Maybe you’ve seen the “My Life is Your Vacation” t-shirt. If so, it was likely worn by a flight attendant. Or Sir Richard Branson.
My husband says that’s an arrogant statement, likely to elicit a “F— you” response.
I’m okay with that. I’ve paid my dues.
WHEN I GROW UP
I’m not sure how many people are born knowing their calling. My sister always knew she wanted to be a flight attendant and travel the world.
When I was hired with a public relations and event planning company, my peers told me
I was “lucky.” It was a tough job market at the time and some of the university’s top graduates had to settle for working retail.
I felt lucky but not for long.
I had no clue I was expected to show up every weekday from
7 to 7 where I donned my shackles at a desk in a dark little cell of Old Town Portland. As if that wasn’t enough, I was expected to be on-call 24/7 for weekend events.
Every day I stepped over bums shooting up between their toes on the narrow stairwell that led to the destiny I actually paid to have.
Every day was anticipated with dread, like eating lunch with the Grim Reaper followed by a Bloody Mary made with Clamato juice. So distasteful.
Actually, all tomato juice is kind of distasteful to me.
It tastes okay, it just looks nasty.
And BTW, what the hell are you thinking when you order it on a flight? That “healthy” crap has 600 mg sodium PER GLASS.
You drink it on the dawn of your vacation in a cabin pressurized to 8,000′ and wonder why you swell up like the gum-chewing Violet on Willie Wonka and the button pops off your pants?
Yea, I wonder too.
Add to this preservative-laden airplane food and soda water swilled with gas and you won’t need the life vest under your seat to float.
THE TRAVELING CIRCUS
The day came when I shucked the corporate funeral attire for teflon polyester and ran off to join the modern day version of a traveling circus.
Every commercial flight has it’s own variation of discovery and a few freaks thrown in for fun, just like college campus. It is fantastic fodder for fiction. You can’t make this stuff up. I love it!
Well, most of it. Ok — Stay with me here.
NOT the abhorrent lack of public decorum demonstrated on a daily basis like changing baby’s diaper on a tray table.
Then stuffing it in the seat back pocket.
Oh, you heard me.
How about the free spirits who shuck their shoes under the seat and stroll into the lavatory, trailing whatever is on the floor back to their seat where they promptly prop their little piggies up on your armrest or the bulkhead wall for your viewing pleasure?
Maybe even starts clipping and trimming? I’ve seen it.
Brought to you by public demand for cheaper air fares.
Next time you fly, pack some extra strength sanitary wipes because honey, we don’t have enough on the plane to kill all the nasty mannerisms people bring on board.
In addition to the flying public, we have every office dynamic on board from kiss ups to cockpit queens, the hearing impaired who never answer a call light, the OCD folks who play luggage Tetris in the overheads and those who pepper their speech incessantly with overused acronyms like IKR? WTF?! We also have our share of cart walkers and Millennials who are killing work ethic along with marriage and marmalade.
I’m not sorry to see marmalade go.
Can’t say I live for the constant interruptions that have utterly convinced me ADHD is acquired, not genetic–
*D I N G * Squirrel!
— but on the flying circus, there’s one vast difference that bonds us all. Even if that sassy tart sitting next to you on the jump-seat is flirting with your BOB (That’s Boyfriend on Board for the uneducated) —
You’ve got her back. And she has yours.
Because on the airplane, love or hate, we abide by the same family creed as The Godfather.
If someone threatens any one of us, they threaten all of us.
“…don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.”
Together, we will take you down or die trying.
And that’s a pretty powerful bond to have, especially when it’s endorsed by government agents with guns.
Their weapons are nice, too.
OH, FLIGHT ATTENDANT?
I thrive in variety but it’s certainly not for everyone.
I realized this real quick when I met my husband, a man who runs on routine. He’s a real estate financier, up at 5:am everyday to work out, surf and then head to the office.
Every. Damn. Day.
It bugs the shit out of him that I don’t have a normal routine (he’s sooooo jealous).
He tells me I should set the alarm for 6:am every day and my body will adjust. I’m sure it will. But I look at him with doe eyes and ask, “What exactly is the point?”
The next trip I fly will land at midnight followed by an hour’s drive home and if I’m lucky, I’ll fall into bed at 3:am.
You think I’ll be up at 6:am? Hahahaha!
This has been an ongoing discussion for 4 years and I suspect it will continue indefinitely. Unless an agent picks me up for my novel or screenplay. *shameless plug*
I accept it all, even the freak show. Because love involves acceptance. And if you can’t accept the bad with the good? And feel the need to complain incessantly about it?
There’s an empty desk waiting for you somewhere under florescent lights. Go find it. RFN!
This post is dedicated to my global work family and friends, the ones who show up on the front lines of life because you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks for having my back.
“In a world full of people
only some want to fly isn’t that crazy?”