I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.
I have been repeating these words like a new mantra to myself but I still hate my job.
And I am so angry because I feel I’ve been robbed, lied to, and lured into something which has nothing to do (at all) with what I have been told in the first place.
I am a flight attendant.
I willfully put aside the odd hours, the no family life, the bad pay, the strict grooming standards, the delays, the bad plane food, the fatigue, being treated like shit by passengers, the health issues. Well thats pretty it. I clearly have no motivation to work. And if you dare say “but you get to travel” i will slap you with my cabin bag so hard you will land in the nearest hospital bed.
I never wanted to be a flight attendant in the first place. I watched View from the top with Gwyneth Paltrow on Netflix a while ago and I thought: I want this. Not for the love story which is so not the reality. But watching her move from her lost town and finally getting to fly to Paris was the prince charming 2.0 I thought all girls would dream of in 2016. I was wrong.
Getting in was not the hardest part contrarily to what people say. OK, I might not look like the average ugly fat girl and it helped me get the job but I’m not going to complain about looking hot too. Getting in is not hard, but getting out is even harder.
I started flying at 21, that was two years ago and I feel I am 55 years older now. I should be retiring next month because I have all the symptoms of an old (cat) lady. I have mood swings, I talk to myself, I judge people I see, I forget easily, I lost interest in things I used to enjoy like clubbing, I feel pain in my joints and almost every body part, I mix up people, I eat soup because I’m too tired to chew, I have no sex life, I drink. If I wasnt 23, I would think I’m suffering from dementia. But I am 23, so I’m safe.
“But you get to”- be careful you don’t say travel my cabin bag is ready.
“But you get to visit more countries, taste local food, do some shopping and experience more cultures than you would in a normal life.”
OK you didn’t say travel but technically I would still hit you.
Truth is, flying is not what is was anymore. Being cost effective has made layovers shorter. Normal people talk calendar month, weeks and days or maybe years. Flight attendants talk in seconds, minutes and hours when we talk about layovers. That flight to Japan was 8 hours and I got an 18 hours layover. That’s not a minimum rest but try to see Japan, eat in Japan, experience culture in Japan, shop in Japan and manage to get some sleep and be ready for your next flight in 18 hours.
Yes. Oi. Layovers are technically meant to rest. Not to visit. But sometimes your body does not feel like sleeping because it has been scheduled to sleep at that time. You land somewhere, it is 10 a.m and you can’t expect your body to follow a normal sleep pattern just because civil aviation deemed it legal that you rest 18 hours before the next duty. A plane can be scheduled to fly anytime. Flight attendants are humans.
Forget the glamour, that uniform and the grooming stardards are so strict joining the army would be a treat compared to the checklist I have to do before I leave for work. So much pain for no gain. I come to work, dressed very neatly, crisp uniform, perfect french twist, red lipstick, I even did a japanese manicure (got to experience some culture right) and you board my plane with flip flops and that kitsch open shirt with your gross haired torso. Yuk. I didn’t sign up for this job to get my eyeballs assaulted at the sight of a bad remake of The Conjuring 14 000 feet above sea level.
If you ask me what’s the hardest part of the job: I would not say waking up at 3 a.m, or missing my birthday, or even the social life. My ultimate pet peeve in this job is what airlines call customers. But flight attendants secretly renamed them disg-ustomers. Most oftenly called passengers they are the nightmare of every flight attendant. They are disgusting in every possible way. They don’t have manners. You greet them with a hello, they answer “where’s 14F?”.
They hand you chewed gum, baby diapers and god knows whatever trash they have in stock.
They make a scene because they can’t eat fish. If you are so allergic to fish then why aren’t you choking to death? Because I am allergic to noisy attention seeking brats like you and I had my last epinephrine shot between two carts already. Why didn’t you die in the last plane crash, why do you have to be on my flight?
I tried to quit this job. I did. But nobody wants to hire me. I developped sarcasm as a defense mechanism and that screwed my last job interview. To the question how are you today, I replied “not yet dead, but that should not be an issue because even dead I would still go to work”. I think the interviewer underestimated my motivation to come to work even six feet under.
I would gladly recycle in any field that has nothing to do with customer service or interacting with human beings. My search has proved unsuccessful. Recycling in teaching would still mean interacting with brainless kids, and as a nurse I would still need to clean up some dirt left behind by half dead people.
My contract is about to expire and my bills are threatening me to sign up for another 3 years.
Well, I’m gonna get some sleep now because I have a flight to Mauritius tonight. It’s a 24 hours layover for a 6 hours and 30 minutes flight. Gotta be fit when I land because I want to feel the sand under my toes. I’m gonna buy a bottle of Laurent Perrier too (10% off at the duty free with the crew card!), I think I saw Linda on the flight. We flew once to Panama 1 year ago and it was awesome. Note to self: pack 1 pair of ipanema sandals and 1 pair of havaianas just in case.