: men are pigs. and since men fly on continental, pigs do in fact fly.
(sorry for those of you reading who are of the male gender)

Friday, August 8, 2008

no news is good news

well i've been doing this job for about a month and a half. i like it and i dislike it. there are so many lonely parts of the job. you rarely work with the same people. once you do work with people and get to know them, you rarely see them again after that and if you do sometimes you barely even remember them if at all because you've met so many people since then. even when you're in great cities, you don't always have someone to share it with, which takes some of the fun out of it.

however, you get to go to some great places. i've been doing a lot of florida trips, but my friends have been to rome, portugal, brussels, lima, and copenhagen. i have yet to be assigned an international trip, but i'm still holding on to hope. i'm also working on my french with the $8 rosetta stone my roommate bought in lima. hopefully within the next month or so i will be able to take the test confidently and then i can be a french speaker, getting assigned international flights left and right! another great thing about the job is the ability to meet people you wouldn't usually meet and see people you don't usually get to see. speaking of... if anyone would like me to come visit send me an e-mail or give me a call. my days off are usually during the week, but if anyone has flexible schedules and wants a visitor then i'm your girl! this month i'm trying to make it to la to see gloria and i plan to visit cousin deb, steve, and the kids sometime in the next few months. hopefully next month i'll be able to make it to florida to meet up with g-ma and g-pa... so just add yourself to the list if you so desire! :)

the best part of the job is living so near the city. i've always wanted to be a new york girl and now i'm an honorary member, spending much of my time off crowding resalin in her bed at night and walking around the city during the day, trying to familiarize myself. i hope everyone is doing well and please remember to keep me updated on your lives!

ps - i've been waiting to hear about the possible furlough, and found out today that due to the overwhelming response to the COLAS (company offered leaves of absence) none of us will be without jobs involuntarily!!