Saturday, December 15, 2007

Old Ladies in the Bulkhead

Usually, I hate high time turns (turns that are worth 8 flight hours or longer). After having done so many of them, they're beginning to grow on me. I think today was the turning point.

My airline, unlike most others, serves real meals at meal time ('real' and 'meal time' is completely subjective). In the back of bus, there are over 100 people to be served by usually 2, and on rare occasion, 3 flight attendants. Our service isn't always the fastest, especially with me who's fairly new. The only real issue with this is that passengers expect the same timely service as they would get at their neighborhood Applebee's... next time you're in a restaurant, check out the server to customer ratio. I'm pretty sure that it's not 30 tables to one server. I get that people are impatient, but when flight time is four and a half hours... we're holding you hostage and you're paying for it. My point? There's no need to put your trash on the floor and expect me to pick it up.

So there were these two old ladies seated in the bulkhead, which is the first row behind first class. Its a pretty sweet place to sit because you have the extra leg room and you get served first. I gave these two lovely ladies (and that's being AWFULLY generous) their drinks, followed by their cheese pizzas; and what a production that was.

"Ladies, something to drink?"

"Oh! A drink! What do you have that's diet?"

"Diet coke and sprite"

"Oh! Hm... Diet coke. I mean sprite!"

I pass a Sprite Zero; they named it that because it has ZERO calories, hence diet.

"This isn't diet."

"Yes, yes it is."

I start to ask the ladies in the other half of the row if they would care for a beverage when the original "this isn't diet" lady taps me on the arm.

"Are we getting some sort of snack?"

"You're getting dinner."

"Oh! Hear that Miriam, we're getting dinner!"

If they were listening to my announcements, which I know they weren't, their questions would have been answered. I proceed to pass out pizzas to the first two rows, and drinks to the rest of the cabin. Once everyone has been served, I went out with the trash cart. Now, keep in mind that I handed you your meal and out of respect, I expect you to hand it back to me; otherwise, I keep going with my little cart and when you're ready to hand it to me, then you may throw it away. I get to the top of the cabin and my two ladies' trays are put away and they aren't holding any trash. Miriam's pal says to me, "oh, we put our trash on the floor." My response was if you hand it to me, I would love to throw away your trash for you, as it has been since the first day I started flying. This commenced a rather intense conversation between the two about how I was not going to pick up their trash from the floor and they pretty much started to guilt trip me into it. "Oh, you're just going to leave it there?" And being that I'm new and nice, not jaded and cranky, I had nothing to say to her. There is no way IN HELL I was going to pick up this fat lady's trash from the floor. Is that where she puts the trash in her house? Please, invite me over to your house so I can not only ask you for a coffee regular, a water, and a tomato juice, but to PUT MY TRASH ON THE FLOOR SO YOU CAN PICK IT UP. I think not, so I walked away.

The other flight attendant went through the cabin with a trash bag after we finished our second bar cart. They tried to get her to pick up the trash from the floor, and she laid it out on the line! She told them that it makes flight attendants very mad to be asked to pick up trash from the floor because we did not serve it from there. Miriam herself bent down, even though apparently she just had kidney (liver?) surgery, and picked up her own trash and threw it away like a big girl. Congrats, you're 65 years old and you just figured out the basic principles of respect and the proper way to dispose of your garbage. But oh, it gets better.

Upon our final approach into EWR, the pilots forgot to tell us. The cabin was a mess; tray tables were down, seat backs were in their semi comfortable position, and everyone was watching their own movies. I looked out the window to see the gas tanks of exit 12 on the turnpike... the airport is at exit 13A. I quickly made the final announcement, stressing that we would be on the ground momentarily, and guess, just guess, who decided that she had to go to the bathroom. By the time she waddled, and I literally mean waddled, into the first class lav (heaven forbid she should use the lav in her own cabin) the landing gear dropped. So the attendant that told her off was banging on the door, telling her to hurry it up. I don't know if she actually got to go but when we landed she was sitting in the very first row in first class. I think the kickers were the lazy ass first class f/a who yelled at the original f/a for telling her she could go to the bathroom, followed by the kid sitting three rows behind Miriam that was throwing up. Amazingly enough, she addressed the small child situation (and we all know how I feel about bodily fluids), and I backed her up on telling the customer to use the lav because as she so wisely pointed out, old people pee their pants.

Never a dull moment.

I so desperately need these next two days off to regroup.

1 comment:

HighFlyer said...

Legacy Lysser..I just wanted to let you know that I eagerly check nightly to see if you have a new posting. I am supposed to start my inflight training in Houston in March (was delayed from January). I feel as if I am getting the best flight attendant education ever just by reading about your adventures! I am certainly glad you liked writing a 'journal' because I equally like to read them. Hopefully, one day I will get to meet you in person and perhaps even work a flight together...I'm a journalism major and writing is my therapy..Sounds as if you need a little 'therapy' when you are a FA. Keep up the creative work and get yourself some R&R...