25 May

A Day in the Life

I remember in initial training to become a flight attendant, they kept telling us that it was less a job, and more a lifestyle. I was pretty sure they were exaggerating, until I got out “on the line” (that means out there working, flying, passing out pretzels).

Needless to say, transforming into a “normal” has been an adjustment, and while I don’t miss flying I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss sequestering myself in a hotel room with the temperature set at a crisp 67 degrees while the Food Network/Forensic Files (if I’m feeling spicy) sings me to sleep. Alone. In the middle of the bed.

I figured a little compare and contrast might be a fun way to reminisce/ give you a closer look into the actual goings on in a crew member’s life. (Cue MTV “Real World” intro).

Start the Day

Good Morning World- Normal

I wake up, not because I’m ready but because my cat is either trying to snuggle or suffocate me; there’s no way to know. I roll out bed and hobble toward the espresso machine and press the buttons with the quiet desperation of someone punching a keypad to disarm a bomb.

As I sip on the beverage of the awakened, I stare out the window and contemplate all that I need to do for the day. I might make a smoothie or eat some oatmeal as I assemble a to-do list at my desk. It’s a new day.

What Time Was Pick-up? – FA

Wake up to a blaring alarm at 3am and a hefty dose of panic because for a moment, I don’t remember where I am. Take note of the note I left myself the night before on the nightstand- I’m in Reno. Ok. Make a sad cup of coffee with the sad coffee maker in the room, and try not to think about the FA hack videos you saw once, where the girl suggested a good way to clean panty hose was to boil them in the hotel coffee maker.

Decide that it’s early enough that dirty feet water ingestion is a small price to pay for caffeine. You’re living the dream.

Everything hurts and I’m dying

Get to Work

Killer Commute – Normal

After a nice latte, I embark on my commute- either to my desk or my couch. In between bouts of inspiration, I do some light stretching, petting of cats, laundry, and nom on my breakfast. I’m never super hungry when I wake up, so it’s usually an all-morning nibble session.

I will fling myself from this van into the welcome arms of death if you don’t shut up- FA

After chugging black coffee because I forgot my almond milk, and some possible 2nd degree esophageal burns, I throw up my hair and step into the uniform that will make people believe I know what I’m doing for the day.

It’s 4am and my body is confused about many things, but mostly about why we’re doing this whole “awake” thing right now, as I shove a banana down my gullet, so I don’t throw up from sheer exhaustion. Airplane lavs were not designed for tired-hurling sessions.

I’ve never resented the gift of hearing before now

As we pile into the van that will whisk us away to the airport, the pilot decides it would be a great time to get chatty. I’m so tired I’m barely in my body, for my very soul is very much still in the hotel bed I was forced to abandon, and this dude thinks it’d be a swell time to talk about his working farm and love of the LA dodgers.

I feign tired interest while somehow maintaining a neutral face. That’s showbiz, kid.

Work the Day Away

The Freedom of Choice- Normal

I am the master of my own fate, the charterer of my own destiny, and this means that in between bouts of writing, I may make lunch and eat it while it’s warm as I sit perched on the couch. It also means I may pee whenever and wherever I want…wait, no, I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant I have a designated bathroom that’s always free, wait stop don’t print this!

What Have I Become My Sweetest Friend- FA

After a typical boarding that makes me seriously question the winding roads and complex choices that brought me right here, right now, I decide it’s time for lunch. Sure it’s 9 am but I’ve been up since 3, which means it’s essentially midnight.

As I shovel cold pasta I begrudgingly prepped 3 long days ago into my mouth, a baby is unceremoniously thrust into my arms with cries of “can you hold him, I have to pee so bad and I’m flying alone! His name is Robert! Thank you!”

I size the baby up as I clutch his little frame, both of us awkward and wary of the other. Just then a grown man comes all the way to the back to bemoan the lack of choice over his First Class meal. The FAs up there don’t seem to care. Good god this man seems on the verge of tears.

Not to be outdone, Robert decides along with tears that some spit-up is in order. It was at this moment, I had to wonder at the cost of redemption. The price of absolution. Exorcism incantations. The fault in my stars. The probability of getting the scent of half-digested formula out of this, my favorite blouse. The meaning of it all.

“Ma’am, I had to write your baby up for insubordination”

The Day is Done

Lives of quiet domesticity- Normal

My husband arrives home, and after inquiring about the other’s day, we cook dinner. Perhaps take a walk, as vitamin D is important, watch some tv and generally pass a pleasant evening together before an early bedtime. We value sleep.

If you look at me, I will kill you- FA

I, an introvert, after a day of peopling with SO MANY people, arrive home and encounter a standard frustrating dichotomy- that of wanting to be hugged by my partner, but also the desire to chop off his arms if he attempts it. He knows the hour of solitude and silence I require upon arrival- a ritual only to be interrupted if he hears me neurotically scrubbing the shower at midnight again.

I attempt to engage him in conversations for approximately 2 minutes before his eyes glaze over at the mention of incorrect catering and the vitriol from 2D on that one leg.

Father, why do you wish to hurt me?

I in turn, am exhausted mentally and physically, and want nothing more than to curl up on the couch and take a nap, since it’s 3pm. Instead, because I’m overtired , I pick a fight over cat litter brands, accuse him of trying to kill our pets with his love of clumping litter (but really, do a Google and then tell me you love your cat while buying clumping- the litter of the damned), give up and go to bed.

All is right with the world.

Is this a bit biased? Probably. Being a flight attendant IS a lifestyle choice, and most people who do it, love it. As is probably pretty clear from the above, I did not; but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate everything this job taught me. It helped me grow up, mellow out, improve my own adaptability, and gave me my husband and my new current job. It also taught me the information and perspective to make suggestions that will help ELP truly improve quality of life for crewmembers, and I’m excited to see new ways that ELP CrewPortal and ELP CrewRules can help alleviate some of the most common headaches Flight Attendants face on the line.

Ultimately, being a flight attendant changed my life. I saw wonders of the world, met some of the most wonderful people, and (perhaps most importantly of all) ate at some truly wonderful restaurants.

Me, brand new when I cared and brushed my hair/ wore earrings

Me when I was a feral galley dweller determined to finish that burrito before someone asked me for “pill water” during boarding

Posted by | Posted at May 25, 2022 3:24 pm |
About us

Airlines depend on ELP Aviation because our software improves operational efficiencies, eases crew interactions, and increases profitability. We offer products that provide scalable and agile solutions based on the individual Carrier’s needs. We’re already thinking about how to solve the next problem.

Learn more
Locations

Headquarters:  103 W Spring Ave, Conway Springs, KS, USA

Branch Office: Narayana Enclave, Plot No 610, Road Number 33, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad-500033, Telangana, India.

Contact Us
Account
If you are an ELP CrewPortal App user please contact your Department for questions.

@ ELP Aviation, Inc. 2020

About us

Airlines depend on ELP Aviation because our software improves operational efficiencies, eases crew interactions, and increases profitability. We offer products that provide scalable and agile solutions based on the individual Carrier’s needs. We’re already thinking about how to solve the next problem.

Learn more
Locations

 

Headquarters:  103 W Spring Ave, Conway Springs, KS, USA

Branch Office: Narayana Enclave, Plot No 610, Road Number 33, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad-500033, Telangana, India.

Contact Us
+ 1 (316) 239-6080

info@elpaviation.com

 

Account
If you are an ELP CrewPortal App user please contact your Airline Department for questions.

@ ELP Aviation, Inc. 2020