Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
We get in the hotel van after a long day and the first officer starts talking sports. He is sitting right next to me, so to show my lack of enthusiasm for this particular subject, I pick up a magazine that was just sitting on the seat. Something to do with the Navy. This should be an indicator of how little I want to talk about sports.
He starts talking about the passengers on the plane, there were some Boise State fans and one lonely Seahawks fan. He starts laying in on how bad the Seahawks suck. After his diatribe, he turns to me and asks who my team is. I say I don't have a team. He says surely you do then asks me where I'm from. I now say he has already abused one team from the Emerald City, how many more would he like to pick apart? His mouth drops open.
Furthermore I tell him that I am responsible for raising three boys and molding their wee little minds and NONE of them are into team sports. Nary a one.
He is dumbfounded. He asks "Well what are they into then? What do they enjoy doing?"
This next part may be a bit offsides and I could have been channeling Tuesday Adam's here but I said "Torturing small animals".
Then I promptly put my headphones on.
And we're done.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Two flight attendants share a 1’x2’ barely padded, retractable torture device we call a jumpseat for take offs, landings and the occasional burst of turbulence. When we start the trip, we are complete strangers but by the end of our 3 day trip I will know everything about you. More than your closest friend or even your spouse knows. Why is this you ask? Maybe in the very deep dark recesses of our mind we truly believe we could die any second, so we feel the need to confess. Thus the term "jumpseat confessional " or "jumpseat therapist".
I’ve had the privilege of flying with some really hysterical people, at these times I’m thankful for my shoulder harness or else I’m sure I would fall off the my seat in a fit of laughter! Service is delayed and everyone gets to hear me cackle, guffaw and sometimes wheeze. I’ve also had the dreadful misfortune of sitting next to someone I detest and have nothing in common save for this job. I have found that staring straight ahead in my brace position with no acknowledgement of the person sitting next to me gives them the proper signals to cease and desist all communication not related to the job. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’ve been known to say "please stop talking, you are sucking my will to live." C’est Voila! No more talkie talkie.
There are some subjects you should always stay away from... religion, politics and the best way to raise children. However, apparently what you did last night and with who is fine. Gory details of your latest operation,which gender you prefer, a list of the foods that give you gas, hemorrhoid flare ups, erectile disfunction, cross dressing, how heavy your menstrual flow is, the fact that your last child ripped you from here to there, you only sleep naked, oral sex is your specialty, that you haven’t had a BM in 3 days, you only have one testicle... blah blah yadda yadda blah.
It starts off innocently enough, with the easy questions... Do you commute? Where do you live? Are you married? Kids? If we just stuck to that stuff it would be great because now for the rest of my life, whenever I see this one specific f/a, all I can see is her in an ape suit getting a brazilian wax. Don’t ask.
There are of course other things we talk about... like you.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
He boards in a wheelchair, sits in the first row, aisle side. The daughter stands in front of him during the whole boarding process to protect him from being hit by the other passengers because he bruises easily. Fine. Why isn't he sitting in the middle or window seat again?
Then she asks me if I could try not to bump into him during the flight so as to not hurt his spleen. Sure. Spleen? I don't even know where the spleen is in the body. But now that she had made me aware he has an issue, I'm am doomed to harm it in some way.
I'm not sure what the spleen's function is except I vaguely remember a silly movie with PeeWee Herman. It has something to do with a noxious bodily function. His super power was farting and they called him The Spleen.
Well, that was definitely this man's super power. Almost knocked out everyone in the first four rows!
Not only that but he then proceeds to throw up his breakfast. You may find this hard to believe, but after almost 16 years flying, I haven't had to clean up puke. I'm a vomit virgin. Sorry, WAS a vomit virgin until today. Not that people don't hurl on my plane, I've just always been lucky enough to work with people that rush to clean it up. I love those people.
It wasn't bad. Not as bad as my imagination had made it out to be. He must not have had much to eat. In fact, I suspect it may have been an apple fritter.
The flight attendant I'm working with has a wicked sense of humor. She's evil I'm sure. Every time she catches my eye, her fingers are on her carotid artery, she calls my section the ICU and every move my nice elderly gentleman makes (or doesn't) is a sign of death.
Now, if you haven't already guessed by my March blog, I'm a worst case scenario kind of gal. It's not an itch, I have shingles. It's not a headache but encephalitis. Bit by a mosquito? Surely it's West Nile Virus. I am working on a flying petri dish people. It's a wonder I don't do service wearing a disposable paper suit. I'm talking mask with a shield, gloves like they use birthing calves and full body armor. I would love to have one of those Silkweed spray rooms installed in my house. But instead I take every opportunity to build up my immune system by working on airplanes and sleeping in hotel rooms.
My coworker, or Satan as I like to call her, has informed me that flight attendants are number 7 on the top ten dirtiest things to come in contact with. Where she gets her information I'm not entirely sure but I think she's pretty close.
The airplane is disgusting hence we are disgusting. Handles, latches, overhead bins, luggage, seatbelts, trash, armrests, pilots etc. Every single thing we touch is a cesspool of disease and all things nasty.
Case in point, where I scooped up coagulated vomit not 2 hours before.... there's another man sitting there with his computer bag at his feet. No idea whatsoever what it is sitting in.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Why is it you need to have your bag in the overhead bin directly above your head?
Why is it when I hand you peanuts, you look at them like I'm handing you rat poison?
Why is it you pack so much and expect me to lift it for you?
Why do you need 3 drinks on a 30 minute flight?
Why is it you can't make eye contact or say please and thank you?
Why are you the first one on yet you take the most time and hold up the boarding proocess?
Why do you feel the need to take your shoes off and stick your stinky sweaty feet on the back of the armrests/bulkhead?
Why can't you just turn off your cell phone and mp3 players when we ask the first time?
Why does your mouth gape open when looking at the arrival/departure monitors?
Why do you have to get up when the seatbelt sign is on?
Why don't the latches in the galley turn the way they are supposed to?
Why do you roll your eyes and stomp away when I remind you that you MAY NOT wait for the bathroom by the cockpit?
Why does my flight bag get heavier as the trip progresses?
Why are there carpets in the airport?
Why does the bathroom stall door in the airport open in instead of out?
Why does the line at security come to an abrupt halt as soon as I step into it?
Why does the provisioner taketh from my meticulously stocked "back stock"?
Why can't the pilots dress normally in their free time?
Why do people even drink diet pop?
Why don't you cover your mouth when you cough?
Why do you do you think I know what river that is down there?
Why do I always forget something at home when I've been doing this for over 15 years?
Why does it suddenly become turbulent when I pour coffee or red wine?
Why do you throw your trash on the floor when we walk by 500 times collecting it?
Why can't you just get the damn peanuts in your mouth?
Why is the hotel van latest on the longest duty days?
Why do the pilots get fat when they move to the left seat?
Why does the maid insist on vacuuming in front of my door?
Why do you lean into the aisle and read your paper?
Why do you always think where we are going is where I must live?
Why can't you find the paper towel dispenser in the lavatory even when it's properly marked?
Why do we call it a lavatory?
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So, in the meantime, I prepare myself.
If it's a cold locale, I put on my jacket. I don't want to freeze while screaming and frantically pushing passengers onto the slide do I? No, I do not. I know that the aircraft will most likely explode thus warming me to an extent. But that is not a guarantee, so I wear my jacket.
I think of what I am going to do should the landing be not quite right and I hear screeching metal, people screaming and then that eery dead silence.... the porthole window they give us is my biggest challenge. We were trained to assess the conditions. Smoke, fire or obstruction? Don't open it. Danger. Go the other way.
Well, I can hardly see out the window in the best of conditions, I would have a hard time seeing a flaming Ricky Martin waving at me 3 inches in front of the window!!
I'll just open it a hair to see. What's the worst that could happen?
Then there's the little game of what do you take? The first aid kit for sure. Then maybe some oxygen, being careful not to chuck the pressurized canisters out the door. A megaphone for shouting commands. How about some alcohol? Surely someone is going to need their wound cleaned out? Do I waste time searching for my cell phone? Probably not. There's a hundred people on the ground taking pics with their phones for facebook. Which is most likely the reason we crashed in the first place!!
After that, if I have time, I think of who needs me. Wheelchair passengers? Unaccompanied minors? Visually challenged? Republicans? If they irritated me in some way during the flight they are on their own. If not, I WILL HELP THEM OFF! You can count on me. Unless of course, the smoke is too thick, the fire is too hot or the water is too deep. Then I grab the liquor and VAMINOS!!