Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting to know the life of Flight Attendants

Hey look, What I am reading now....CRUISING ATTITIDE by Heather Poole.

Every word, every sentence, you know about whom I'm thinking.....don't you know?

I eagerly waited for so long to get this book into my hands from the time I came to know through Ms. Poole's twitter account. I checked the local Barnes & Noble, but couldn't find. I checked at my local library and it was not there. My sister was able to borrow from California Library but no such luck for me. After a lot of research, I came to know ILL - Inter Library Loan. I requested the library and hoped to get hold of this book. After a month of long wait, last Saturday, I got an email from Library about the book. I was like...oh boy! it happened! Now, I'll know everything about Flight Attendants. Woo-hoo! The whole Saturday, I felt so happy. I asked myself couple of times of why I'm feeling internally happy, like as if I achieved something. I went through the events of the day to figure out - what was making me feel happy - a sense of accomplishment.....then I figured out....going to get to read this book is the one, making me happy. Like something I wished and it is happening. Through Ms.Poole's twitter, I came to know that lot of Flight Attendants reading this book during their off duty and even Lufthansa FAs too. This book has its own German version.

I visualized and questioned myself about how my steward got into Flight Attendant's career. Did his mom apply for him or his passion for flying, meeting new people, traveling to new places, surprising/unplanned adventures - what made him to be a Lufthansa Flight Attendant? Did he finish college or joined with some kind of diploma? How old was he when he became a Flight attendant? What does he think about being in a female oriented work field? I visualized the whole process of what he might have gone through at the training center - meeting beautiful newbies, working hard by going through the flight manual, learning about different kinds of airplanes, medical training, process of dressing up well, be well-groomed, mannerisms, facial expressions, kindness...and finally, how elated he must have been when he wore for the first time, the Lufthansa Uniform. And what might have gone through his brain when he took his first International flight?

And then the adventures of crashpads if he did not have his own place in Frankfurt, struggles with few crazy/uncooperative co-flight attendants, cool trips with new members to new places, dining outs. With so much happening around him, meeting beautiful women all the time, I ask myself - why did he like me? Why was he delighted to see my face? Why he laid eyes on me? Why, why, why......only to mess up my brain?

Forget about me, but let us review the job.....God, how hard it is until you reach the seniority level. Discipline is such an important character for a flight attendant. Time is so crucial for them - money, keeping the  job....everything depends on TIME! What all he might have gone through during the probation time. Getting into Lufthansa, a second popular European carrier speaks volumes about his character, discipline, priorities and well-planned life for a twenty-something guy. According to the book, FAs who are on 767 or on International flights usually are experienced crew. Well, that makes him - experienced! So how old is he? Why was he at the tail section of the plane? Will that make him Junior? Not according to the Lufthansa Flight Attendant with whom I conversed through emails. So may be Lufthansa works different way! And I guess whoever works for Lufthansa, 
 once they get hired, will surely fly international destinations in no time.

Quote from the book: "Getting down on one knee to passenger's level makes flight attendants less threatening and puts passengers at ease."

Oh boy, that's what he did when my daughter asked for an eraser. So sweet!

Right now, I'm reading her hardships in New York which is her base. For a woman to survive in this tough man's world alone in the nights day after day for such a low salary, screaming darkness, landlords involved with drugs, rapists lurking around to find the next target - Is it worth? I don't know how safe Frankfurt is for crew members - easy living/good accommodations or scary/dangerous place like New York?

Right now, I'm at why relationship with a flight attendant can be tricky. This should interesting one to know 😉
To tell you the truth, I couldn't have handled being in relationship with a flight attendant. The partner need to busy, confident, independent and be ready for long gaps of no-seeing each other which is quite regular in flight attendant's life. Even though I love love steward, I would have been insecure because of his good looks and countless encounters with beautiful colleagues and rare passengers like me. But the guy flight attendant whom I'm following on twitter is dating another flight attendant. He made her to move to his base city i.e., NY. Both meet pretty often, go to concerts, games and tour different countries together, not called as so-called vacation but an evening in Zurich or a five day trip to Sweden and even when they are away from each other, they connect through skype.

Tip to get rid of the nasty ear pain during descent - pinch your nose, close your mouth, and gently exhale through your nostrils.

This one totally made me emotional. If you remember in my letter to Lufthansa, I praised
him and requested them to pass the message. Hope he received a special thanks from this stranger.

That's what makes me cry.  Well, after reading this, I've no hopes of him ever searching for me or thinking about me. The tender moment we had, has no meaning in his heart. Just like that we made a connection and just like that everything gone...yes, like as if I imagined the whole thing.
 How the hell, I'm suppose to know that once I step out of the plane, that's the end of me and him? I was ignorant!!
After analyzing for so many months, I am sure we had something special from the time we laid eyes on each other.  At one occasion, without blinking I stared at him while he was right in front of me, thinking and questioning about any chance of him liking me....While passing my seat, I turned towards my left to have one more look towards him and that's when I saw him looking at me. I know for sure that moment was the ice break. It gave him confidence that whatever was going on was a two way street but I balked out when he indicated to come to the galley. I still remember the excitement on his face! Til that moment, I have never in my life experienced some handsome guy showing excitement for ME.
So naturally, I couldn't took awhile to analyze. Well, what's the use 😒
The world has changed a has made everyone to be in touch with each other if you desire to be in touch, but of course not in my case though :😒
The above words from the book made me feel pity for flight attendants til I read the below one.....
amazing moments of flight attendants
Don't have to feel sorry for them....they are survivors. Like everybody's life, they too face ups and downs in life. But according to the author, they will experience tons of amazing moments. So don't feel sorry for them!!! Always there will be lot of young guys who will  ready to sweep them off their feet....even though it might be temporary.
Hey, something better than nothing...right?
inflight drinks
I did not know about this when I had my first inflight alcohol served by my friend steward 😉
benefits of being a flight attendant
Hey, look at the benefits of being a Flight Attendant!!!
flight manners
I really enjoyed reading this book.  Totally a roller coaster ride - one chapter you feel sorry for them but couple of pages later, you find yourself questioning based on few flight attendants quotes that they know how to survive and with their looks, they know how to mix up work and romancing a wealthy one and enjoying the perks of temporary high class club. This book is totally meant for air travelers even though lot of readers are tending to be flight attendants. 
how to get flight attendant's attention
High score for me. I say 'Please' and 'Thank you' and I even removed earphones when my friend steward offered an advice on how to drink tomato juice 😃
conversing  with flight attendants
Check out how quick and easy to start a conversation and start a new relationship. That's how
Poole's husband interacted with her when they met for the first time.
 Like her husband, God placed me in steward's cabin serving side but I let it slip.

Few questions, I did not get answer from the book:
  • She totally did not mention about dating attractive straight stewards. That was the reason, I chose the book to read - to get a glimpse of straight stewards attitude. What I gathered after reading her book is female flight attendants prefer pilots - a person who has status, cash and perks to pull on. Not the one(straight stewards) who is like one of them.
  • I am not sure of who takes care of hotel expenses. As far as I know, it should be taken care by the airline, but few sentences contradicted and confused me. 
  • Can a pilot choose crew members? If so, in that way, if he is married to a flight attendant, they both can fly together to different destinations. Together Always!!
I kinda feel slightly pity for straight stewards. Do they get respect from anybody? When I traveled by Lufthansa, I did not see any disrespect at all. All crew members were respectful of each other. I don't know whether it is an American thing or all through out the industry, but I don't want anybody to disrespect my steward. If that kind of stereo type exists through out the industry, maybe he should quit.

Then I thought about the flight attendant job. The job sounds interesting but once you get to experience the different places in the world, won't the fun vanish...later on it will become just routine - same destinations, same airports, same planes. Especially, once you become old, nobody looks at you or care for you. Everyday's routine take away the charm of meeting new people. That's what I noticed when I traveled by American Airlines, the flight attendants won't even do eye contact or smile....just do lifeless service. Nobody feels special, neither the passenger nor the flight attendant. That's the contrast between international and domestic. 

Look at this tweet from a male straight flight attendant whom I follow on twitter:
"11 F as in "Fuck yeah!" To:-) to stockholm. Economy plus, bitches!"

Well, after reading this, I can't picture my steward talking in this way because his mannerisms, politeness is what attracted me. Of course his face, but the pull towards him was the way he treated me - the way he looked at me, smiled at me, respected me...gave a feeling of me being "special" in an unique way. Even though, there was a steward on my return flight too, but not even once he made an eye contact. I was so INVISIBLE Hope my friend steward is really a genuine one! Hope he did not curse me, when I raised his hopes of being interested in him and then did not acknowledge when he gave an indication to come to the galley. Well, whoever or whatever he is, hope he is happy, respected and is enjoying his life and work.

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