When You Really Don't Want to Be There
Written by Robert Truesdale   
Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:54

                                                WHEN YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO BE THERE



     I commute to work. No big deal right? Except my commute is on a Boeing 767. Actually, a large percentage of flight crews commute to work from places all over the country. One of the benefits of being a Flight Attendant is that you can live anywhere on earth and fly to work. It’s a nice perk, when things go right. When they don’t, it’s a nightmare. Just like Tuesday. I was commuting from Daytona Beach to Charlotte, NC, to Philadelphia. The first flight went great. Smooth flight, on time. The next leg didn’t go quite as well. First there was the delay due to weather in Philadelphia. Then it got much longer. I was getting nervous. I only had two hours to ‘play with’ before my trip left Philly. After all the weather delays, we finally pushed back. Ah, time to relax. I was going to make it with time to spare. Then it happened. The guy in charge of driving the tug that pushes the airplane back didn’t seem to want to drive in a straight line. Big problem. It affected the nose wheel of the plane which meant going back to the gate to have the mechanics look it over. Translation, lots of time. Checking out the gear, diagnosing, paperwork, and everything moving in slow motion. I had no choice. I called my supervisor in Philadelphia and explained that they would have to replace me. Suffice it to say this does not go over well. Getting a replacement crewmember on short notice is not always easy. And then there’s the inevitable reprimand. But it gets better. I got on a flight from Charlotte to Orlando because the flight to Daytona was full. I fly standby. The shuttle from Orlando to Daytona would cost me $37 bucks. We landed in Orlando at nine-thirty and the shuttle was leaving the airport at nine forty-five. No problem. Except for the fact that we taxied for what seemed like an eternity. Being in the back of the plane didn’t help any because they deplane from the front. I called the van company and the dispatcher said the driver couldn’t wait past nine-fifty. I got to the pick-up area at ten o’clock. Gone. The next van didn’t leave until eleven-thirty, but I knew being the last shuttle of the night meant they would wait for every last passenger, and they did. Until quarter past midnight. I wasn’t going to get home until one thirty in the morning after leaving home just after noon that day. I get paid nothing for this. When you commute to work, you are on your own time. I was gone thirteen hours, spent fifty bucks on food and shuttle, got my wrist slapped by my supervisor, and would have to go back up in two days to make up for the hours I lost. It was stressful, exhausting, and incredibly frustrating! Needless to say I wasn’t a happy camper. Then it happened…….

     While waiting for the late shuttle, I went to the food court in the Orlando Airport. There was only one fast food joint open in the whole place. I ordered, grabbed my ‘healthy’ meal, and retreated to a seat. Shortly thereafter a man came walking up to the restaurant and began to question some baggage loaders from another airline. From what I got of the conversation, his itinerary had gotten all messed up, he didn’t have enough ‘room’ on his credit card to rent a car, and he had no cell phone to call his waiting party. You could tell he and his wife were stressed to the max and all he wanted was help in finding a pay phone. The baggage guys tried to help but most of the pay phones in major airports have been taken out due to the prevalence of cell phones. I knew he was hoping they would let him make a call from one of their phones but they weren’t biting. They seemed to have no real interest in helping him. I stepped from behind a condiment counter and asked the man the number of his sister. He thanked me profusely as I dialed and his exhausted wife came walking over. She was shaking as she gave me the number to dial. I could tell her nerves were totally frayed. As I started to punch the numbers into my cell phone, I sensed it was time to pray. I put the phone down and prayed a quick prayer for their comfort and God’s help. Tears started streaming down her face. She explained her husband was a pastor and I knew immediately the spiritual connection between all three of us. They were heading to Palm Coast, some thirty-five minutes north of my home in Daytona. I knew immediately what God wanted. “I take a shuttle to Daytona and then I’ll get my car and take you to your sister’s.” They were overcome with joy and gratitude. And in that very moment, I knew immediately why I had such a rotten day and why I was supposed to be sitting at this fast food joint in a nearly-empty airport at almost midnight. God had planned all along we would come together, each with our own stories about our rotten day, and He would turn it into blessing for each one of us. I couldn’t help but think of Romans 8:28 right then and how He has a way of taking the most miserable circumstances and making a beautiful bouquet out of them. Trash into testimonies! Wherever you find yourself today, even in the most difficult circumstances, I would like to leave you with two immutable facts; “Our Heavenly Father never sleeps nor slumbers” (Psalm 121:3), and “He knows the plans He has for you and they are good! (Jerem.29:11) Even when the wheels come off and you are careening down the embankment of life, God is in control! It’s not a matter of whether or not we can trust Him, it’s really about whether or not He is trustworthy! Bank on it!