17 August 2012

Long time...no write

I am sitting here in my local Starbucks, having a crappy morning... Even though I crashed out for twelve hours after my Belfast flight yesterday, I have kink in my neck from my logging set up. Don't get me wrong, the air mattress coupled with my $4 pillow from Target have been a life saver (and home) for the past year. Over the past year, since returning to work, my belief and respect in this company has plummeted. This merger has been a nightmare in regards to supplies for s proper service, the moral of the staff, and the feeling like we even matter to the new company. It seems like their focus is solely on the other side of the merger, of bringing them up to our standards. But wait...you can't bring a company rated lowest in every aspect up to the level of a JD Power and Associates level. So what have they done? Drug us down to meet them in them in the middle. All this has done, in my mind, is create animosity. Them for having to work harder, us for loosing our status, and anger from our customers from being pushed to the curb. The others passengers get on the plane angry and hateful for years of being treated like shit. It takes one trip for them to figure out which crew is working the flight and change their tune. It gets tiresome to explain to passengers that indeed we will be back with many more beverage services and that we are not out to get them as they have experienced in the past. The only good thing to have come out of this merger is the opening of sattelite bases. I was hesitant at first to put my transfer in as I consider myself soley an international based flight attend. Two problems with this: I am still on reserve after six years with no end in sight as our flights keep being given to the other and the commute to the East coast is killing not only my moral but my relationships at home once again. It was a wave of excitement when I put the transfer in on 2 July and tears of joy when it was announced that I was in yesterday. I am positive I have made the right decision and can't wait to start fresh in San Fransisco in six weeks.

01 August 2011


Here I sit half way around the world, and it hits me like a ton of bricks...I am homesick.

I haven't been home since the 11th of July and even though I got to see Todd in McCall, it was such a journey there and back a vacation wouldn't be deemed the title. My next time off is the 19th and I am so ready mentally to be home. To get appointments made, sleep in my new bed, see my mom, and just be.

My feelings are hurt by someone I don't even know. We made a plan to meet up tonight and go out in Tel Aviv. A friend of mine is working the flight and is very sweet. Even though I had only an hour sleep I was keen on meeting up and having fun. We don't fly out until tomorrow night so one night of caution to the wind I could live with. I made it to his room for a cocktail and then to head out...it became a two hour, drag the feet, drama ordeal. I finally told them I was going to get something to eat to escape the Queen who was rude to me off and on for no reason and the oogling pilot whom I have already had a run in previously.

I came back to my room relieved not to be out with them but sad at the same time. I walked away from drama and now I am here alone.

Not sure if it is the lack of sleep or the current lack of stability but I feel blah. And the thing is, I shouldn't...it was a great trip over. Yes, you read correctly... I picked up and held onto a TLV. Blondie asked if I not only wanted to trade her for first class aisle but also if I wanted her 2nd break. DONE! It made the trip so nice and easy.

Here's hoping for a day at the beach tomorrow after a work out, some nice photos, a little grocery shopping and a much better feeling about being so far away.

25 July 2011

week funk

A week ago I was awake early in my Paris hotel on the search for coffee and a pan au chocolate. Today I sit in the passenger seat of a Mini Cooper with the windows down and the Idaho wind whipping through my hair.

The past week hasn’t been my best ever; I have been in a funk. I could blame it on pms but I don’t think it last this long, nor am I usually affected by it. The six-day trip took it out of me and for the next few days all I did was sleep. I am talking sleeping in until three and four in the afternoon. I spent my only day off sleeping and then walking around downtown NYC looking for sheets. The day I got up at 4, it was by the sound of the alarm I set in order to pick up a trip.
I chose based on position and I needed the front galley. I wasn’t in any mood for aisles, neither back nor front. I choose Edinburgh because I love the city and hadn’t been in forever. I am sure it was partially my mood but I wasn’t too keen on any of the crew including the fat, nerdy pilots. My aisle girl…man she was a bitch and a half. Absolutely no communication and I finally told her I wasn’t good at reading minds. That pretty much sealed the deal on us talking to each other for the remainder of the trip.

I slept a bunch in EDI and came home to sweltering heat. My roommate and I thought it would be a brilliant idea to go and take a nap in Central Park and sweat off our plane bloat. I also got some color out of the deal. I went to be that evening not knowing my schedule for the next day and figuring they would roll my day off and send me international.

Like a good international flight attendant I stayed up until 0400 engrossed in a book. I woke up paranoid as I always do on call days to check my schedule at 0900. Mother F’ers put me on the 2 day IAH. This affected not only my whole months next schedule and my weekend but also the plans to meet up in McCall.
I drug myself up and out to run my errands in 102-degree weather before heading off to the airport rather early. The trip was fine, great crew was able to work out and relax a bit. The only down side was the lack of hours, the previous schedule shift and the fact the damn plane didn’t land until 1800.

While commuting to the West Coast isn’t too bad, it takes a bunch of planning and the ability to leave prior to 1800. Planning this 4-leg journey to meet the BF at the parents’ house in the middle of beautiful BFE was not fun to plan. I booked a flight to ORD leaving at 1800 hoping a miracle would be on my side. They had a connection to BOI that night so if all worked out….

Well, we’ve met right? The damn plane lands late and I miss my ORD flight. There is another at 1830 but I don’t know if it is full and Lauren did a quick search and found a DEN flight that had seats. I have no idea what she was looking at because my information said it was overbooked…by a lot. Never the less, I packed my 50lbs worth of crap over the A terminal by bus and then another bus. I head to the gate hopeful and within 10 minutes I am on in my own exit row. I didn’t have time to find out what flights left to BOI after my arrival, I knew there were lots of carriers so this was my best hub to end up at. Well, I land at 2115 and not only is there no flights leaving, the whole damn airport is shut down. The guy I chatted with told me they were even open a little late this evening due to bad weather. WTF? I wandered around for an hour or so trying to decide if I was going to stay the 11 hours in between flights in the terminal or if I would pony up the cash for a hotel. The Crown Plaza had a price I could live with (Todd is paying half since he had half custody of my sanity) and went for a shower and 6 hours of sleep.
Southwest was kind enough to give me a ride to old spud country….sorry for interruption just got pulled behind a post office to have sex; hopefully that isn’t a federal crime.

Anyway we are about 9 miles out from beautiful McCall and all seems better now that we have chatted and the sex helps as well. Looking forward to relaxing by the lake and having some home cooked meals and gin and tonics on the deck.

16 July 2011

six long days

My plans to go to Chicago fell through so I had a choice, sit at home and babysit the kid or try and go back to work. I choose the later. On Tuesday I boarded the early flight back to base with my seat assignment in hand, I rang scheduling to pick up a trip. They have special days now that you can pick up on your day off if they need extra help. Luckily, this was one of those days. I had my choice of good trips, Stockholm, Geneva, etc except they checked in pretty early. My flight was scheduled to arrive at 1540 and god forbid something happened and I didn’t make it in time, I would then be in trouble. This gut instinct made me pick up a trip with a 2005 check-in. This trip was a six-day that meant I didn’t have to make it back to the NYC apartment for another week. The instinct I felt was correct as we had a mechanical delay in PDX.

The trip I picked up was new to our schedules. Since the merger is in its beginning stages some genius decided to start giving some of our trip to the other carrier (good trips mind you) and giving us one in return. So the trip goes like this: home base to Paris (28 hours) – Paris to Washington DC (24 hours) – DC to Paris (24 hours) – Paris to home.

Sounds like a great trip right? Depends on the crew.

The plane in question is a 757, which means there are 3 pilots and 6 flight attendants.

Here is a run down:

A nice guy, dry humor who looks like the guy from USA “Up all night” (the name is escaping me)

French girl, screams French in every way but not as in your face about it. She is nice, she is married to a doctor, drives a Lexus…we know all about her life…

Other speaker is a West African who used to play professional soccer and talks to me a lot about the power of a woman. He is my favorite on the trip.

The lady I have to work with directly: I knew it was going to be interesting when she told all of us that she fell down recently and hit her head. And that is a summary of how she acts. We have gotten into a couple tiffs about how to bang out the service and she thinks I am a sounding board for random thoughts. Even when I am reading the paper or my book…or typing this.

The purser…strange…He is who I have to sit in the jump seat with. He is Australian; his name is John yet he goes by some French word for fortune. He is never consistent on how he wants the service done, so we are guessing each time. Him and the back galley seem very displeased with each other and of course I am in the middle of it. He is the butt of everyone’s jokes and he just doesn’t seem to get it…or anything for that matter.

As far as the trip is concerned, it has been a great one. Our leg found me in a great mood, even though I was working in the back. We landed in Paris and made our way to a new hotel in the financial district. It was nice to see another side of the city, a non-touristy side. I went to the supermarket and purchased salads, yogurt and peppers for my meals. The extra four hours made the layover feel like forever but it was Bastille Day so extra time there was wonderful.
The next flight was into DC and let me tell you, the change in passengers was noticeable from the start. They are nasty…they have an expectation of bad service so they have their guard up. I want to scream at them that we like our job and we will be nice if you give us a chance. After the hellacious boarding I managed to smooze most the people, the back people were much better than the front. Same chaos and guessing game with the crew.

My layover in our nations capital was very nice indeed. Our hotel is right in Georgetown and if you told me I had to move there tomorrow, I would be packed and ready to go. Frenchy along with the pilots and I went out to a nice dinner after we arrived and the captain graciously purchased our meals. If I had known that I would have ordered more than a salad! : ) A nice rest followed. The next day I slept in, worked out, had lunch in DuPont Circle, went to Capital Building, had a delicious cupcake and then a nap.

This was harder flight to wrap your head around since it was day 3 going on 4 and we were headed back over the pond at a very late hour. So far, four hours into this flight and I am doing ok tired-wise. I did have to yell at a bunch of people at boarding about the exit row and how they can’t sit there if they didn’t pay for it. Yadda, yadda. I will say this… I miss our passengers.

Tomorrow in Paris we are back to the hotel in the middle of everything. There are sales going on in Paris for the month of July…they have such great things there, I might be tempted to go have a look see. A dress in lieu of eating next week? Very tempting! : ) as not eating will aid in the fabulousness of the dress!
Hoping for a balanced layover of sleep, good food, great sales/finds, weather, and getting some work done. That’s not too much to ask is it?

12 July 2011


About a week a go, I received a text from the BF indicating he had pulled the trigger and purchased a new bed for us. It had been something we had been talking about for a while now. The first thought and want was European twin beds. These are impossible to find in the US. We then moved to the idea of a temper-pedic as I started having back problems with the queen that was our current cocoon.

I was both shocked and proud of his incentive and action. It took a conversation to realize that he took the job very seriously and also ordered a bed frame and the sheets.

Let me pause for a moment and let you know what I started dating... A man who wore almost all Eddie Bauer. Not because he particularly liked the style or cared but because it was long enough for his frame.
I have done a lot of work in the education of style and choices of clothes that look great and fashionable.

He is also a boy. A boy who could have been sold the Brooklyn Bridge if it was the store. I am inheritantly cheap but stylish at the same time. If it were I wheeling and dealing at the showroom, I would have argued that they needed to give me everything for free in addition to the mattress.

I was not present at this exchange; therefore I had to intervene late. I asked what the bed frame looked like and then I asked the question about the color of sheets... champagne. Uhm, no. I don't like old person sheets. I love sheets in bright, fun colors or great patterns. I take pride in my bed and anyone close will tell you, it takes months prior to me making a change.

When I arrived home we decided to wait for the delivery of the mattress and then we could take back the sheets if I hated them. I did. So we head to the store and Todd takes the reigns explaining that he jumped the gun and I wasn't pleased with the color. Fair enough, I will look like the bitch, here. I am the one who has to sleep on these things for the next five years.

The sales woman asked why I didn't like them. I replied, they look like a 60 year old picked them. Her look back at me indicated these were the same sheets she had on her bed. She asked if I would like to see any more colors, which I said yes. The real answer was no as we were not going to spend a fortune for sheets. As we made our way over to the small, bland selection, she asked me if any of them suited a 40 year old. She about got slapped.

Since we were close, we ran over to a couple shops and found some sheets but not ones I loved. We proceeded back downtown for lunch where I popped into Pottery Barn and William Sonoma. Nothing. Back to run a couple more errands and we stopped at West Elm. They had sheets we loved (as noted earlier online). They didn't carry Cal Kings in the store.

We then went back home and grabbed the car to go to Z Gallerie and then Crate and Barrel. Last resort was BB&B for which we had just received a coupon. The selection was disappointing. There were only a few colors to select from. I knew I was pushing my limit about three stores ago. I almost asked if we could go back to Ross but I knew that it would mean our break up. I conceded and bought dark gray sheets.

I treated the very patient birthday boy to a beer as a thank you.

Our new bed now sits on the ground with gray sheets awaiting a woman's touch.

08 July 2011

days of domestic

I set myself up with blocks of 3 or 6 days so I can somewhat know what will happen scheduling wise. On my return to work this month, I was good for nine days (which is allowed at the months beginning). Ideally I would work three trips and catch the flight home on Thursday night.

Obviously this isn’t the case…

On my first day back, I was assigned airport alert. So far I had really good luck with getting not only a trip but a great trips. No such luck this time. What is did was left me with two days in scheduling’s hands at the end. So after my glamour of Paris and Madrid, I was assigned a domestic two day trip.
The check in wasn’t until 2000, which this late sleeper likes, and the first leg was a dead head to Vegas. It wasn’t too shabby as the crew was nice and gave me water and a first class seat. Luckily I was able to sleep for a couple of hours. After the five and a half hour flight, I gather my belongings and looked for coffee. There was none to be found in the immediate area so I walked the next-door gate and bored the flight I was sent to work. The local time now is midnight, three a.m. to me. It was a red eye back to Houston.

They assigned me first class galley and as usual, I had not a clue where anything was, didn’t know that I was supposed to stand for the demo. But it was plenty of time to figure it out as I only served four drinks the whole flight and then read my book.

Had eleven hours in the airport hotel before I worked the next flight back to base. Again, I was first class galley but this time had an aisle guy. I was trying to convince him to do a nice international like service but he was having none of it.

The huge difference between domestic an international is the pride we take in our service, our appearance and our hard work ethic. I was informed that the domestic flight attendants don’t get off their jump seats to work until the seatbelt sign goes off. This is long after international people; we jump up as soon as the double ding.

Our service is consistent, thoughtful and lengthy. We used pick up pans for rubbish not trash bags. In first class a silver tray is attached to your hand. The differences could go on and on. It made me grateful to be in my base and proud to be a hard worker. It was honestly hard to try to go with the domestic flow and not work hard. It was a nice break and even though I exchanged my Thursday night for a nights sleep in the crew room, it is nice to be on my way home and not exhausted from time changes and working my butt off!

05 July 2011

mulligan please

I came in from Paris on Saturday and was released to a 24 hour break. By the time I made it home, the clock was down to 22 hours. I decided to take a look at all the trips for the following day, there were loads. Everyone calls out sick for the 4th of July and even though this would be my first one of the USA, I was excited at the choices. At my fingertips was Stockholm, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Amsterdam, Madrid and all the usual UK stuff.

After a quick debate, I clicked on Madrid; I had never been prior. The flight was good, I worked in the front with a class mate and even though we had a large ground delay and majority of the passengers acted like upgrades, it was an easy flight.

We finally got to our rooms around noon and I was wiped. I set my alarm for two hours and crawled into bed. There was something strange going on with my mobile as it believes I am in Turkey or something. Anyway, the damn alarm didn't go off and I ended up waking up at 1800. This displeased me greatly as I wanted to go and explore the city. The good news is that Spain is a late country, dinner isn't usually consumed until ten so it gave me some time.

I went downstairs and received a map from the front desk with very specific instructions on where to go and what to see. I walked easily to the first couple of attractions and then ignored my instinct to turn right. This resulted in one of the many getting lost points of my day. I underestimated the vastness of this city and overestimated my sense of direction. It was not a good combination. Even though I enjoy getting lost in a new city, when time is ticking down on me it makes me feel uneasy. The Metros are not all over the place and the map I was given wasn't the greatest.

Disappointed, I got so turned around I didn't manage to see hardly anything. Once I took a train and then the Metro back to familiar ground, I treated myself to a much needed beer and some tapas.

I am hoping scheduling will grant me a do-over in the near future.