As instructors, we get to fly only when the operation needs the coverage. Hurricane = operational need. This time around I felt like I had been given the golden ticket... partially because I wanted to get out of the house but also to satisfy the "I want to fly" itch. As I was running around trying to get everything in order, I came across this in my inbox:
I started reading your blog a few days ago, yes the whole thing, all 5 years of it…ha. I found myself extremely engaged, almost like reading a book, a really interesting book of course. I have been researching and looking for insight to the job from first hand perspective. My aunt has been an FA for United for about 25 years know. Her and my mother signed me up for the job, unbeknownst to me, and I received an email back a few months later inviting me to come for an interview...
I am 26, I graduated from college with a degree in microbiology with an emphases on epidemiology. I have been really stuck in my ways my whole life. I had a serious plan for veterinary school, until I got burnt out; then started on my track for med school, and was unable to get the funding. Like most women my age I have been in one failing relationship after the other. I eventually came to the realization of "what the hell do I want to do"...
So I come to you after reading your blog and I feel like there is hope. After hearing your struggles and the issues you have faced, I feel like I am ready for a change. I will have to leave my completely unsupportive boyfriend behind, and my Boston Terrier with family, but what the hell…. I really have nothing to lose. I just hope it's the right decision because I really am not the type to just jump ship and leave it all behind. My family including my sick father thinks I will have the time of my life and they all wished they would have taken this opportunity when they were younger. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for writing your blog, it rely helped me make my decision.
Thank you, Future Stew, for taking a leap and trying something new and more importantly, for reaching out and saying so. I don't need to tell you all my applying advice; you've read it and I'm sure you found The Flying Pinto who's a much better resource. I wish you all the best. Bringing how lucky I am to my attention before hitting the road helped me get through the motions of driving up the turnpike, stopping in Bayonne, and getting mentally ready to suit up and show up. Doing those things wasn't particularly easy, and I still don't have power in my apartment.
We were given the green light, go pick up a trip at noon on Thursday. I had a feeling it was coming, and was stalking open time looking for my friends or trips I would want to fly. I did a lot of Edinburgh this summer and I chose it over higher time trips because I wanted to be someplace comfortable. I also needed something that checked in late enough for me to go first to Bayonne, and there were only turns (ew!) in domestic. Having closely followed the news and the Governor's frequent updates about the storm damage and transit closures, I still wasn't prepared for what I saw en route to my apartment and at the airport: crazy lines for gas, complete clean up and debris piles on the NJ TPK, and my town completely powerless. It hasn't been that cold yet, so my building was tolerable and I was able to clean out my fridge. I left as soon as I was ready for some serious high speed aluminum tubing.
The flight over was uneventful - just how I like it. We got together as a whole crew and had a night cap before our naps. The weather was beautiful, as you already saw; we all had views of Sir Arthur's Seat from our hotel rooms. I woke up starving and ran to The Potato Place, which is take away serving baked potatoes with all these amazing toppings for cheap. It's the kind of place that a carbo-holic's dreams are made of.
We met for dinner, and our friend who's the concierge of the hotel, recommended a restaurant called Mum's. Not gunna lie, my first thoughts about the name were "mum's the word" as in secrets. Boy was I wrong. The menu was affordable comfort food, rather affordable deliciousness.
I had sweet potato soup with mac and cheese.
Everyone else had some sort of pie with carrots and the most delicious peas on the side. Way better than Nando's, and I'm thinking their pies are better than Auld Jock's even though I have yet to make it there before they close.
In Nando's defense, it's popular with crews because there's no battle of the check. It's set up so you go to the register, order and pay, sit down and be served. The check for this particular meal was also no issue because it was taken care of by one of the flight attendant's boyfriend who's a local... and possibly Chuck Norris.
Now, it's not everyday I accuse people of being Chuck Norris, mostly because I've never met someone worth of the name. But here's a list, as compiled by Smiling Paul, of things we learned about this Faux Chuck Norris over the course of the evening:
(1) he's Billy Connolly's neighbor,
(2) built a flying car and sold it to a company bigger than Boeing & Airbus,
(3) was a super-soldier in the SAS and carried a guy on his back 500 miles through the desert
(4) jumped off a 110' cliff with a snowmobile three weeks ago and lived to tell about it,
(5) had a brain tumor removed five weeks ago, and
(6) has jammed with Steve Martin (the actor/comedian/banjo player).
How gullible are we? I don't even mind that we were buying what he was selling because he was fun and paid for dinner. Kept us amused all night long - including later at the pub when he spun another stew around the dance floor and kept lifting his kilt to show off his sexy leg to his ladyfriend. She was not nearly as amused by those shenanigans as I was and her embarrassment. We were out dancing and drinking quite late for a school night. It was so nice to be out and blow off some steam, considering all the hardships most of us were facing, are facing, at home. But the crew camaraderie is what the job and what living the dream is all about.
As well as identifying possible Chuck Norris (and yes, that is the plural).