Life suddenly got a lot better; going from seven hundred dollars a month to over three thousand. Our bank balance did a pleasant about-face, increasing instead of decreasing; it’s good to be the captain.
I felt comfortable in the aircraft, once-more enjoying the authority, and responsibility of command. The way the seniority system worked, the most-junior captains were paired with the most-junior first officers. I was the bottom captain so I flew with all the new-hires. It was good in a way; by teaching them, I learned and became more confident in my abilities. The routes and the plane were a perfect place to really hone my skills on the jet.
The only downside was the company was growing faster than they could find, and train pilots. Therefore, I was spending more and more time away from home. The eighteen-day work month became twenty, then twenty-two. One month I only got home for four days before having to go back on the line. On the other hand, senior captains bid their days off in a manner where they could back-to-back their days off month to month so they’d be able to enjoy twenty-four days in a row at home – such are the perks of seniority.