Tag - flight attendant

Coffee, Tea or Disappointment?
Working Girls (true story)

Coffee, Tea or Disappointment?


“Hey Terry, what’s up?”
“I’m not gonna make it to work today. I’m so sick. Been throwing up all morning. There’s no way. Just wanted you to know.”
“Ugh. I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll miss ya, but feel better.”

I would miss Terry. She and I buddy-bid to work the same trips as flight attendants. She never missed a trip. As it turned out, Terry had food poisoning. We had eaten at a fondue restaurant the night before the trip. Lucky for her, it hit early enough to stay home. Mine kicked in mid-flight, on a long leg to Palm Springs from Chicago. For the first, and only time of my 13-year-career, I was lying across three seats in the back of a 727-200, curled up under a blanket, wanting to die. The crew had to cover for me. People stared at me as they waited for the lavatories to open up.

A crewmember had a nice doctor from First Class came back to check on me.

“How you doing?”

“I’ve been better. The constant vomiting is a little annoying. Pretty sure it’s food poisoning because my flying buddy called in sick this morning and we both ate at a fondue restaurant last night.”

“You don’t look too good.”

“I feel pretty bad I can’t work. And these air-sickness bags could be bigger.”

“I can write you a script if that’s okay. It will help.”

“Dear god, please. That would be wonderful. Can you throw in some Valium for good measure?”

“You’ve got a great attitude.”

“Anything for a prescription.”

That night in the hotel, that prescription changed my world. The next week I called the doctor to let him know.

“Dr. Feelgood? It’s Amy. The flight attendant you checked on last week?”
“Of course. I’ve been thinking about you. How are you?”
“Great. I wanted to thank you for helping me out. I was able to work the next day. You are a life-saver. That medicine stopped everything.”
“That’s wonderful. I was happy to help. Since you’re feeling much better, would you like to have dinner with me?”
“Dinner? Tonight?”
“Or when you’re back in town again.”
“That’s so sweet, but uhhh, I’m going to say no. You’ve been wonderful and I really appreciate your help. Thank you for the offer and thanks again for saving me.”
“That’s fine. It was a pleasure. Have a nice trip.”

He was well-dressed, and nice looking enough. A total gentleman. A caring man. He was also about 80. I was 24. It was a nice offer. Thoughts of how rich this prominent doctor in Palm Springs was, flitted through my mind. A street had been named after him. But no. Not my thing. I was both flattered and uncomfortable. For a brief moment, I entertained the idea of being worshipped by someone who would be effing GRATEFUL. That’s pretty heady stuff.

It would be refreshing to work a dance in front of a guy and skip my usual inner dialogue…“Just keep going. He doesn’t care about the butt dimples, knee fat, and small boobs. Think about something else, for God’s sake.” Fact: guys like naked dancing. Hell, I’ll watch a hot dance. But being the erotic dancer? The mental baggage and insecurities I have about my body are pretty much always up front and center. I feel awkward, self-conscious, and a little mortified.

Making the leap from a dinner invitation to me dancing naked for the man may seem premature, but an age gap like that brings a person’s thoughts to getting naked at an alarming rate. Nevermind that I could be seeing an unclad Octogenarian’s body, wishing I had some anti-nausea pills left over…if it ever came to this daring display, he would think I was a goddess. In that one moment, I would be the hottest thing in the room.

Younger men have told me I could look good if I worked out, had better posture, longer hair, bigger boobs, etc. A favorite encounter happened in my sister’s dorm at UCLA as she introduced me to a few floormates, pointing out I was visiting because I was a flight attendant and had a layover in L.A. One young man, wearing only a towel around his waist, snidely remarked: “You don’t look like a flight attendant.”

“I hate to break it to you, but this is what a flight attendant looks like.” He looked me over, clearly disappointed his 1960’s fantasy image of a beautiful, buxom, blonde ‘stewardess’ wasn’t standing before him, ready to spread her ‘wings,’ and walked away.

I did not enjoy our brief exchange. Chalk his rude remark up to immaturity, but I was all of 3 years older than this snot-faced college-boy. Forty years later, I would be better equipped to respond. “Of course I don’t look like a flight attendant to you. You’re too short to really see their faces.” (Another fantasy that never came to life.)

So when I say it was awkward that a gentlemanly 80-year-old offered to take me to dinner, what I mean is, awkwardly sweet. He saw me folded up in the last row of coach looking green, and still wanted to get to know me better. He actually chuckled at things I said. That raised his attractability exponentially. So thank you Dr. Feelgood, for that boost. And thank you, Melting Pot, for making me puke my guts out, so I could experience feeling, if only for a mythical moment, like I was the fantasy stewardess cliché real flight attendants have fought so hard to overcome.

Some baggage deserves to get lost.

Working Girls (true story)

16339 AW

“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me…”
My eyes pop open. The plaintive cry is inches from my headboard. I can hear it perfectly through the thin wall of my hotel room. I freeze and listen.

“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me…”

It’s a female voice. No one responds to her plea. She just keeps repeating it periodically…

“Owwwwww, you’re hurting me.”
I listen intently. Is she being raped? Did someone crawl through the window? Or is she enjoying the pain? Hard to say. Whoever is “hurting” her is a silent partner. What is he doing to her? What is causing her discomfort?

Do NOt Disturb XX

“Owwwwww, you’re huuuuurting me.”
It’s weird there are no other sounds. Maybe the rapist doesn’t want to make any identifying noises. If it is rape, I should call the front desk. I envision the police seeking me out because I was registered to the room next door…

“Actually officer, I did hear a woman quietly moaning around three in the morning.”

“Just moaning?”

“Well, she kept repeating one phrase over and over again. It was hard to tell if she was in distress. You know, that fine line between pain and pleasure? She just kept saying: ‘Owwwwww, you’re huurting me.’ ”

“And you didn’t find that odd? You never thought to call the front desk?”

“I did think of it, but if I was wrong, it would be rather humiliating for the people involved. From the sounds of it, nobody was being forced to do anything against their will. I just figured it was some couple doing their kinky thing.”

“Well, a woman was raped last night. Maybe you shouldn’t assume peoples’ sex lives are as weird as yours.”

“God, I feel terrible, but it really was difficult to tell. Mostly I was ticked for being kept awake. I had an early flight in the morning.”

“Well I’ll let the victim know she inconvenienced you.”

Oh the guilt. The dilemma. What should I do? It would help if she’d expand her repertoire. Anything to give me a clue. I wait and listen for something to indicate she needs help.

“Owwwwww, you’re huuuuurting me…”
It’s getting old. I have to get up early for work. Layovers are shorter than ever and I’m a junior flight attendant stuck on undesirable trips that take off pre-dawn. Whoever these people are, they obviously aren’t interested in sleeping. I just want it to stop.

“Owwwwww, you’re huurting me…”
Maybe she’s a working girl and won’t get paid if she doesn’t stick to the script. I feel like a dirty third party. Just when you think it’s over, she moans again. It’s riveting and impossible not to picture what they might be doing.

Who knew my sex life was so banal? The only person I would trust to hurt me is myself. Fortunately myself and I agree pain is a bad thing. I’m not into other peoples’ pain either. Listening to this woman is uncomfortable enough. People who believe there is a fine line between pain and pleasure must see the Grand Canyon as a hairline crack.

I now believe there is a fine line between sordid curiosity and criminal intent because I’d like to hurt this woman. Permanently. I would kill for sleep. I could call the front desk genuinely concerned, then wait greedily for the knock on their door which would, at the very least, interrupt the one-sided “intercourse.”

I haven’t heard her plaintive cry in a while. They’re either finished or she’s dead. Excellent. Maybe I’ll get a few minutes of REM before my alarm goes off. I can’t wait to share this with the crew. This will be worth a few laughs in the van to the airport. Sharing it will help keep me awake until I can grab a few winks on the jumpseat.

Within an hour, I exit my room bleary-eyed and hear the doorknob turn on the door right next to mine. My god, I’m going to come face to face with one of them. It’s so early, what are the odds?

Turns out the odds are good when the captain of my trip, who has the same sign-in time, escorts a demurely smiling blonde out of his room. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain at the moment. Captain Bob offers a cordial “Good morning.”

I’m dying inside. Does he know I know? Just act normal. “Good morning!” Did I sound a little too chipper?

Captains look so formal in uniform. They’re the ones you trust with your life and feign respect for. I will forever hear the haunting voice of this lady whenever I fly with this dignified, salt-and-pepper-haired man. It’s a whole new image. Maybe the wings on his jacket were poking her because she literally loves a man in uniform.

Thank God I did not phone down to the front desk. I would have had to transfer to another base. I won’t be telling this story in the van. It will have to wait until I get to the back of the plane with my peers.

I won’t be napping on my jump seat either. I will be hyper-vigilant, watching and listening for any signs the plane might be acting out of the ordinary, because our beloved “Captain of Pain” fell asleep at the controls due to a night of slow torture. I can hear all the passengers screaming as we plummet.

Yep, instead of napping, I’ll be calling up to the cockpit periodically and whispering throatily: “Owwwwww, you’re huuurrrting me” then hanging up. That should keep him awake. It worked for me.

Copyright © 2014 Amy Sherman