It recently occurred to me that I should become a flight attendant. I have all of the essential qualities of working in the sky as well as a background fit for a transient lifestyle. I honestly enjoy being on planes since it means I get to go somewhere. I don’t even mind the airport portion of it since that usually means I get to get drunk before I go somewhere. I’ve been on so many planes between leisurely travel while teaching overseas and relocating for random job opportunities that it starts to feel like one in the same same but not different.
Rather tragically, I’m addicted to adventuring and can’t stay in any one place for too long. The tragedy being that I’m in somewhat of a financial and professional standstill and all of my friends and family are pretty sick of my nomadic bohemian behavior. I figure a great way to combat this would be to find an American-headquartered job that promises union stability, health benefits and the opportunity to flee America on a monthly rotation, for pay. After awhile, I might even be able to offer my friends discounted flight perks as penance for all those times they picked up the check knowing I was one credit swipe swipe away from breaching my sad little limit.
I could also take advantage of the complimentary overnights in posh hotels around the world because I don’t have a stable home anyway. It would be nice to save on toiletries, gym memberships and breakfast. I’m also a bit nocturnal, don’t have a normal sleep schedule and am awake odd hours of the early evening and morning. I have thirty years of experience dressing up in uncomfortable gender-specific attire that is illogical for the task at hand. I’m also an expert in completing every work outfit with a sincere smile forced through gritted teeth. Appearances are more important than practicality in this biz – the biz of being a woman, that is. And let’s not forget about the people. I love people! People are the best! I’m the peopleliest people person ever!
Prospective flight attendants have to get accustomed to regurgitating this large white lie about their affections for the general public until it sounds almost convincing. While I realize there are some anomalies out there who do truly enjoy the company of others rather than the blessed beauty of solitude, absolutely no one loves all people. Not even Mother Teresa liked every single person that roamed this earth. I’ll bet if either of them were alive today she’d have a few choice words for Christopher Hitchens, and visa versa. Because the truth is, people are obnoxious, rude, selfish, inconsiderate and downright annoying, especially those on planes.
For some reason it seems that the minute people step foot on a plane, they lose all common decency. First they wander around the aisles while the aircraft is still being boarded, blocking traffic from moving swiftly and preventing others from politely taking their seats. Apparently they forgot a book or some arbitrary item in the overhead and can’t bother to wait for a less-disruptive time to retrieve it. There are the people who find enjoyment in giving you attitude if you happened to have boarded after them and your seat is situated near the window. Therefore it’s your fault that they must suffer the laborious task of standing up for two seconds to allow you to pass. These people like to really sell the burden you’re imposing on them by huffing and puffing in the process as if you’re anymore thrilled than they are about spending the next eight hours stuck in the same row as an angry gremlin. I doubt anyone passed up a private jet because they just love sitting in coach surrounded by lovable foul-smelling, personal-space stealing people. People are the freaking best.
Then there are the darling people who start complaining that the flight is delayed, which couldn’t possibly be because no one followed complicit instructions regarding weight and size restrictions of their carry-on luggage and are trying to stuff their behemoth monster of a duffel under their seat. Guilty. Or refusal to turn off electronics, a simple safety task required of every flight ever. The flight attendant is probably just singling you out though! I’m sure they wouldn’t also prefer to get off the ground as quickly as possible since they don’t get paid until the wheels are up. People are amazing. Simply splendid.
Throughout the whole flight you’re surrounded by snorers, sneezers, coughers, farters, heavy breathers and lip-smacking loud eaters. Crying babies who crap their pants and the overworked exhausted mothers trying to console them who are so used to the aroma that they no longer notice it as everyone around them is silently gagging. Add narcissistic business men who demand their scotch on the rocks posthaste in their first class cushy accommodations. They’re incredibly stressed and stretched thin from their lavish work trip where thousands of dollars of company resources were wasted so they could fly to the Seattle office to repeat “bandwidth,” during an executive meeting that could’ve been an email. Lovely people.
There are those lacking an elementary understanding of etiquette who don’t graciously give the poor sap stuck in the middle both armrests. Splayed legs and muffin tops encroach upon your personal space. People bumping into you and bopping you in the head with their bags and babies as they wander around the aisles during the flight. There are people sucking in all the limited clean oxygen in return for their gross gasses and illnesses. And knobby knees bumping the back of other’s chairs while trying to get comfortable in a fetal position. Or outstretched bare feet when the aforementioned position fails. Guilty again. Ugh, people are superb.
And lastly, we can’t let the dreaded clappers slide – everyone has been on a flight where people clap if the plane lands safely. As if the whole experience was meant to be some sort of bougie entertainment put on by the pilots where the determinant of a rave review for a performance well-done is if everyone happens to be alive at the end. Bravo, thanks for not nose-diving into the earth at 500 knots. Poor bus drivers get no credit, yet have way more obstacles on land than in the air. This is not a suggestion for the public to start a clapping trend every time any form of transportation safely meets its destination, although it would be pretty amusing in UberPools.
But in my unsolicited opinion, the worst people of all on planes are those in the inside seats who stand up immediately upon landing, pressuring you to do the same. You’re forced to awkwardly stand in a small space meant solely for sitting, while waiting for those in rows ahead of yours to exit even though the doors have yet to open. To my knowledge, projecting your impatience on others has never made anyone move any faster. Psychology probably proves the opposite is true, like when someone driving behind you honks the very second the light turns green and then you are left with no other choice but to linger even longer. People are incredibly passive-aggressive, but boy do I love them for it!
Why can’t we just be truthful, we’re all adults here – do I love people? Hell no. But do I love being gainfully employed and traveling to exotic destinations enough to fake it for the duration of a free flight to Australia?Absolutely. Anyone who claims that they adore the entire human race is a liar, and as such, should be eliminated from seeking a career in aviary employment. They’re clearly exhibiting extreme levels of dishonesty and possible signs of sociopathy. Who knows what else they could be lying about and I certainly wouldn’t want a serial psycho responsible for my safety 10,000 feet in the air.
So anyway, as I was saying, I think I’d make a really good flight attendant.