Saturday, December 10, 2005

What just breezed through

This evening I sat on the couch watching "The Family Man." Tera watched the first half with me, and for the second half got ready to go out. The movie is about a man, who lives his life one way, and gets a "glimpse" of how it could be different, had he chose a different priority.

Tera went downstairs to let up with a flight attendant she met in training. I didn't love the idea of company, but I had it in me to make pleasantries, especially since I might have to see her at work. In walks a frosted blonde, in a long pink coat with a coach bag. How did I know it was coach? Do I know alot about handbags? No, the coach label was printed all over it.

Besides the quantity of pink and the awful print on the handbag, she looked nice, almost chic. I welcomed her with a sweet "hi", assuming it would be met with a "hi", and maybe the friendly chit-chat that feels required when a stranger enters your house for the first time. Instead I got a forced hello, I said something about the airline, but didn't bother to remember what the words of her response were, the message was clear however, "I need not bother".

I am not sure she ever looked at me. She hung out in Tera's room while she was getting ready, oh, except for when Tera was changing, she came out and stood in the doorway with a headset on, saying nothing. This was a good thing, I overheard her talking in Tera's room, about living at home and how much she hates the airline but doesn't know what else to do with her life. Her loud, nostrily regional accent made me really wish they would leave.

Prior to 2002, when I seriously contemplated suicide, my internal response to interactions like the one tonight was to say "I really need to change" I saw her type of behavior as acceptable, and would...yuck...try to be more like her. Having this girl in my house was almost like a parallel "glimpse" to the movie I was watching. If I had made the "choice" in 2002 to continue to behave in the way that I was, her treating me that way could have ruined my night, or worse, I could be like her.

As she left she opened the front door, stared out it, and said "nice to meet you" in the same tone of voice that someone says "I have to go to the dentist now." I responded "nice to meet you too" with the same facial expression I would make if I saw a person talking to themselves: surprised, mildly amused, but really wishing I didn't have to see it. She didn't see my expression, but Tera caught me, I didn't mean for her to see it, but I inclusively laughed when she met my eyes.

I am not as evolved as I would like to be. A more evolved person might see her as a target of compassion not ridicule. And, I have to admit, if she was an elegant mechanical engineer and stuck her nose up at me because I don't have a degree, I would probably slump down in my chair and say to myself "I really need to change" but, then again, in that department, maybe I do.

mood: tired (and excited for work tomorrow :) )


Gary said...

Why is it that so many flight attendants I meet these days exhibit that same attitude toward their passengers? I mean, I know passengers are EVIL, but fer cryin' out loud, we're stuck in the same tube for a couple of hours -- can't we try to be *nice* to each other?

Rich said...

Hmmmmm, coach handbag... did you look at the stitching to see if it was a knock-off?

please ask her real self questions

Diana Crabtree said...


That sucks so much that you have had bad experiences with flight attendants. You deserve to be treated well. That said, it is very easy to be a crabby flight attendant.

I can say a few things, Flight attendants have the job duties of a security guard, and over time you get worn down. You have to get people to follow the laws, and on a regular basis they don't take you seriously, so you have to argue. Over time you need to be serious to get your point across quickly.

Also, I work at a regional airline (like the minor leagues) I started out making $14,000/yr. + per diem. I am now "up to" nearly $20,000. Now the mainline (majors) have cut the pay of the flight attendants and pilots alot, and will continue to do so until they are making what we are (pilots at our company start at $23,000) Many mainline flight crews have lost their pensions. It's the only industry that I can think of that instead of getting raises to match inflation, you get cuts.

To add to the low pay and constant resistance when trying to do your job, flight crews are very tired. We work as much as 14 hours, and legally we can get a minimum 9 hours rest, that translates to 7 hours sleep if you go to bed right away and get up late. This, early mornings, mixed with the wear and tear on the body from the pressurization & oxygen deficiency, leads to tired people.

So, you deserve to be treated nicely, but rare is the flight attendant who has it in them to do their job requirements in the conditions they work in, and be as friendly as a waitress at all times. (and that flight attendant is me! [I wish])

I hope this keeps you taking the bitchyness of the next flight attendant personally, unless it's this girl...she's just a bitch! LOL

Diana Crabtree said...


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