Overheard: And I thought MY job was challenging…

5 May

This morning at National Airport, I stood in line at Fuddrucker’s to order breakfast for my flight to Chicago. Behind me, three flight attendants waited to do the same. They were talking shop and one of them said in a dramatically hushed voice, “Did you hear what we found on the plane yesterday?”

Another one said, “No – what?”

And the first girl mouthed something at her, with eyebrows raised.

The other one said, “Huh?”

And the first girl repeated her mouthing, only more dramatically this time.

The other one said, “I must be dense because I don’t understand you. Why don’t you just say it?”

And the first girl snapped, “Because I don’t want the whole public to know! I’ll tell you later!”

While I found this exchange funny, it was only once I boarded my plane and saw the same three flight attendants standing in the rear galley organizing sodas that I began to appreciate the irony of the woman’s attempted discretion. As they stood there sorting Sprite, they loudly shared work-related stories that might not have needed an audience.

Among the snippets…

“They need to create an announcement that says, ‘Please do not crawl over your fellow passengers to claim the window seat. Instead, ask them to stand so you can take your seat without putting your butt in their face.’”

“Did you hear that the FAA wants all planes to be equipped with life vests now – not just seat cushions that can serve as flotation devices? Apparently that’s because of the whole Hudson River thing and the fact that not everyone standing on the wings had something that floated. That seems unnecessary to me. I mean – I want them on MY plane, but it doesn’t seem like they all need them.”

“Can you believe it? I asked that woman if she wanted anything to drink and she said no. Then, when I moved to the next row, she leaned forward and asked me if I had coffee. I told her I did and asked if she would like anything in it. She said no, so I poured her a cup. Then when I handed it to her, she asked for sugar. I said, ‘So you DID want something to drink, didn’t you?”

“Have any of you flown with that new girl that always wears a scarf? She was on my flight last week. She asked me how long I’d been with my boyfriend and I told her I preferred not to say. But she wouldn’t let it go, saying, ‘I bet I’ve got you beat!’ So finally I told her eleven years, and she said thirteen! Some people just don’t get it. That’s nothing to brag about.”

“Know what happened to me last week? We had everyone get off the flight and there were still three suitcases left in the overhead. Well, naturally we freaked. Got the bag handlers to come unload them. And guess what? There were three people standing on the jetway just waiting for them. They were deaf, so I guess they just didn’t know to grab them.”

Sigh. Hearing other people tell their work stories made me realize how absolutely lame my own job comedy (a “jobedy,” if you will) is. New resolution:  I’m going to keep them to myself from now on… Unless I can tell them in a whisper with my eyebrows raised in front of an audience and insinuate that there’s a threat to our national security. Then it’s game-on.

One Response to “Overheard: And I thought MY job was challenging…”

  1. Babs May 17, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Haha, that last comment about the left bags rings a bell. Yesterday on the way home from Jackson, we were sitting in the food court at Atlanta when a guy got up, dropped his rolling bag, then proceeded to walk off even though the bag made a huge clanking sound when it hit the floor. People in the immediate vicinity cleared out quickly and I had to go find a TSA officer. The guy came running back 10 minutes later to claim it but it’s kinda scary!

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