Sometimes the fact that I don’t live at my base (Denver) can get annoying. Instead of driving to work, like most people. My commute is a 50-minute drive to downtown Salt Lake City, then I have to wait for a shuttle (up to 30 minutes) to take me to the airport. Next, I make my way to the plane but mind you- if it’s a full flight I need to get there early because our non-revenue flying is on a first come/ first serve basis. If I know it’s going to be a full flight, I try to get to the gate at least two hours before the flight. Add to that an hour-and-fifteen-minute flight and that’s a commute that can often take me three and a half hours or more!
The only saving grace is the fact that I don’t have to make the commute every day. I usually work at least two trips in a row, so that leaves me away from home a minimum of six days (this is my own choice- a normal shift would be three days on and four days off). This is the reason I don’t own any animals or even plants. If I have to feed or water something to keep it alive, it’s probably going to die. I’m totally a dog lover, so this is a horrible fact of my life right now.
The good news, however, is that our union protects my commutes. If I get to the airport and find out there there’s no room on my flight, and no other flights to get me to Denver, I just have to call crew scheduling and tell them the situation. I may miss out on some of my trip pay, but at least I don’t have any attendance points against me.
There are two ways to look at a commute like this:
- It SUCKS that I don’t live at my base!
- I’m so thankful that I work for a company that allows me to commute from anywhere in the world, as long as I’m willing to make that commute.
I try to focus on the latter.
So- why on earth do I live in Utah? Among the reasons if the fact that this is where my parents live. I was living in Kentucky for five years and when they opened up our Denver base, I decided that it was time to go live closer to the folks’ (close enough that I don’t have to board a plane to go visit them, but far enough that they won’t come over unannounced. I need to make sure my living room is clean, don’t forget). I figure that an hour-and-a-half warning should be plenty of time to clean up any house, right?
I’ve been traveling for about a week and a half, and I’m ready to get home and sleep in my own bed tonight. At the moment, I’m sitting on the floor at Denver International Airport. This is because I’m using the wall socket to charge my various devices and there’s no chair nearby. My plane should be here soon.