I woke up dazed, dizzy, and disoriented (or disorientated, if you prefer, which, by the way, IS a real word used in Britain for more than 400 years now. It is also used in Harry Potter, so cannot be wrong obviously!). So anyways, where was I? See, I am still dazed, dizzy, and disoriented (or disorientated, if you prefer, which, by the way, IS a real word used in Britain for more than 400 years now. It is also used in Harry Potter, so cannot be wrong obviously!)
So as I was saying….OK OK, you don’t have to hit me THAT hard. I’ll stop.
I had crossed multiple time zones over the last two days, spanning three continents, and was obviously drained out. It was not just the physical fatigue, it was the body trying to keep up with the time, all the time.
So I woke up with the alarm on my clock, and immediately started getting ready. I had been informed late at night that I would be flying today at 0500 hours. An unearthly hour at the best of times, but after two days of almost nonstop intercontinental travel, you don’t care anymore.
But I had a reputation for punctuality, and I would not let anything impact it now. So I got ready in a rush, and left the hangar right on time. The Night Shift mechanic tried to tell me something, but I had no time for his nonsense.
I taxied to my parking spot, waited for the exact time as per the schedule, and then closed the doors. If people are late, I’m not supposed to wait for them. Rules are rules.
I pushed back, and started moving towards the runway. The Air Traffic Controller was shouting something in a panicked voice, but it was all Spanish to me (which was not surprising, considering we were in Madrid).
I reached the runway, saw an empty slot, and slid right in. No one takes MY takeoff slot. It is not for nothing that I have a reputation for 100% on time performance.
I revved up the engines, taxied up the runway…..and up…up…and away….I was off. My on-time performance record was intact!
And in the ATC command center, Xavier Alonso was frantically telling his boss on the phone, “Sir I do not know what was wrong with the pilot. I think he forgot that Daylight Saving ended today, so the clocks have been pulled back by one hour. So he took off one hour early…with no passengers or crew!”