Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Flight Attendant Rage – Part Three

The year is 1968. 

It’s about being twenty.  It’s about Archie Bell and the Drells doing “Tighten-up.”  It’s about Young Holt Unlimited doing “Soulful Strut,” which is the one-hit-wonder of the century as far as you’re concerned.  It’s about slow dancing to Sam & Dave’s “May I Baby” with your hot Jamaican neighbor who gives sensuous pelvic presses a whole new dimension.

For you, what a year!  For others, not so much.  While you’re flitting back and forth across the continent, disposing of barf bags, keeping irate businessmen tipsy, fending off unwanted advances from passengers and cockpit crew, and calming screaming babies, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy are being assassinated, and many of your best friends from high school are fighting in Vietnam.

You’ve learned to wear TWO pairs of Hanes Super Support Hose instead of one, hoping to halt the ever-increasing spider veins sprouting across your thighs.

You’ve worked your first trip as the sole stewardess on board a wobbly old Viscount, a turboprop aircraft with Rolls Royce engines.  The Viscount boasts an all-first-class configuration with 34 seats.  Amazingly you are still employed, in spite of all those pesky dropped entrees and spilled cocktails.  Amazingly no one writes you up in spite of how pissed off they are because you’re bumbling around in the unfamiliar buffet while they wait forever for whatever it is they want.  And thank God nobody seems to mind when you suffer stage-fright and forget the words to the safety demo.  You’re not sure, but you think it’s a good thing when at the end of the flight you get a standing ovation from the entire cabin.

The really good news is you survive an unforeseen crew change on that trip from Portland to Los Angeles, when you’re forced to work side-by-side in coach with “Miranda,” a fellow stewie graduate who is known widely for her airsickness issues.  She seems to be overcoming her problem since she hasn’t puked yet and you’re halfway to your destination.  How unfortunate it is, however, that while strapped into the aft jump seat with her after service is completed, the aircraft encounters clear-air turbulence, takes an unexpected, dramatic drop in altitude, creating an atmosphere of weightlessness, whereupon Miranda vomits, and you stare in horror as her glob of puke hovers and bobs as a unit in mid-air, about three feet above your lap.  The plane levels off, and the next thing you know, you’re calming passengers while wrapped in a blanket from the neck down.

And finally, you’re called out on a trip to San Diego, forcing you to cancel an important date for the third time in a row, and you find yourself feeling so enraged, you start bawling while greeting passengers at the front cabin door.  “Welcome (sob) aboard the (wail, snort) Friendly Skies…”  You’re then suddenly jerked backward into the cockpit by the second officer, who not only finishes greeting for you, but alas, wonder of wonders, he does not write you up! 

All this just in the first year.  You will press on for four more.  And the seed of rage will grow into a towering, moss-covered oak.

Remember, this is my take on the thing.  Just sayin’.


October 19, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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