I had finished breakfast at 7 a.m. on Thursday when the phone rang. A Quantas pilot at the Hilton in Anaheim was suffering a respiratory infection. This was a great call in many ways.
That Hilton is forty miles away, but I don’t mind long drives provided traffic moves smoothly. Holiday mornings are a good time, and I could take the Santa Ana freeway which is two miles shorter than my usual route. I avoid the Santa Ana because it’s often jammed and in poor repair except for a tiresome five-mile stretch of construction. But it was fine at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
Leaving the freeway, I drove past Disneyland where sidewalks overflowed with crowds streaming toward the entrance.
Unlike most patients with a respiratory infection, airline crew give priority to getting home, not to getting medicine. They hate being stuck in a hotel room, so I try to accommodate them.
The drive home was easy. Unlike other clients, the airline agency requires a special form which I must fill out and fax to get paid. Happily, I checked boxes for “distance,” “after hours,” and “sat/sun/holiday,” all of which get me extra money. I have no objection to any of the three and actually prefer the last two because traffic is light. I’m perfect for this job.