Reserve Life?

I just posted this message to prospective flight attendants in a Facebook group that I’m in:

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Good morning all!

At one point or another, each and every one of us has fallen in love with the idea of being a flight attendant. I use the word “idea” because many in this group haven’t yet become flight attendants. We all get a notion of a glamorous lifestyle, sipping whatever drink, poolside. When people have asked me if I love my job, I’ve always replied, “I have never loved a job as much as I love this one, however, I have never enjoyed my time off of work as much as I do now!”

On August 31st, later this month, I will be starting my 18th year as a flight attendant for Southwest. I don’t post this to brag to anyone, I’m still a newbie to many out there in this industry. On the other hand, I just wanted to let you guys know a bit about my experience.

I’ve been in this Facebook group for some time and on occasion, I see questions about working reserve. Although reserve is a little different at each airline, some things are common at every airline:

  1. You sometimes (often) will get a trip that nobody wants (this could mean long days working, and short layovers, to undesirable layovers/overnights). Why would someone call in sick, or trade out of a trip that has 18+ hours on a sunny beach?
  2. You’re on call for a specific period of time- some airlines/reserves mean you have to be ready at a moment’s notice for up to a 24 hour period.
  3. Most flight attendants have a two-hour callout, meaning you have at least 2 hours to get to the airport or get to the plane. Sometimes less, depending on the airline/ circumstance. How close do you live to your base? This could mean an easy drive into work, or it could mean leaving home the night before because you commute on the plane.
  4. Some airlines require you to be ON AIRPORT/COMPANY PROPERTY for a set amount of time so they have you ready, just in case someone calls in sick at the last moment, or any trip is not covered, for whatever reason. My airline (Southwest) calls this “Airport Standby”, but I’ve heard it referred to [jokingly] as either “Airport Appreciation”, “Airport Hostage”, or my friends at Frontier call it, “Couch”. As in- they sit on the couch in their flight attendant lounge, just waiting for the call. This could be anywhere from 5 hours- up to who knows how long.
  5. Reserve can be difficult to plan your life around. Basically, make no non-work appointments or commitments during the days/times you’re on reserve.
  6. Sometimes they’ll use you A.S.A.P., and other days you may sit by the phone ALL DAY and not get that call. It’s best that you don’t make any personal plans. I’ve heard coworkers joke that SCHEDULING ALWAYS KNOWS IF YOU MADE ANY PLANS- That’s when they’ll call and give you an assignment!
  7. Once you’re out on a trip (even if it’s not on a reserve assignment), scheduling can always change or add to that trip. So even when working as a line-holder, try not to have any personal plans that are set in stone.
  8. How long does one have to work reserve? This all depends on the airline. Southwest is based on seniority- while in the bottom 65% of base seniority, you have to rotate in and out of reserve, so this varies depending on which base you have. Once you’re top 35%, however, you only have to work reserve if you pick it up or trade your trip with someone who has reserve.

Now- my intention is not to dissuade any of you from pursuing this career. These are just some of the facts- and this is just one aspect of the job. Make sure that this is something that you’re willing to “endure”. Like anything else in this life, it really comes down to your attitude. If you’re not happy in your current career, or the one prior to that, then there is a good chance that not going to be happy as a flight attendant. That’s on you- however.

I have, over the years looked at working reserve with an attitude of, “I wonder who I’ll get to meet today!”, or “I wonder where I’ll end up tonight!” This is the attitude I choose. There is LITERALLY only one flight attendant that I’ve ever worked with that I would dread working with again. And that has very little to do with me but is because of how badly I saw this person treat our passengers. If your life is so bad that you need to take it out on one of your passengers- then you need to fix whatever the hell is wrong with your life. And this goes with any customer service job, not just being a flight attendant!

I don’t want to end this post with a harsh vibe. I can count less than one hand, the number of times that I feel like I’ve been screwed over by my scheduling department. It has been a blast making so many new friends and having so many wonderful, unique experiences, and I wouldn’t change a moment of it!

Congratulations to those of you who have heard from an airline and are getting ready to start this new journey. Remember to treat every moment like an adventure and keep yourself open and receptive to new experiences! It’s a good way to live, even if you choose a different career path!…

…Best of luck! Dream big!

When is enough, enough?

My bucket list took me more than a year to think up (I believe it took about a year and a half if I recall). I thought 100 items would be a good list. I decided what my passions and dreams were at that time. I’ve spoken with others who managed to think of 10-20 items for their list. Perhaps I’m over the top? Some items on my list are 100% out of my control, some items that are easier to reach, and some items are in-between.

Here’s what happened along the way: Even though I’d revealed 100 items, that didn’t stop me from dreaming. The entire time I’ve been working on accomplishing the things on my list, I hadn’t stopped dreaming. I started to write down more things I wanted to achieve and experience. I am ready to reveal 50 more dreams/ goals that I have added. On the full bucket list, they start with number 101.

Here they are:

  1. Attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival
  2. Visit Auschwitz
  3. See the Austrian Alps
  4. Land at Barra Airport
  5. Visit Barrow, Alaska
  6. Visit Boleskine Graveyard near Inverness, Scotland
  7. √ Hear Cam perform live (accomplished March 9, 2019- see post)
  8. Stay in a castle
  9. Visit 60 different castles in Scotland (see progress)
  10. See the Catacombs in Paris, France
  11. √ Hear Chris Stapleton perform live (accomplished March 13, 2016- see post)
  12. Spend Christmas in Scotland
  13. √ See the Cliffs of Moher (accomplished April 24, 2018- see post)
  14. √ Visit Dingle, Ireland (accomplished April 16, 2018- see post)
  15. Visit Disney World
  16. Buy a season pass to Disneyland
  17. Ride on a dog sled
  18. √ Hear Eric Church perform live (accomplished March 10, 2018- see post)
  19. Visit the Faroe Islands
  20. Hear Garth Brooks perform live (accomplished November 4, 2016- see post)
  21. Visit Glencoe, Scotland
  22. See the Great Wall of China
  23. Visit Greenland
  24. Hear Holly Williams perform live
  25. Go ice skating at Bryant Park in New York City
  26. Spend at least 5 weeks in Ireland
  27. √ Visit Jacques in Copenhagen, Denmark (accomplished April 2016- see post)
  28. Go to Japan
  29. Hear Jared Mitchell perform live
  30. Visit Jasper National Park
  31. Kayak on the ocean
  32. √ Hear Keith Urban perform live (accomplished 03.09.19- see post)
  33. √ See The Kelpies (accomplished 03.22.19- see post)
  34. Attend the Kentucky Derby
  35. √ Hear Lady Antebellum perform live (accomplished March 10, 2019- see post)
  36. √ Hear Little Big Town perform live (accomplished November 15, 2015- see post)
  37. See the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City
  38. Go to Maldives
  39. Visit Mt. Rushmore
  40. Visit the Museum of Death in Los Angeles, California
  41. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail
  42. Go to the Poop Cafe in Toronto, Canada
  43. Eat a Puffin
  44. See the California Redwoods
  45. Visit Rome
  46. Visit Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, France
  47. See the Swiss Alps
  48. Go on a The Sound of Music tour in Austria
  49. Visit Vatican City
  50. Visit Watson Lake in the Yukon Territory

I have added these 50 to the bottom of the existing list, so if you check out the full list, they will start at number 101.

I’m Obsessed With Human Skulls!

Scratch that- I think skulls are fascinating, however. It’s not that I want to own one or anything like that, but I just think it’s interesting that this was part of a living, breathing human being once upon a time. That bone “housed” someone’s brain, which is part of the essence of an individual. Why is this so fascinating to me?

I have wanted to go into The Paris Catacombs and view those remains for quite a few years now. I was going to do this last year, but then Covid-19 reared its ugly head, and I had to end my holiday early. This has been added to my bucket list.

Storytime: I had a roommate who stole a bone from the catacombs (I’m not even joking), thinking it would be a cool keepsake, and when he brought it home to the states, things started going wrong with his life. I confess that I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). But what this roommate told me is that since he brought it home, so many family and friendly relationships had fallen apart. He was also diagnosed with a medical condition, and the doctors working with him didn’t know what it was!

He heard about my plans and actually asked me to return the human remains to Paris. I told him that even though I was highly skeptical about his story, there was no way I was going to touch that bone with a 10-foot pole. No, thank you!

Who Wants To Road Trip?

My only requirement for a long road trip is either a good friend to talk to or, at the very least, good music playing. This means that I’m relatively easily entertained. The best road trips are ones where I can pull over on a whim for whatever reason (the world’s most giant ball of yarn, largest Paul Bunyan statue, etc.). So who wants to go on a road trip?

One of the trips I’d love to go on is to drive the California coastal highway. I think I’d like to do it from south to north, that way it gets more green as I go. I’d love to start in San Diego and continue driving north after I’m out of California. I think a good place to end up would be somewhere in western Washington.

DavTravels: Season 1, Episode 9

Show Notes: 07.21.21 – 04.28.21 I’m working one flight to Boston and then back to Denver the next day. Then I road trip with Jeff, Dawn, T-bug, and K-bug for Russ and Darrien’s wedding! Then it’s off to Salt Lake City for a quick trip to visit the folks’. Next, I’m back at work where I get a surprise visit from my sister Karen, my niece Annie, and my great-nieces Missie and Pepper (whom I’m meeting for the first time)! This was my first time not only on a PWM overnight, but my first time to experience the state of Maine (bucket list items #74 and #99 are one step closer to being accomplished!

Over the past eight years or so, I have really gotten to know the Fenton family.

When I changed my work base from BWI to DEN, I needed a place to stay. Jeff and Dawn opened their doors to me, and pretty soon, I felt like I was just another member of their family. Not only have I grown to know and love them, but with the next generation coming up, they have always referred to me as “Uncle Dav.”

On the 23rd of July, I was blessed to attend a fantastic event with this second family. Darrien married her boyfriend, Russ. It was a fun evening, and there was so much love there! As always, I was there, camera in hand, and got some pretty good footage of the event, if I do say so myself. It was hard to pick the best parts, but I managed to get it down to under 19 minutes!

To the newlyweds, this video is my gift to you! May you constantly be reminded of your love for God as well as your love for each other! I love you!

I promise I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth!

So much has been happening- I’ve been back to work, after a nine-month leave of absence, thanks to our beloved friend, covid-19! I’ve been focusing on my vlog posts (a new creative outlet for me) and I will soon have some new ones posted!

I am still in the process of deciding what “vibe” to give these videos. One thing I have figured out is that I’d like each of these videos to be somewhere around 10 minutes long. I feel like that’s the right amount of time for you guys to see what I’ve been up to, but not so long that I take a big portion of your day from you. I think this is a good length- but what do YOU think? I’d love your feedback! Thanks for your patience, while I figure this out!

I have also been working on a new logo for the site. I think it gives the site a good “brand”. This is what I’ve come up with. ⬇️

A few more updates to the site- the links overhead now include my Happs page so you can view my live broadcasts (will also stream to my new Facebook page if you wanna check that one out… click that “like” button), and more updates on the way!