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My exciting job

April 10, 2008

I’m in Springfield, MO and just ate some of the best bbq ever. Unfortunately I think I got my second wind as well. In a little while I’m going to try the method I use on babies when they won’t sleep – dark room, lights out, no distractions… See how that works.

Just as I expected last night, I hated myself this morning at 4:10. I think my ambien was still in effect through my first flight and the coffee did nothing for me. I honestly don’t remember anything about this morning. When I got back to Atlanta around 7:20 I was so tired I went to the lounge and sat down. I talked to a friend for a while, and then closed my eyes. The next thing I knew scheduling was calling me wondering why I wasn’t on my plane. Oh crap. Then of course my flight is all the way at the end of D Concourse, and I’m in the lounge under C. Thankfully we only had 22 passengers and my pilots were nice and had put all my stuff away so we closed up close to time, but I was really stressed out for a while there.

The next to flights to Jacksonville, NC were tough. I’ve noticed that I tend to munch when I’m bored or tired. Since I realized this I’ve been trying to stop, but since I was really tired and always feeling like I needed energy it was hard not to. Plus none of my passengers were very exciting or talkative. After that flight I had about an hour and half until my next one and my mood was failing fast. I should’ve called someone to cheer me up but was too tired. I finally prayed that I would have an interesting passenger to make the flight up here bearable. I definitely got what I asked for.

The first passengers of interest were a couple with a very cute, white, fluffy “service dog.” I was trying to figure out if they’d just taken their dog and put a vest on it so they could take it everywhere for free. I finally asked what sort of service the dog did. She said she has brain seizures and the dog can detect them. I was surprised to learn that they didn’t get the dog for that purpose. When it was about 8 months old it would start behaving strangely and over time they realized that it was acting like that because it could tell she was going to have a seizure. Since then it has been trained to hone this sense/skill. I thought that was either really fascinating or an amazing lie.

The next interesting person was the lady who came up the ramp looking at everything like she’d never seen it before and didn’t know what to do. Then she got on the plane and found out she’d never been on one before (and evidently didn’t watch tv or anything) and was scared to death. She was fortunately seated near two really funny couples who kept her entertained the whole flight with pictures from their vacation and stories and explanations about all the shakes and sounds of the plane. Having dealt with a lot of scared passengers I tried to help her and make her less scared and by the end of the flight she was taking pictures out the window and had sworn off Greyhound. It was so funny though cause the whole middle and front of the plane was in on it and people would ask how she was. When she cried during take off they passed it on to me. When she put her jacket over her head someone let me know. She refused to eat cause her family said she would puke, and she refused to drink anything cause her family said she’d have to pee and didn’t want to use the lav. She rides Harleys all the time, but thinks planes are dangerous… It was amusing.

The people sitting around her were a whole other story. One used to play for the Cardinals, Mets, and Phillies. His wife was trying to set me up with their 41 year old, “loaded” son. When I said he was too old the other said she had a son. Between them they were determined to take me home.

Then there were two ladies and a man sitting in front of them. I squatted down in front of the cart so I could hear one of the ladies talk and the other, probably around my mother’s age, started petting my arm. She asked if I shaved my arms and said that all the young kids she works with do. I told her I didn’t (because it’s her business) and said that sometimes I did to exfoliate them cause I have bumps on my arms. She starts sharing about someone she knows’ arms – all the while petting my arm. The other lady laughed and explained that she was a very tactile person (I see that). If she wasn’t so nice I might’ve cared, but it just cracked me up. She said she has a habit of touching before thinking or asking whenever she sees something interesting. She also hugged me when she got off the plane and patted our captain’s cheek.
Between all of these people, and some other people who got in the conversation just to see what was going on, it was a very busy flight. I think about half the plane was nervous flyers so I’d make announcements to let everyone know how many more minutes of torture they had. It made a day that started out pretty lousy end up being pretty fun. Even if they hadn’t been humorous and amusing in their different ways, just the fact that these people talked to me constantly made me really happy and made me pleased to serve them.

PS. I also finished the USA Today crossword today. All by myself. Woo hoo!

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