It’s funny what people think being a flight attendant is like, and what it is actually like. I’ve learned that the baggage flight attendant carries with it ranges from thoughts of our “glamorous lives” to we “must always meet terrible passengers.”
Yeah, not so much the way it is.
Maybe for those Emirates or Qantas or United stews. I mean, I’m always on the employee bus coming back from Springfield, Missouri, when a handful of crew members step on the bus, just returning from four days shopping in Shanghai, or twenty-four hours in Maui.
Hey. Nice tan.
A common question people ask about life as a flight attendant is, “What is the craziest thing that has happened on one of your flights?” Now, how am I supposed to answer that? Not because there are too many crazy moments to count, but because it’s not like every single day passengers go completely off their rockers, although I think it’s about to happen with this whole shenanigans of charging for overhead bin space.
I rely on my well-developed sense of humor (…see, there it is right there. For those of you that missed it, that statement is overflowing with sarcasm) to get me through work. Oh…and my ability to walk out of passenger earshot…and yell shot. The skills of laughter and walking are essential, and far better developed than my patience. It’s a well-known fact that part of my love affair with Europe is because I love walking.
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So, onto some funny-ness:
In Aircraft Lost and Found, we pick up items like dropped wallets and forgotten sunglasses, but when the Taco Bell Chihuahua trotted through the aisle during a flight, I didn’t even try to stifle my giggles. And then, there was the time I almost fell flat on my face, walking down the aisle carrying crutches, somehow avoiding disaster, as the gasps of myself and five rows of passengers filled the air. Somehow, I managed to regain composure, save face (duh dun, chhhh!), and escape the humiliation. A tumble would have been one of those not so funny moments.
Most often, my co-workers encourage the all-out belly guffaws. The laughs that bring streaming tears and are better than any abdominal crunch. There’s a flight attendant I work with, and we’ll call him Paws, not because he’s a Grandpa or has funny hands, but just to keep him mysterious.
I don’t know if I can make Paws as funny on paper as he is in person, but I have been smidgens close to peeing myself courtesy of his ridiculousness, and that’s not just because I have a strange obsession with water drinking (I entertain myself during flights with water drinking contests. I’m the only one that competes. At least I always win. If y’all don’t think I’m weird at this point, where have you been? And, you can receive these blogs via email).
Every morning, Paws buys coffee before work, and usually, he takes the entire three-hour flight to enjoy it, where as I only drink the beverage hot. On this particular day, we stopped by The Coffee Bean before stepping on the aircraft. I finished my soy cappuccino very soon after boarding, and by the time we were two hours into the flight, I was already onto thoughts of breakfast.
I had just walked back up to the forward galley, from a trash collection run, stuffing a load of garbage in the bin. Paws was perched on the forward jumpseat, his lunch pail open in front of him as he munched away.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I’m using your coffee cup to eat my cereal” he said. I looked at him, confused. “That’s not my coffee cup.” He replied nonchalantly, as he stuffed another spoonful in his mouth, “Yeah it is. I just pulled it out of the trash. You just threw it away.” I shook my head. ” No. I threw mine away before we left. And why would you be digging in the trash? I just walked through and picked up cabin trash. A passenger threw out their coffee cup. PAWS! You are eating your cereal out of a passenger’s, used, coffee cup!
The look on his face made me double over into fits of laughter. For the next twenty minutes, I was completely entertained as we verbally volleyed back-and-forth, debating the owner of the coffee cup, me thinking that Paws, the known to be prankster, was making the whole scenario up, and he thinking that I was being equally as mischievous and attempting to trick him.
To this day, I’m really not sure whos coffee cup it was. But thanks for the laughs, Paws.