Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How did you get this trip?

They just can't stand it can they?

Senior flight attendants who hold the holy grail of trips just go bananas when they show up to fly their high-time (worth lots-o-money) trips and a junior person has "weaseled" their way on to their trip. Well, that's often how they make us feel when we've barely stepped onto the plane and have 3 haggard faces perk up in surprise that a junior flight attendant may be in charge of the boat today.

Whaaaat?? This can't be. So and so was supposed to be on this trip. HOW DID YOU GET THIS TRIP?

Oh hello. Nice to meet you too guys. Thanks for the warm welcome.

I can't tell you how many times I get blasted by this airplane bomb. In this industry of infinite change, it's not that weird for a fresher face to be working a nice trip now and then. Please, let us have it without grief. Let me feed myself something other than top ramen this month and just shut up and let me work something worth something for once.  It's not my fault Donna called in sick at the last minute. I swear I didn't steal this extended beachy layover from her swiftly in the night. I didn't bribe Ron with money or sexual favors in trade to stay at a hotel not located in the midwest. It's not your business how or why I'm part of your crew but you're part of mine too.

I promise you, we can pour cokes just as fast and know how to be a cell phone Nazi just a stern. Sometimes when I get this question and I clearly got lucky picking it up last minute, I lie and say it was on my line (assigned to me by the company) and just watch the confusion in their faces build and I can tell they are going to call crew scheduling first chance they get to bitch about the mistake they must've made. Get over it. Let's work, make money, see some cool shit, and pretend to not know each other when I see you in the crew room next month.

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Altitude of Excuses

I'm out of town, at home.
I love my job.*          *rarely

But still, here is one of the only reasons why: I can use my job as an excuse to get out of anything.

Say I'm on the phone with someone I don't want to be on the phone with...your parents, an ex, a bill collector, telemarketer, a Jehovah's witness, whomever. Most people feel trapped and are too polite to cut the convo.  Nope, not me. Not flight attendants. We are able to interrupt mid-sentence abruptly but without offense and say, "Oh shit, they're boarding. I gotta go." And click. You're free from the shackles of annoyance and no one bitches at you about it later. No one thinks you're rude because it's your job to be out of touch.  But what am I really doing? Not a goddamn thing.

Often times, I add that I'm working a long haul, transcontinental flight so that I'm free for at least 6 hours or more from a call back or better yet, I say I'm flying internationally and have no cell phone access for an X amount of time. But what am I really doing? I'm at home on my couch, eating snacks and watching The Bachelor and cannot be bothered during the most dramatic rose ceremony ever.

When that annoying "friend" you've blocked on Facebook due to her super interesting posts about the current weather and also her incessant photo posts of her baby, boyfriend, cat, baby & cat, cat & boyfriend, and boyfriend & baby texts you and asks, "Are you in town for coffee??" I get to respond with "Bummer!! Dang. I'm out of town working a trip. Can't. I'm so sorry. I'm trading trips next week so I'll let you know my schedule later mmmkay?"  And I can keep doing that every week for years for forever with her because it is in fact plausible that I actually am gone all the time in my line of work.

I can also use the excuse that I'm "on-reserve" or on-call and then really don't know what the hell my schedule holds. When that friend calls again and asks why I didn't call her back on that 3 hour break I said I would have in Chicago, I have a laundry list of excuses to pull from. I got "tagged" (scheduling had additional flying for me those bastards), my plane got diverted due to a medical EMERGENCY, I forgot my phone charger at the hotel, delay delay delay, I ran into someone I knew at the airport I hadn't seen in YEARS, delay, delay, delay, tag, tag, tag. But what am I really doing? I'm searching "animals falling asleep" on YouTube all cozy in my bed.

It is in these cases it pays (albeit very, very little) to not have a normally scheduled, trackable life.

Oh! Gotta go, they've started boarding.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can I Have a Glass of Water?

This seems like a simple request.

But for some reason, it's often not.

The "simple" request is often followed by a litany of reasons of WHY you want a glass of water. Spare your air hostesses please. We don't need to know what exact medication(s) you are taking that you need said water for. I don't need to know that you need this glass of water not for you, but for your wife, as you point to her general direction. I don't need to know that it's for your 3-year old son.  I don't need to know why you didn't bring water of your own since you can't wait for the beverage service.  I don't need to know why you are coughing and how long you've been sick for.

It's like if you come up with a legit reason for thirst, THEN your flight attendants will honor your request. If not, sorry, we're gonna leave you high and dehydrated. Relax...if you want water, simply ask nicely and we will provide, no explanation necessary.

This also goes for lavatory use requests when the seatbelt sign is on. I understand when nature calls, it calls. I'm not gonna make you marinate in your own excrement. Just be careful, and do your business. I don't need to know what kind of business is being done. One time, this grown woman wearing pajama jeans felt like she needed to give me all the shatty details of her bowel growl in exchange for access to the can.  Cmon, TMI lady. Keep your shit to yourself.